Craig Roland, who runs the artjunction.com blog, posted about the ten most important things he took away from the ITSE (International Society for Technology in Education) 2011 conference in Philadelphia. One of those things he thought was important was the integration of QR codes in the classroom. There was a link on the blog that lead me to another Art Educators blog named Vicki Davis.
Vicki talks about how she integrates the QR codes into the classroom. I think one of the most interesting ways in which she uses them is that she puts them into her power points and hard copy handouts. That way, when a student can take a picture with them using a mobile device and automatically be connected to a link that is related to the assignment or a message. She basically uses them as another form of communication. She also has the students create QR codes that link the teacher to their blogs that they have to do for class.
I think the use of these codes in class is an interesting method. Alot of times, educators are afraid of using phones or ipods in class because they think the child will get distracted by using a personal device like that. I think that using these devices for assigned things in class will help them get it out of their system. It will show them that mobile phones are good for more than just texting friends in class, they are also a learning tool. I think QR codes are a good and creative way to share links and information when you aren't necessarily by a computer. Because many phones nowadays have these code readers on them, kids can be able to be moving around and still be able to use these codes. I also think it is important that kids are aware of what these codes are since we see them so much around. It is a good way to give some technological history information, to inform the kids how these codes work and how they can be used in creative ways. Vicki also states that using QR codes when having kids turn in assignments saves her time when assessing projects because she can access the students documents more quickly. It also saves paper because the teacher may assign 3 or 4 projects or papers over a span of time, but the student can just put them onto a blog or into a message and turn them into one single QR code will make it so there is just one sheet of paper to turn in.
I think that the good part about these codes is that they pertain to more than just art education, but all types of education. You don't have to be too tech savy to generate the codes or read them. Both programs are very simple to use. Even kids who aren't the greatest at art type projects can enjoy QR codes in assignments and presentations
An issue that comes up with these codes is not everyone has a device to read them. Any ipod touches and most newer phones can read them, which most students had access to. Vicki says that when she has students who don't have these devices, she will have them partner up with a student who does. That can also be a way to integrate group work into projects by having students share the devices.
USING IT IN MY CLASS:
If I were to use this in my class, I may have students make a "QR code museum" where they generate codes for online images of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art. They can print the codes out and post them on a wall like a museum exhibit, but then the kids have to go around and take pictures of the art with their device to see what the image actually is. You never know what you may get! I also think it would be fun to do a school-wide scavenger hunt. I would have one of my art classes generate codes which have messages and clues which would lead students from one location to the next. The clues can be posted in various locations around the school. The final destination could have some sort of reward. This way, all the students and even faculty can interact with the project that the students create.
below are some links to the blogs I mentioned:
Code creator site
And finally, a QR code for you to try on your own!
Davis, Vicki. "QR Code Classroom Implementation Guide." Cool Cat Teacher Blog. N.p., 05/05/2011. Web. 28 Sep 2011.
Roland, Craig. "My 10 Takeaways from ISTE 2011." The Art Teacher's Guide to the Internet. N.p., 07/07/2011. Web. 28 Sep 2011.