QR codes have come a long way since I first saw them while working for Roadway Package Systems (now called FedEx Ground) in the late 90’s. As a package handler and later as a dock coordinator, I hated QR codes because even the tiniest smudge made the code nearly impossible to scan with the big, clunky scanners we had. And generating the QR code labels seemed to take forever. Fast-forward a quarter century and QR codes are easy to make and easy to scan on mobile phones and tablets.
Five Uses for QR Codes in School Settings
Now that QR codes are easy to make and easy to scan with mobile phones and tablets, they can be helpful in accomplishing a lot of things in school settings. Here’s a short list of ways to consider using QR codes in your school.
- Share sign-in/sign-out sheets via QR code. If you’re using Google Forms or Microsoft Forms to maintain sign-in/sign-out sheets, post a QR code on the wall of the room to be signed into or out of to make it easy for students or colleagues to access those forms. Here’s a demonstration of using QR Code Monkey for that purpose.
- Share links to important and frequently updated webpages like the school lunch menu. Last year the daily lunch menu was plastered all over my school in the form of a QR code that students could scan to get the day’s menu and place orders in advance. One of the easiest ways to make a QR code for that purpose is to use the QR code generator that is built into Google Chrome. Here’s a demo how that works.
- Create QR codes to access voice messages. With the Mote Chrome extension installed you can simply click the Mote icon to record voice notes. When you’re done speaking simply click the share button and you’ll have an option to view and download a QR code. Anyone who scans your QR code will be able to listen to your voice recording. Watch this short video to learn how you can share voice notes via Mote QR codes.
- QR codes can be useful for distributing important contact information to parents and students. QR Code Monkey lets you not only create QR codes for URLs, but also create QR codes to distribute contact information like phone numbers and email addresses.
- I forget which school I first saw it in, but a handful of years ago I visited a school library in which there was a selection of books that had QR codes inside the dust jacket. The QR codes linked to book trailer videos that students had made about those books.
Bonus item: Seesaw, Google Classroom, and many other popular edtech tools provide QR codes that students can scan to sign in or join classroom activities. For younger students it’s often easier to scan a QR code with an iPad to sign-in than it is to type a lengthy URL or classroom code.
How to Make QR Codes
I’ve linked to a few tutorials above. I’m also listing them below for easier access.
50 Tech Tuesday Tips and a Free Webinar
At the end of 2021 I released a new eBook titled 50 Tech Tuesday Tips. You can learn more about it and get a copy here. Additionally, on January 31st I’m hosting a free webinar for everyone who has purchased a copy or purchases one by January 30th. Group purchase rates are available, email me for details about that.