Wednesday, August 12, 2015

9 BOY Tips for Teachers Using QR Codes

QR codes are a quick way to distribute links and other information, which is perfect during the busy back-to-school season. (Need a refresher on what QR codes are and how they work? This article reviews the basics.) 

How to use QR codes to minimize stress at the beginning of the school year
  1. Help parents or students quickly enroll in Remind. Link the phone number and enrollment code to a QR code. Participants only have to scan and send the text, and they'll automatically be connected to your Remind class. Learn more about connecting more than just a link to a QR code in this articleRead more about Remind's features by clicking here.
  2. Link to a Google Form to collect information digitally. Create a Google Form that asks for contact information, allergies, tutoring times, or anything else you need at the beginning of school (more information on using Google forms can be found here), and link it to a QR code. (More suggestions for collecting parent information digitally are in this blog post.) 
  3. Share contact information with parents. Connect a QR code to a mobile number or e-mail address so that parents can quickly contact you. 
  4. Share back to school information with parents. Do you typically distribute a paper packet of information in August? Save a tree and impress your class by scanning the papers to PDFs, uploading them to a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive, and attaching the document link to a QR code. 
  5. Lead your audience to a specific iOS or Android app. Need students to download very specific apps that they may have difficulty finding in the iTunes or Google Play store? Attach one app link per QR code, then collect the QR codes into a collage or photo slideshow so that your audience can quickly scan and download all the apps they need in one sitting. 
  6. Create a welcome message. You can attach freely-formatted text or an audio recording to a QR code, so it's like a secret, "welcome back" message for students. Read more about freely-formatted text codes by clicking here. Create an audio QR code by using Vocaroo or
  7. Share your Twitter profile to make connections. You can connect to your overall profile, a specific tweet, or the last tweet from a user. Learn more in this blog post
  8. Sign in for tutoring or club meetings. Create a Google form that just asks the student for their name. Link that form to a QR code. When students come to tutorial or club meetings, they can scan the code, type their name, and submit the Google form. This creates a time-stamped document so you can tell who attended and when they were there. 
  9. Need students to visit a link quickly and can't use AirDrop? Turn the link into a QR code!

Ways to Share QR Codes
  1. Display the code(s) on the Promethean board. (You may need to turn the classroom lights out for this to work.)
  2. Print the code and post on a wall or on your door. 
  3. Need to print but don't want to use a lot of paper? Insert one code into a photo collage or PowerPoint, print several small copies, and distribute the slips of paper in student backpacks.
  4. Sharing several codes? Insert the photos of the QR codes into a photo slideshow (PhotoPeach and PhotoSnack are free options); the audience can scan as the photos rotate. (You can even include a caption on each photo so the audience can keep track of which codes they've seen and scanned.)
  5. E-mail it. 
  6. Working with newer iPads? AirDrop the QR code(s) into your class's camera roll. 

How to Make a QR Code
There are a ton of options, but here are some common web-based QR code generators:

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