QR codes seemed to be everywhere. I had heard a lot about them, seen them on clothing (Rafranz Davis' favorite!), and was only able to view information for an upcoming Mobile Mania Conference at our Region by scanning one... but I was unsure how I could use them to enhance the learning in my classroom. Although it was our first year for our district to launch BYOD, many of my fifth graders didn't have devices that had been approved for use in the classroom. And while I could have used our mobile laptop lab, my students had been asking for a scavenger hunt throughout our school. Knowing what I knew about QR codes and taking my students' recent request into consideration, I tried to come up with a plan.
About this time I discovered ClassTools.net and all of the many cool resources they offer- all of which are free and do not require an account. Even better- they advertised a text-based QR Scavenger Hunt that wouldn't require wifi; meaning if I could round up several devices with QR readers, we would be able to have a QR Scavenger Hunt.
I decided to use the information for an upcoming Pioneers Project for our Scavenger Hunt. I needed the basic information to be delivered to the students, and it would allow us an opportunity to practice using QR codes since many didn't even know what they were and had never scanned one. Plus I could also earn a few brownie points for weaving in a scavenger hunt from my students who had requested one!
I printed out the 10 text-based QR Codes I wanted to use, along with the assignment they were to complete while on the scavenger hunt. I taped the QR codes throughout the main areas of our school. Then divided my class into 4 groups of 5 students each. I initially assigned jobs to each person in the group, but they each took turns scanning a code and being the answer keeper. We used two iPads, an iPod Touch, and a cell phone to complete our Scavenger Hunt. The students loved it, learned what I needed them to know for our upcoming unit, and also could now tell you what a Quick Response code was and why you would use one. All in all- a success!
I know trying out new technologies can be scary and many times, we feel like we don't have the knowledge or technology to do things, but there are so many resources out there that- even while taking baby steps- it is doable!