Part 2: Creating URL Codes
I'm continuing my series on QR Codes. Since my last post covered what QR Codes are, how to create them, and how to scan them, I will now start to focus on what you can create codes for.
So, why might you want to create a URL QR Code?
If you've ever shared my frustration of having to type web links in for students and experienced the loss of instruction time that can come from it, you will love using QR Codes! QR Codes will help your students become more independent!
One of my favorite things that I have ever created for my classroom is this ring of Frequently Visited Class Sites. To make this, I simply created a card for the websites I use most often in my classroom. On each card I put a screenshot of the website, the name of the website, and a QR Code. The QR Code links to the website. Whenever I ask students to visit a site, they simply find the card with the website and scan the code. It automatically takes them straight to the website!
Another fun way to incorporate QR Codes into your classroom is to use them for Exit Slips. Exit Slips are an important and easy way to get feedback from your students. I created a Google Form (which I will show you how to do below!) for my exit slips. Students simply scan the code, and it takes them to a form to fill out. The form asks simple questions about what we have covered in class that day. Google compiles the responses for me in an easy-to-read spreadsheet.
Okay, so I have talked a little bit about using URL QR Codes in the classroom. Now, let's talk about how this awesome technology can increase parent engagement in your classroom!
This is by far my favorite way to use QR Codes with parents. I love to incorporate technology into my classroom and because of this, I have always included a website or two in my class newsletters. The website has always been one that we have used in the classroom. The problem with including a website in a newsletter is that it takes up a lot of room, especially if you want to include more than one. We can shorten those links today thanks to websites such as bit.ly, but it still isn't the easiest option for parents to type the address in. Instead, I use QR Codes! Once I know what website I want to include, I just make a QR Code for, and insert it into my newsletter.
Some Things You Might Want To Include A Link To:School Website/Class Website - This is an awesome communication tool we all have but often don't use to its full potential. At the beginning of the year, we are often excited about using it, but as the school year goes on, we often forget to update it! Instead, post class photos and videos. Show a few to your students and tell them that in order to see the rest, their parents will have to scan the code on the newsletter. Trust me, they will tell their parents when they get home! This is a great way to make sure more parents see your newsletter. I can't tell you how many times I have had those newsletters come back to me, day after day, untouched!
Educational Websites - I love to link to games we have used in class that cover our standards. Other ideas include zoo webcams, EarthCam, etc.
YouTube - Link to an educational video. Another option is to record your instructional lessons or record students explaining how to solve a problem. This is a great way for parents to see what is going on in the classroom. It's especially great for struggling students. This allows parents to help their child in the same manner you are teaching in class. I've often had parents try to teach their child how to solve a problem at home, and they sometimes try to teach them in a more complex way (and sometimes not the right way). This way everyone is on the same page!
Similar to the Exit Slips, I sometimes create Parent Letters with QR Codes if I need them to fill out a survey. Parents scan the code and it takes them to a Google Form. Google compiles the results in a spreadsheet for me. As you can see in the photo, I also include a web link for parents who might not be able to scan the code.
Ok, I've shown you two ways I use Google Forms. Let's go back now and talk about how to create a Google Form.
It's easy to create a form, and it cuts down on the paper trail!
(Graphics courtesy of Wizard of Boz, Moffat Doodles, and KPM Doodles. Fonts courtesy of Kevin and Amanda Fonts and Teaching with Style Fonts by Nicole.)