QR Codes: Engaging Students with Technology this Week!

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Jarrod Robinson presented on qr codes for eT@lking  this week. These have fascinated me, but as my iPhone’s software needs updating to download apps, and my internet access is so slow I have put the idea of using them in my classroom on ‘hold’. (Sometimes, I like to try tools before giving the task to students). However, after eT@lking, I took the plunge and trialled the codes in the second half of my year 9/10 double. Here is what it looked like.

  1. Students given 10 minutes to research qr codes – what they are, what they do and what they need to use them.
  2. Students goto my class blog post, which has a qr code with my details on it, including my blog address, and try to scan the code with their phones. All but student had a phone in their pockets. Many had seen the app on their phone but did not know what it was for.
  3. Students then create their own code kaywa without divulging any personal details.
  4. This code was then added to their blog posts, and as a widget on their personal  blog sidebar.
  5. Download a qr reader on their netbooks, so the netbook web cam can scan the code. Tried two:- quickmark and bctester
  6. Tried same activity with my year 11 students
  7. Students will be asked to add their ideas to this wall with ways in which qr codes could be used in learning and at school. (Could you add yours there too, please?)

Reflections:- What worked well!

  • Utter and pure engagement. Students love to use their phones and like to learn new ways of using them.
  • The apps were already in most phones. Those with iPhones had to download theirs.
  • Students were determined to get their phone to scan and worked their way through any issues until they succeeded. They had to try a number of apps, refused to go online (as it would cost too much), then had to line up the code within the phone screen etc

What we learned

  • The different phones used different techniques. Some phones just scanned and read the code, other phones had to be clicked to read the code
  • As I had not used them before, students all worked together to learn how to do it.
  • Some phones scanned better on a printout rather than the screen.
  • The qr code readers that we downloaded for the netbooks did not work well. Quickmark appeared to be only for -igadgets and the bctester is clunky. Students have to scan the code, save as a jpg, then load into bctester. We need a more efficient method.
  • Problems with the qr readers caused frustration amongst the students as they were keen to add it to their netbooks.
  • One of our technicians enjoyed the challenge of researching qr codes further.


  • finding an efficient qr code reader for PC netbooks
  • some students added personal details to their qr code eg phone numbers and addressess despite the many cyber safety reminders and lessons.
Further solutions: A tweet on the weekend went out for suggestions on appropriate qr code readers for PCs. Here are the responses:-
  1.  Quickmark for PC – need to revisit this one, as we had troubles downloading and technician thought it was only for i-hardware.
  2. Desktop qr readers
  3. How we use qr codes in the classroom. This blog posts has further links to great blog posts and sites relating to the use of qr codes in the classroom.

One response to “QR Codes: Engaging Students with Technology this Week!

  1. Pingback: Engaging the Visual Learner in Accounting with web2.0 tools | e-Journeys

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