Today, we were given the task to create our own QR codes which tie in with a lesson. QR codes are a fairly new technology which stands for Quick Response. A QR Code is an ‘image-based hypertext link’ and can withhold much more information (7089 numbers) than a standard barcode (30 numbers). A QR code can link to a short bit of text, an audio recording, a website, a phone number, an email address and much more. To access them, all you need to do is download a QR code scanner application on your device. Additionally, you are able to create your own as there are many websites nowadays which allows you to do so. We used one of these websites when creating our QR codes and it was very simple and fast to create them. I was surprised at how easy it was yet so effective at the same time. It gave you many options and adaption such as what type of QR code it was such as a website URL, PDF file, image file etc., we picked ‘plain text’ and then typed out what we wanted our QR code to say once scanned. We were also able to change the colour of each QR code which helped us distinguish each one.
Overall, creating our full lesson took about one hour and thirty minutes. This meant that, we were creating the lesson longer than the lesson lasted. This is something that would need to be considered by teachers to determine whether or not it is worth the time or not. Personally, I feel that it is worth it as it is a very effective way of learning and very interesting. Additionally, I feel that it would be a good set up for future lessons and can even have a lesson where the children create their own QR codes (and treasure hunts) and I feel that it seriously enhances teaching and learning. For a future lesson, the teacher could have the children use physical plastic coins to act out the treasure hunt or could ask the children to create their own shopping list and prices for others.
I found this today’s session very interesting and fun and can see myself using QR codes to enhance the teaching and learning in the classroom as I feel they are very effective and interesting. Additionally, I was shocked at how easy they were to make so I feel that they are worth the time.
We decided that we were going to do a treasure hunt layout where the children would start off with a shopping list and an imaginary £10. The shopping list consisted of 1 bottle of water, 2 apples, 1 sandwich, 3 yoghurts, 1 banana and 1 bag of popcorn. We decided that the items on this list would also be healthy as to promote healthy eating in the children. Above said shopping list, they were given the instructions “Here is your shopping list. Tick off each item once you have bought it. Once you have ticked off all your items on the list, return to the classroom to find your final QR code. Show your working, writing down how much each item costs.” Therefore, the children would be given a starting location which would be located around the school building (or university, where we set up our QR code treasure hunt) and would have to scan each QR code to be given the next instruction. Below is one order in which the treasure hunt could be completed.
“A bottle of water cost £1.10 – How much change do you have now? Now go to garden arch to find your next item.”
“You need two apples. One apple costs 40p, what is the total? How much money have you got left now? Now go to the Union Shop for your next item.”
“Buy 1 sandwich, which costs £2.85. How much money would you have left?Now go the gym hall to buy your next item.”
“Your next purchase is three yoghurts. They each cost 72 pence each. How much money do you have left? Go to the bike stands for your next item.”
“Buy one banana which costs 59p. How much money do you have left? You will have to go to the door of lecture hall 2 for your next item.”
“Buy one bag of popcorn which costs £1.05 – How much money do you have left? Go to the fridge for your next item.”
As you can see the bag of popcorn QR code then tells you to go to the fridge, however, in this example shown above, that was our starting point. We designed our QR codes to be a continuous circle and therefore, the children in the class could be separated into groups and can each start at a different item.
Once their list was complete, the children would return to the classroom and find the final QR code which read, “Do you have any money left after buying your shopping? Can you afford to buy 1 more banana and 1 more bag of popcorn? If not, how much more money would you need to buy them.” The children would then figure this out to get their final answer which the teacher would check , along with checking their working.
We decided that our QR code treasure hunt was aimed at first level and ties in with mathematics and technologies;
- I can use money to pay for items and can work out how much change I should receive.
- I have investigated how different combinations of coins and notes can be used to pay for goods or be given in change.
- Using digital technologies responsibly I can access, retrieve and use information to support, enrich or extend learning in different contexts
Additionally, we felt that there were also links with other curricular areas, such as health and wellbeing, science and social studies as the children are using the outdoor environment and getting to know their local, natural and built environments and surroundings.
Some of our QR codes were set outside and some were inside, this was to promote outdoor learning, however, this would be dependent on each day and its weather conditions whether or not this lesson could go ahead. “Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime. Integrating learning and outdoor experiences, whether through play in the immediate grounds or adventures further afield, provides relevanceand depthto the curriculum in ways that are difficult to achieve indoors.” (Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2010, p. 5). Along with the advantages that outdoor learning brings as further explained by Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010, p. 5) “learning outdoors can be enjoyable, creative, challenging and adventurous and helps children and young people learn by experience and grow as confident and responsible citizens…”. Some of the main advantages for outdoor learning are: develops critical thinking skills, personal development (communication), promotes a healthy lifestyle, personal safety (manage risks), and inclusion for all as it provides opportunities and allows children to use and develop their skills and abilities.
Additionally, when making our QR codes we looked at incorporating the SHANARRI wellbeing wheel as there was outdoor learning included in our QR code task. SHANARRI stands for;
To improve our QR code lesson, I feel that we could have been more efficient with the length of the end lesson and could have the children complete lengthier tasks at each QR code station. Another improvement; we created all of our QR codes and printed them out (which took a while) but one of our QR codes would not work. We are not sure why it did not work, we believe that it either did not download properly or due to it being the colour yellow (each QR code was a different colour), therefore we had to re-do said QR code.
ICT is a useful tool in the classroom. As explained by Beauchamp (2012, p.54) ICT allows pupils to “achieve something that would be very difficult or even impossible to achieve in any other way.” With ICT being an important tool, which is incorporated into all curricular areas not just being a stand-alone subject. As further explained by Beauchamp (2012, p.66) “ICT equipment is part of pupils’ everyday life, so should be part of their everyday play.” Overall, with the aim that ICT will help enhance a child’s learning and understanding of different curricular areas.
At the end of today’s session, we were given the opportunity to try other groups QR code creations; this was helpful to gain ideas for the future. Overall, everyone had very good ideas and were successful in creating an interesting lesson. The group’s creation we tried was about getting to know the people in your class, such as their favourite colour, food or animal, if they had siblings or not etc. I feel that this would be a very good lesson at the start of the school year so that the children would be able to get to know their fellow classmates. Additionally, once we completed the group’s QR code treasure hunt, they gave us a reward at the end. I feel that this is a good idea to round off the lesson and leave the children happy with the work they had done.
In conclusion, I feel that QR codes are very effective and useful in the classroom and will help enhance the teaching and learning as it can be an interesting way to teach a lesson. Additionally, it can also be used to promote outdoor learning which has numerous advantages whilst overall incorporating ICT into the classroom.
Example of our colourful QR codes
- Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning.
- Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary Classroom: From Pedagogy top Practice. Pearson.
- Education Scotland () Experiences and outcomes. [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/scottish-education-system/policy-for-scottish-education/policy-drivers/cfe-(building-from-the-statement-appendix-incl-btc1-5)/Experiences%20and%20outcomes[Accessed 13th March 2019]