Tuesday 12th March
For our last practical week in digital technologies we learned all about the use of QR codes. We also managed to work outdoor learning into our activity for the day. A QR code is “a pattern of black and white squares that can be read by a smart phone, allowing the phone user to get more information about something.” (Collins Dictionary, 2019). By introducing QR codes into the classroom children will be given a sense of freedom from being able to scan them themselves to find information.
Our task for the day was to create QR codes using a QR generator. From this we had to create an interactive challenge that pupils would enjoy. It was also recommended that we try to interpret outdoor learning into our activity. By making our activity outdoors this allows children to gain more interest in the learning and lets them explore. For this task I worked in a group of 5. This was a really good size of group for this activity we were carrying out as it allowed us to complete and set it up a lot faster than a smaller group. Due to this we were one of the first groups finished. From this I have came to the conclusion that even though before I did not enjoy working in a bigger group, for some task it is a lot more efficient and effective. I was able to use many skills including cooperation and listening skills. I feel like throughout this module I have been able to develop on these skills hugely.
For our challenge we decided we wanted to include mathematics, literacy and outdoor learning. Our main focus was to develop maths skills. To begin we used a QR code generator to create all our codes. We decide to do a mini treasure hunt. Each QR code would have a maths question on it. Children would have to figure out the maths problem and get the right answer to get a letter. Each QR code gave out 2 letters with a correct answer. In the end pupils would have to bring all the letters together to create a word. The word we choose was Calculator. Every QR code also had the next location on it. My group felt this was a fun interactive way to get children involved, not just in outdoor learning but in problem-solving using letters and maths questions.
We aimed our activity towards second level. We came across many experiences and outcomes that would go along with our task. These included:
• I have investigated how a set of equivalent fractions can be created, understanding the meaning of simplest form and can apply my knowledge to compare and order the most frequently used fractions. MTH 2-07c
• Having explored the patterns and relationships in multiplication and division, I can investigate and identify multiples and factors of numbers. MTH 2-05a
• I can use digital technologies to search, access and retrieve information and am aware that not all of this information will be credible. TCH 02-02a
• I can extend and enhance my knowledge of digital technologies to collect, analyse ideas, relevant information and organise these in an appropriate way. TCH 2-01a
QR codes can be useful in class for many reasons. QR codes are extremely easy to make (Edutopia, 2013). This means that children would be able to create their own QR codes, giving them more independence. By giving pupils this sense of independence attainments may be raised as they will be more interested in carrying out the task. QR codes also save the hassle of long web links if the task is to research (Edutopia, 2013). They can go straight to websites using QR codes. Also, QR codes reduce student frustration (Boschen, 2016). Pupils can easily scan the codes to get straight to the information they need. This information could include websites or even books. This is a good way of ensuring pupils stay on task and do not get bored or aggravated trying to figure out more complicated technology.
As stated above my group decided to make our treasure hunt outdoors. There are many benefits of outdoor learning. Education Scotland stated, “it’s clear that the outdoor environment offers motivating, exciting, different, relevant and easily accessible activities” (Education Scotland, 2010). This clearly shows that outdoors provides a different learning experience for children. They are much more likely to remember learning experiences outdoors than indoors as they are always usually inside. It provides something more unusual for the children to participate in. Outdoor learning can also provide children with a lesson on personal safety. They will have to ensure they stay within boundaries set by the teacher and that they are careful with where they go when completing outdoor tasks. This yet again will give children a sense of independence and leadership as they are in charge of going from one spot of the treasure hunt to the next without an adult looking over them constantly. It also has positive impacts on teachers and their students. “The outdoor environment encourages staff and students to see each other in a different light, building positive relationships and improving self-awareness and understanding of others” (Education Scotland, 2010). This is important because if pupils do not have positive relationships with their teachers their learning would be majorly impacted.
Both topics work really well together. Through doing a treasure hunt using QR codes outdoors children are able to run around and it enhances the idea that they are learning through their play. It is a completely new experience for them using these codes outside as most treasure hunts would not be technology surrounded. In the future I will definitely ensure to use these two aspects of learning alongside each other as I believe they work extremely well together.
Once we completed our treasure hunt, we got to swap with another group and try out their activity. The game we tried was based on money and adding. We were given a shopping list and had to get all the items and figure out the total price. It was created as an e-book and was very appealing to the eye. Once both groups had finished, we gave each other feedback. This was really useful as it gave us a way forward for the next time either of us must carry out a similar task. The feedback that the other team gave us was extremely positive. They enjoyed all the aspects of it, and it lasted a good amount of time. They mentioned how they thought that for primary pupils it could take them half an hour to an hour to complete with different locations which is positive and shows that the time spent making the activity was not a waste. However, as part of our feedback for the other group this was an issue. Their activity took us 2 minutes to complete. If this was given to a class, they would be completed in no time. This was a valuable lesson learnt for all of us.
Overall, I found this task very fun and exciting to carry out. It is a great way of allowing pupils to be interactive while still challenging them. I think this new technology will be extremely useful in a classroom and will give children the opportunity to improve and discover new skills as it allowed me to do so too.
Collins Dictionary (2019) QR Code [Online] Available: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/qr-code [Accessed 21 March 2019]
Boschen, J. (2016) Using QR Codes in the Classroom to Enhance Learning [Online] Available: https://www.whatihavelearnedteaching.com/using-qr-codes-in-the-classroom/ [Accessed 21 March 2019]
Edutopia (2013) Five Reasons I Love Using QR Codes in My Classroom [Online] Available: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/using-qr-codes-in-classroom-monica-burns [Accessed 21 March 2019]
Education Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence Through Outdoor Learning. [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/cfe-through-outdoor-learning.pdf [Accessed 21 March 2019]