Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Perk Up your eLearning Projects

I'm always looking for new etools for my online classes so recent buzz about using QR codes for online learning perked my interest.

QR -- Quick Response -- is a barlike code that you can scan with your QR-enabled smartphone or tablet to reach a specific website. The phone's camera reads the code and then opens the appropriate website, mobile number, SMS, bookmark or email address.

There are numerous applications for a QR code in the digital classroom.

1.      Teach the kids to create their own QR codes (there are numerous apps for all of the different smartphones and tablets that enable you to quickly create a QR code). Once the code is created, the student can take a photo of it and then apply it to any of his projects.
2.      Reduce books and print-outs by sending the students to websites with relevant material via a QR code.
3.      Involve the kids in a project or chessed project and encourage them to create activities and missions for the other students/teachers/families  by posting QR codes around the school, in school newsletters, etc. Take the project outside the school and post the QR codes around the neighborhood.
4.      Create a QR scavenger hunt that revolves around a specific unit or subject that you're learning. Each QR code can lead the students to the next hidden code. You can expand this type of project by posting codes the classroom which take the kids to various written, audio or visual materials. As the kids move through the unit, each activity will contain a new QR code that takes them to the next stage.
5.      Heighten the excitement over a prize or a reward by having a QR code lead to the goodie. Even better, let the QR code present a hint that the student must unravel to earn the reward.
6.      Create a rubric in which students check their work by scanning a QR code that  allows them to evaluate their answers after a test or assignment. This facilitates student reflection and provides new opportunities for the students to reinforce the material.
7.      Attach QR codes to physical objects that represent a topic that the students are learning. Each QR code will take the students to the information that allows them to explore the subject.
8.      Assign students research projects in which their findings will be linked by the QR codes that they create. These codes can then be posted for the other students to examine.
9.      Build a lesson with QR codes that take the students from step to step.

10.   Use a QR code to crowdsource the students' ideas and thoughts. The students can quickly scan the QR code to vote or otherwise add their voice to the discussion.  

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