QR Code Generator: Building Interactive Bulletin Boards
On the FlipGrid page, I introduced QR codes as a way to share student work. QR stands for Quick Response and they are images that can be scanned by the cameras of all smartphones. These images can be hyperlinked to all types of files or webpages. Some platforms, like FlipGrid, have the option to produce QR codes. However, the Quick QR Code Generator gives you the ability to create QR codes for files and websites outside of those platforms. It is important to note that there are many free QR Code Generators for educators to choose from and you can easily locate them through an internet search.
QR codes really redefine the kind of student work we make public and the way that we share student work (SAMR). On the Flip page, I shared how my students created videos for two students in Bucaramanga, Colombia. Some of the response videos were emailed to us. I wanted to find a way to share the process my students went through creating the videos and the responses they received. I was able to print the QR codes for my students' videos right from Flip. Next, I uploaded the emailed response videos to my Google Drive. After making the links public, I created a QR code for each video file. I was able to print those QR codes and put them up on the bulletin board as well.
In addition to sharing this work on our bulletin board, I was able to share this project in Washington DC at the Fulbright Teachers For Global Classrooms Symposium. Using foam board, I was able to recreate the bulletin board outside of my classroom. Using QR codes on bulletin boards brings increases equity and accessibility. We can use this digital learning tool to showcase the work our students create in virtual spaces such as videos, websites, storyboards and slides on 2-dimensional spaces without hanging computer screens in our hallways. It helps us to share more types of student work and allows us to showcase the brilliance of students who may struggle with print-based tasks. Parents, therapists and other teachers were able to use their smartphones to access our videos. Almost everyone is walking around with a smart device. I teach in a Title 1 school and the pandemic revealed to me that most of my families did not have tablets or laptops at home but they all had smartphones. Displaying student work with a QR code helps to increase equity and helps to improve parent-teacher relationships. As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic, many schools are starting the school year with blended learning models. Educators are going to need to find meaningful ways to connect the work students are doing online with the work they are doing in their classroom. Since 2018, teachers have been exploring ways to create virtual bulletin boards on Padlet and Google Keep. QR codes can be used to feature student work on both traditional and virtual bulletin boards. In the blended learning model, we can increase engagement if students see their work created in virtual spaces, celebrated within their school buildings.
Since the end of the 2019-2020 school year, I have also been thinking about ways we can use QR codes to support students without wifi at home during blended or remote learning. Many schools sent home packets for students to complete during the pandemic if they did not have wifi at home. Both students and parents struggled to complete those packets without teacher support and direct instruction. What if we attached a QR code to these packets? We could potentially attach pre-recorded lessons for students to watch before completing those packets. They could be videos of read alouds or they could be direct instructional videos. QR codes are a very flexible tool and could be used in many ways to reach any of the components within the SAMR model.