Welcome to Jennie Magiera's Technology in Education Blog:

Redefining the (digital) Classroom

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The DaVinci (QR) Code: Using QR Codes to share digital student work

One of the things that we've been doing for awhile, but I've yet to write about is using QR Codes to share student work. When your classroom goes 1:1 and you move closer and closer to being "paperless" (although I think it's good sometimes to keep a little paper in your life), sharing student work often becomes a challenge. Afterall, most of their work is now created digitally, so how can you put it on your bulletin boards? Print out a screenshot of their iMovie project or Keynote?

Well, here's a better idea. Instead, house their work on your class site. You can create pages for each subject, project, unit, standard or even student. Then, create QR codes that link to that page. (For a free and easy QR code creator, check out this site.) Next go to your bulletin board and staple up that QR code with a quick description of the assignment, or a picture of the student, if you've decided to organize their work that way. Voila! Student work posted! The kids love scanning the QR codes to see where it takes them - it's like a mystery just waiting to be solved... the DaVinci QR Code! (Sorry, I couldn't help myself.)

One of the coolest parts about this is when parents come to visit the classroom. Seeing them scan the QR codes and watch their child's iMovie, listen to their audio file or view their Toontastic is just amazing. Moreover, they can "take home a copy" of the work by simply saving the URL on their phone. How often can they do the same with work stapled to a bulletin board?

Another great use case of QR codes is to have student work that is based on the classroom around them. Last year, I had my students find the surface area of classroom objects. They then created a quick Educreation to show their math metacognition in solving that problem. Once they were done, I took the URLs to their work and created QR codes. We taped the codes to the objects in the room and kids could go around and scan an object to see their peers solve for its surface area. In a Kindergarten classroom I support this year, we've done similar projects with younger kids, describing shapes and colors in their rooms. They take pictures of an object and then circle shapes they see. For example, they might photograph a garbage can, put the photo into the Educreation and screencast themselves annotating where they see a circle, or a square, and the colors they note.

Finally, some of my teachers are also using QR codes to make interactive libraries. They are having their students create quick 60-second video reviews (Reading Rainbow-style) and then uploading them to their class site by genre. Then they are posting the QR-code to the review to the book itself or the book bin. Kids can then take their devices to the library when it's time to check out a new just-right-book and view each other's book reviews to make a decision. Especially powerful will be the collection over time as kids can see siblings who were former students in that classroom reviewing potential reads!

I was recently told by a marketer that QR codes are "a dying technology struggling to remain relavant." While that may be true in the marketing world, I think they have some real shelf life in our 21st century classrooms.


  1. Jenni,
    Great post with lots of ideas for me to try! Thank you for sharing!

  2. What a great idea. I was excited to hear about all the ways to use QR codes. I instantly tried making one. So simple and easy.

  3. This is inspiring and exciting! Thank you for the great ideas.