My Next Scavenger Hunt

20 Jun
QR for my website

Try this with your camera, it's a great way to find my blog.

I love QR images on so many levels.  The are around us, some subtly some not so subtly, on bust stops, billboards, website, produce and even on some of the packages you receive in the mail from the postal service or UPS.  Founded back in the 1990’s by the Japanese Auto Industry, these images are being used by marketing companies for gorilla marketing campaigns to gain the attention of a tech savvy crowds.

I recently purchased some produce and on the inside of the label was a QR image to scan an enter a contest to see if I won the sweepstakes.  I was recently at a wine tasting  in Lodi where the winery was using QR images to download tasting notes.  I could scan the image and I was taken to a website with notes, pricing and ordering information.  I can then save the info in my scans and access this data any time I want.  “What was the wine I liked again, I will look at my phone.”  Jimmy Fallon used an image on his Late Show during one of his comedy bits that took you to a link of the video he was making. This technology will start to pop up more and more and in many different ways, so how can I use this in education?

First off, go to the app store – for your smart phone – and download a QR reader. They are free and very easy to use. You will need to go over the steps with your students if you plan to use it – when I tested this out in class one out of sixty of my students knew what these images were. Practice – create images, find images, and scan with your phone.  Keep in mind, you can scan images on your computer screen or television as well, so you don’t always need to print them out.

Now, ideas …

Put a new twist on your learning centers as the kids discover links, information, text, locations on google maps and either have to report, evaluate, listen, or analyze what they are discovering. Think about character analysis, poetry, notes, song lyrics …

Hold a scavenger hunt and practice location based learning as kids use the coordinates they get from an image to lead them on a trail to a final destination.  This can create a little fun and add some exclusivity to what you are doing.

Building on the scavenger hunt idea, have directions for the kids to follow, like making a shape or building a structure – some type of task they have to complete.  Then, they take a picture and text it to me so I can verify they completed it.  In this case, I might send the kids in different directions to find all of the clues so that way they are not backed up at one station.

In my class, I am going to use QR images to link to documents on the web.  I’m moving towards a paperless environment – and while I will have the items I am using online – if the kids ask I don’t want to always have to give out the URL.  So, kids can scan an image on the wall and get directed to the resource website; or more specifically, to my syllabus or to easily find my Titter account.

In my presentations, I add QR images to link to resources that my students can scan and save rather than write down URL’s or remember text.

I use the QR image to store my phone number so kids can scan it and text me whenever they need my help or have questions in class.

As I am able to get permission to use images on my campus along with cell phones (work in progress) I can use the images to advertise events.  Kids will be curious, and the placement of these images to promote what we are doing on campus is a great way to capture student interest.

Make it a game, put up hundreds of images and the first student to scan the correct one wins a price (think of it like whack a mole with your smart phone camera).

Multiple choice test, create questions, the answers are imbedded in the image, the kids can scan and find out if they are correct.  Further more , I can add an explanation that tells why they are right or wrong and how they can avoid making the same mistake again.

For more great ideas you can check out Patrick Maurer’s blog which has some additional ideas for QR codes.

In the meantime, how do you use QR codes?


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