Today is now week 10 and is the final blog of my Digital Technologies module! The session today was a collaboration of both outdoor learning and qr codes. This session was particularly exciting as QR codes was a whole new topic for me and although I have seen them around in local places, I was excited to be able to make my own and use it in an educational manner.
Focusing on outdoor learning to begin with is a great thing for pupils. It allows them to be learning whilst keeping active. Using outdoor learning allows pupils to feel less restless and can also remind children that education can be fun! (JCA, 2018). Outdoor learning is an opportunity for pupils to work alongside their classmates in a different environment than the classroom and it is also a learning opportunity to see how education can be linked with physical activity.
There are many advantages that come with outdoor learning as it can develop many new skills that pupils can then re-use in later life. These advantages could include:
- Critical thinking skills
- Personal development
- A better physical lifestyle
Outdoor learning allows teachers to link pupils learning to different subject areas such as health and wellbeing, science and social studies. Due to a lot of online gaming etc coming into place, outdoor learning opens up a whole new experience for children to keep active while learning at school. I personally agree that outdoor learning is a new experience that all pupils should be able to have in school and also have the time outside the classroom to be a bit more free and relaxed.
QR codes are a fantastic class activity which can be done both in the classroom and outside giving pupils the full freedom of their learning. QR codes are simply an image based hypertext link and in basic terms QR stands for quick response. They are a two-dimensional barcode and each barcode can hold up to 7089 numbers. They can also link a lot of things together such as audio, an email address and a map location for example.
Linking QR codes with education is very creative. It can create many tasks for pupils to take part in,for example, educational scavenger hunts (Marquis,2012). This links in with our task that we were given today. Our task was to work in small groups and create a QR code scavenger hunt outside. The only disadvantage we had whilst doing so was that the weather outside wasn’t appropriate so we then had to move the activity inside.
Our group decided to focus our QR scavenger hunt on a shopping list which then linked in with mathematics. We decided that each code would be a different calculation for a different item and the answer to the given calculation would be the number of the room with the next QR code on it. You then had record the price of your first given item and then once you had worked out and recorded all the items on the list you then had to work out the total cost of your shopping list and then return to your starting location.
We kept it very simple and basic as the Qr codes were new to us all so it took us a little longer to try and figure out how they actually worked first before even beginning the task. Our QR code was plain and dynamic keeping it very simple for us beginners. As we linked our activity to mathematics we came across an experience and outcome which we found to tie in nicely with our activity. This was :
MNU~1=09A ~ I can use money to pay for items and can work out how much change I would receive
When doing the activity in the session other groups had to complete our task. Our group got quite sufficient feedback from our peers and we were quite pleased by this. Some peers had stated that our task was easy to follow, lasted a reasonable amount of time(20 minutes), they felt challenged as it had them thinking and it was fun and exciting as the codes were all around different places.
I felt that this session today would be classed as a weakness for me as I felt it quite hard to understand it all and be able to work it all out before actually beginning with the given task we had. I personally wouldn’t use this activity in the classroom as I feel it has a lot more disadvantages than benefits for pupils.
One being that it is pretty time consuming and it takes a lot of time to actually sit and figure out what it is you’re actually going to do with the QR code therefore you would need to split up how much time you actually have to complete the task. This can become pretty frustrating for some pupils as they would have to sit for a long period of time trying to figure it all out.
The only benefit I would take from QR codes is that it opens up to a perfect opportunity to use outdoor learning and allow them to hide their codes outside making it more adventurous. However, it can all be down to the weather on the day,as we came across ourselves, and can become quite frustrating that they can’t complete the task as they wanted to.
JCA. (2018).What are the Benefits of Outdoor Learning. [Online] Available: https://www.jca-adventure.co.uk/blogs/news/what-are-benefits-outdoor-learning?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIluj6qLzA4QIV7Z3tCh31MwHMEAAYASAAEgJV5PD_BwE. [Accessed: 12th March 2019]
Marquis, J. (2012) Making Use of QR Codes in Education. [Online] Available: https://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2012/08/learning-make-use-qr-codes-education/ [Accessed 12th March 2019]