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Getting Ahead in Education: QR Codes

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Much has been said about the flexibility and versatility of QR codes, but it seems that the focus is on marketing, promotion, and sales. QR codes, however, may be applied for educational purposes. With more and more students carrying smart phones, using a QR code in the classroom can just make learning more fun and a whole lot easier.

Just how do you employ QR codes in the classroom? Here are some scenarios.

1. Some teachers use blogs and other online modules in their class. QR codes provide a simple way to give out various URLs, even lengthy ones to your students. All they have to do is scan the QR code and they’d be directed to the class Web site or blog.

This is especially useful if the teacher wants to provide news updates online. QR codes can effectively decode URLs so that students can easily subscribe to the RSS feed.

2. Real time information in printed materials. Lecturers often give out notes and workbooks ahead of time. While these materials provide the basic information about topics to be discussed in the classroom, students may benefit from online activities with regard to these materials. Just imagine directing students to an online discussion of Napoleon Bonaparte’s illustrious career, or perhaps a heated forum discussion on Pres. Barack Obama’s health care reforms. Including a QR code into your printed workbooks or handouts could easily enhance the students’ learning.

Students can also scan a QR code in the middle of a classroom discussion or a lecture. Instead of entering the URL into their phones, they could just easily scan the QR code to get complementary information online.

3. Offer new learning opportunities. A constant challenge for educators have always been how to make lessons more interesting and learning more fun. The Third European Conference on Games-Based Learning presented alternate reality games as a teaching method. Alternate reality games are interactive games that use multimedia and encourage the participants to solve fictional problems. QR codes make perfect complements to ARGs as they can provide clues, additional information and even online connections for the game.

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