26 Creative Ways Teachers Can Use QR Codes in Their Classrooms
Gone are the days when teachers scribbled different blackboard elements to explain complex concepts. Today, teachers and students are much more advanced and empowered regarding the use of technology.
Teachers use advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), AR and VR, 3D learning, etc., to help students understand the core of different concepts. One technology that works as an intermediary between students and these advanced learning technologies is QR Codes.
In fact, it is not just about learning. With QR Codes, teachers can arrange various fun activities and games for students to create an enjoyable experience and improve their cognitive skills.
Wondering what are these activities? This blog post will list some of the most creative ways to utilize QR Codes in classrooms.
⚠️ Before we get started, you’ll need a QR code generator like Uniqode. We know there are many more QR code generation apps. This is one of our favorites because of the many possibilities and app integrations.
💡 “For our widgeteers” Explained! When you see the “widgeteer tip” we explain how you can do it with BookWidgets, a content creation and evaluation tool for teachers. You’ll need to add digital content behind a QR code, after all. If you’re not familiar with BookWidgets yet, make sure to read the tips, as your classroom and lessons will change for the better from this point on.
20 Simple ways to use QR codes in creating fun and informative classroom experiences
Let us discuss some of the most creative ways to use QR Codes in classrooms:
1. Track attendance
Teachers can use a QR Code generator to track students’ daily attendance. You can create a dynamic QR Code (one time) and stick it at the entrance of the classroom. That way, whenever students enter the class, they will need to scan the QR Code to mark their attendance.
This saves a lot of time as teachers no longer need to mark students’ attendance manually. Additionally, any good QR Code generator will present analytics so teachers can note how many students attend the class regularly and check on the students who are mostly absent. There are a few ways to do this:
- You can give each student an individual check-in QR code that’s in their agenda. They will have to scan it each morning, and a personalized Google Form will open. You can welcome them with a fun message! They just have to submit the form. As a teacher, all the submissions are registered in an attached Google Sheet.
- You can create one QR code and hang it at your classroom entrance. There’s a general Google Form behind it. Here, students give up their names and submit.
2. Organize classroom games
A critical part of e-learning is improving students’ cognitive skills, which can be quickly done with interactive classroom games. Using QR Codes to arrange these games is a great idea.
Exciting games like scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, etc., where teachers need to implant different clues to solve a mystery, can be quickly done by QR Codes. Instead of spending time writing each clue and hiding it in different places, just use QR Codes. Students can scan these codes to get a direction on the next phase of the game.
💡 For our widgeteers: Add widget activities like jigsaw puzzles and pair-matching games behind the QR codes. When students complete these activities, you can give them clues in the ‘reward message’ or record an audio clue! Learn more about creating scavenger hunts with BookWidgets in this video.
3. Create identification for each student
Teachers are often bogged with administrative tasks, so teaching takes a backseat. One such manual and time-consuming task is to enter the details of each student in the institute’s database.
However, with QR Codes, this can be done faster. Teachers can take the initiative to create unique identification codes for each student using QR Codes. These QR Codes should store different information like name, address, parents’ details, etc., saving a lot of teachers’ time.
4. Create a widget QR code when sharing your BookWidgets activities
When you’re finished creating your activities in BookWidgets, you hit that “Share” button. Here, you can choose to share your digital lesson activity through a QR code. Make sure to enable “Send answers to me” when sharing the QR code with your students so you can find your students’ results in the BookWidgets reporting dashboard. You can copy and paste the activity QR codes to your textbooks too.
5. Add QR codes within books for quick access to online resources
One of the first steps to encourage interactive learning is adding QR Codes to school books. While books are not outdated, indeed, some of these books don’t include all the latest experiments and examples. That’s precisely where QR codes can help.
School books can be printed so that wherever an experiment is scientifically mentioned or a real-time example is needed to clear a concept, students can scan specific QR Codes to access online study materials and video tutorials and understand each concept at a deeper level.
