Using QR Codes in the Classroom – Part 4: Differentiating Instruction

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Part 4: Using QR Codes to Differentiate Instruction
Differentiating instruction is essential, and QR Codes can help make this much easier.  Let’s take a quick look at how QR Codes can help.


As a teacher, I’m constantly having to repeat directions.  Thankfully, I’ve come across an amazing way to combat this using QR Codes!  It’s a wonderful website called

This website allows you to enter 100 characters of text, and it will create a code that will read the text!

A word of caution about this website though.  If you’ve ever used a GPS, you know how some words aren’t always pronounced correctly.  Always test it out before you give a code to a student.  You can also record your own voice using your iPhone or computer, upload it, and then create a QR Code for it.


Let’s take a look at some ways you can use codes!


This is by far my favorite way to use audio codes.  Find tricky or difficult words in books or passages, and tape a QR Code nearby.  Students can scan the code to find out how to pronounce the word as well as discover its meaning.

There are a ton of additional ways to use and/or audio codes. 


Whenever I give spelling tests, it is inevitable that someone is absent or not in the classroom at the time.  It’s tricky finding time to make up the tests.  One thing I have done is create tests with QR Codes.  Students scan the code, and it calls out the word. 

A word of caution:  If using to create your codes, I would recommend using it only with older students.  It can be tricky to catch the words sometimes.  A way to get around this is to record yourself saying the word.  Once you have created a list for the entire year, you’ll be good to go every school year!

If you create your own worksheets, consider adding a QR Code to read directions to students.  This is a great way to differentiate learning for English Language Learners and students who need directions repeated more than once.

Here are some additional ways to use voice QR Codes:


Assess, Store, and Compare Fluency Skills – I personally love to see my students’ growth.  Showing a number to a student and/or parent only goes so far though.  I love to record my students reading at the beginning of the school year and again at the end of the school year.  Being able to actually hear improvements is pretty awesome!

Record Writing – Have students record themselves reading a story or poem they have written.  When their work is displayed in the classroom library or hallway, readers can scan the code to hear the work read directly from the author.

Introduce Student Work – For important occasions, consider having students record a video or audio file describing their work.  Attach the code to the work.  Parents, fellow students, and administrators will enjoy hearing the work introduced by the student!

Center Directions – To help make center work more independent, record yourself reading the directions.  Paste the code in a center.  This will help limit distractions and loss of instructional time.

Useful with Students in ELL, Foreign Language, and Special Education Programs – This is pretty self-explanatory!  When learning new words, students can scan a code to hear them pronounced.  You could also embed definitions as well!

That’s it for Part 4! 
For additional ideas on using QR Codes in the classroom and how you can get this technology in your classroom,

click here for Part 5.