I recently put forth a challenge to my Technology Skills students to create a unique and engaging use of QR codes within the school community. Before this challenge, only a couple of the students knew what QR codes were; a couple of others had seen them before, but didn’t know what they were, while the rest of the students knew nothing of them. After doing an intro on QR Codes, and showing them this video, they quickly got excited about the challenge.
There are 10 students in this semester’s class, so I had them partner up with one other student so that there were 5 partnerships. This was a good amount since my school and campus aren’t too large. Too many QR codes around the school would probably be too overwhelming and possibly create more confusion than benefit.
The first step was for the students to brainstorm a variety of uses for QR codes within the school community. The students thought about teachers and classes, student activity groups, upcoming and current school events, and specialists within the community with whom they could work. Finally, after some coaching and helping the students think through their ideas, they decided on these uses and clients.
- Art Show / Art Teacher
- Poetry Month / Librarian
- Middle School Play / MS Humanities Teacher
- PE / HS PE Teacher
- Counseling Office / MS-HS Counselor
An essential condition in the challenge was not only to create a QR code that linked to a website or text, but to help the client develop/put together some of the back-end content that would be linked from the initial QR code scan. This is where a lot of the challenge was, especially the process of working with a client to ensure s/he is happy with the final product.
For the Art Show, the students helped collate the media, inspirations, evidence, and processes that the AP and IB Art students used and referenced to create the work of art the art show visitor was looking at. The QR codes were placed amid each student’s display.
The students working with the librarian on Poetry Month helped her by having QR codes link to poems, poetry related mobile device apps, videos of poets, and information about the school’s Poetry Month events. The QR codes were placed in the library, which was the center of the Poetry Month happenings.
For the Middle School Play, the partners worked with the middle school humanities teacher directing the play. They will be putting QR codes on the posters that will be going up to advertise the play. A scanned code will take a person to a website the students built that will give background on the story behind the play and biographies of the main characters in the play.
The PE teacher was very keen to incorporate QR codes into his class processes, so the students that worked with him were met with much enthusiasm. The teacher directed the students to create QR codes that linked to class benchmarks, theories related to topics being studied in class, videos with examples for the current unit, and the class blog site. The QR codes will placed just outside the PE office.
Lastly, the students who worked with the Counseling Office collated resources relating to college admissions and external exam preparation. A scanned QR code will take the student to a site where they can follow links related to the posted topic. These QR codes will be posted just outside the counseling office.
In the original project overview, I didn’t emphasize the client-student relationship enough. I didn’t make an assessment band related to it. This is something I will definitely emphasize next time I do this or a similar project, however, since I found that it ended up being such an important part of the process. Most of the students ended up doing well in their relationship with the client, but a couple needed some pushing to be more actively involved in their client. If they knew they were being assessed on their working relationship with the client, they may have done better.
This experience working with a client is very valuable as many types of jobs these students will do in the future will be client-based. Thus, having an authentic experience working with a client will help them improve the skills necessary to be successful in those situations.
The below slides were used to educate the high students about QR codes during an assembly. Photos of some of the student created projects were added afterwards.