# Week 10 – QR codes & outdoor learning

Introduction

For our last week in digital technologies, we looked at QR codes and outdoor learning. A QR code is defined by “a pattern of black and white squares that can be read by a smartphone, allowing the phone user to get more information about something. QR Code is an abbreviation for quick response code” (Collins, 2019). As well as discovering the benefits of QR codes we looked at the positive impacts that outdoor learning can have on children.

Having experienced an outdoor lesson on placement, I do believe children become more engaged working outside and having a different setting from the day to day classroom. Learning and teaching Scotland states, “Outdoor learning experiences are often remembered for a lifetime”. This is because it allows children to see certain topics they are learning about in real life contexts (Learning and teaching Scotland, 2010).  As well as giving children the opportunity to work collaboratively, outdoor learning also develops a range of children’s skills. These skills include:

• Critical thinking
• Personal safety
• Promotes healthy lifestyles
• Promotes inclusion and develops communication

Our task today was to create a treasure hunt using QR codes. For this task, I worked alongside 2 of my peers. Personally, I have never worked with QR codes, however I was amazed by how quick and easy it was to make one. The QR generator was so easy to operate and had a range of ways you could communicate information. As a group, we decided to create a maths treasure hunt, we thought this would be a fun activity for children which allowed them to use and develop their problem-solving skills. We had 6 codes all together and placed them in different locations throughout university and gave another group the opportunity to give it a go. Below are our questions from each code:

Code 1: I am thinking of a number… I am an even and squared number and you’ll find me in the 8 times table

• Divide by 10
• Finally, double this number

Take note of this number and head to the union shop to complete the next question.

Code 3: In the shop… your previous answer is how many bananas you have in your basket. How many bananas will each person get if there are 7 people in the group?

Go to student union.

Code 4: ?, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, …

What is the 8th term in this sequence? *note ‘?’ stands for previous answer!

Go to the revolving doors for your next question.

Code 5: I am the number from your previous sequence. Divide me by 8. Add  3 to me and divide me by 7.

Code 6: Finally… what is the difference between me and the number of wooden chairs in the student union.

We made our task around second level maths and linked it to the following experiences and outcomes:

• I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts. TCH 1-01a
• Having determined which calculations are needed, I can solve problems involving whole numbers using a range of methods, sharing my approaches and solutions with others. MNU 2-03a

Once we completed our treasure hunt and placed the different codes throughout university, we swapped with another group where we were given the opportunity to try out each others activity. The other group gave us positive feedback and noted how the thought children would not only really benefit from but it is also an activity they would extremely enjoy. However, on reflection one downside to this task was timings. It took our group just under 2 hours to fully complete our task, yet it didn’t take a lot of time for the other group to complete. As a teacher, I understand time is vital and it is important to ensure the tasks we are preparing take up a good chunk of the lesson and keep children busy for a good amount of time.

I really enjoyed todays lecture and been given the opportunity to work with QR codes. I believe children would really enjoy a lesson using QR codes – they are a great addition to the classroom which help to develop children’s ICT skills. They can also be used cross-circular in a range of ways. It makes a lesson more thrilling for children and allows them to work collaboratively.

Conclusion

Overall, I think this was my favourite session of the whole module and something I am excited to incorporate within the classroom. Additionally, I have discovered the range of benefits outdoor learning can have on children and their wellbeing and it is an area of teaching I look forward to gain more experience within.

References

Learning and Teaching Scotland (2010) Curriculum for Excellence through outdoor learning. (Online) Available: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/cfe-through-outdoor-learning.pdf [Accessed 6th April]

Collins Dictionary (2019) QR Code [Online] Available: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/qr-code [Accessed 6th April]

Education Scotland. (n.d.) Curriculum for Excellence.[Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/All-experiencesoutcomes18.pdf [Accessed: 6th April 2019]

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