💡 For our widgeteers: Add a QR code to a video quiz widget with a video tutorial in which you do a recap of what students just learned, for example, at the end over every big theme to your textbooks. This way, you repeat the lesson content, and your students have to show their understanding by answering the questions in your video quiz.
6. Share progress reports privately with parents
Progress reports should be confidential. With QR Codes, teachers can easily create confidential QR Codes that only students and their parents can access. Teachers can dedicate a spreadsheet for each student to track their progress reports.
And for each student, there should be a dedicated QR Code. Parents and students can track QR Codes to go through the progress reports without anyone else’s interference.
7. Collect students’ and parents’ feedback
Sometimes, schools seek the feedback of students and parents to understand if the students need additional assistance. This feedback collection process can be straightforward using QR Codes.
Teachers can create anonymous surveys using Google Forms, Sheetgo forms, TypeForm, etc., and share these survey links with students or parents through QR codes. QR Codes empower them to share unbiased feedback with teachers and school authorities so that actions can be taken to help them.
8. Organize self-evaluation sessions for students
Sometimes, teachers need to conduct a self-evaluation assessment for students. These assessments help students evaluate where they are standing and figure out how they can seek help from the school. With QR Codes, performing self-evaluation is simple. Each student can scan a dynamic QR Code to access the self-evaluation form (which is most of the time the same form), fill out the required fields, and submit quickly.
💡 For our widgeteers: Provide students with a QR code linking to a worksheet widget with a self-evaluation rubric question. Is this the first time creating a rubric in BookWidgets? Check out this blog post about using rubrics in BookWidgets.
9. Encourage students to participate in extracurricular activities
Students should not limit themselves to textbooks and computer games. Teachers must encourage them to participate in co-curricular activities and events that help them learn new things and acquire new skills. With QR Codes, it is easier. Teachers can create digital galleries and an associated QR Code for the same. Students should be able to access it quickly and choose their desired activities or events for participation.
💡 For our widgeteers: Share a WebQuest widget with extracurricular activities listed in it. You can easily update the WebQuest. The QR codes stay the same. Create a fun poster with the QR code to the WebQuest widget to visually encourage students to regularly scan the code and look for added activities.
10. QR code for homework help or tips
Students often need assistance to complete their homework (like quick mathematical tricks, science derivations, Chemistry equations, etc.). Textbooks don’t always have all the information they need. Teachers could instead create a digital library or repository for students. By creating a dynamic QR Code for this repository, teachers can make it accessible for all students and provide them the assistance they need to complete homework.
💡 For our widgeteers: Use the PDF widget to link to the resources students might need behind your QR code. Think of an attached word list or glossary, formulas they can use, grammar rules, and more. You can also include a YouTube widget to give students extra instructions or guidelines they can use for their homework.
11. Conduct classroom voting
Classroom voting is common in all educational institutions. Teachers can create QR Code flyer posters so that students can scan and submit their votes without hassle. The QR Code should lead to a form where students can insert essential details to cast their votes to speed up the voting process.
12. Go on a virtual field trip or prepare for it
Excursions are always fun. Nevertheless, teachers can only occasionally arrange excursions, especially in the post-Covid world where remote learning culture is becoming highly popular. But does that mean students won’t have a fun excursion experience?
Not really. With QR Codes, that’s very much possible. Teachers can collect specific video clips from different places worldwide and convert them into a mini-documentary. Students can access this virtual excursion by scanning a QR Code and learning new things while enjoying the comforts of their homes.
💡 For our widgeteers: Hang images of at least 5 field trip locations (for example: Brussels, Lille, Paris, London, The world!) with a QR code leading to a widget with more information. (I added fun widget lesson examples behind the field trip locations.) For field trips, widgets with Google Maps integrations are the best pick. Check out this fun walk through the streets of Brussels, created within a Split Worksheet widget. Students need to use their French reading skills and follow the directions to get to a pretty famous little man… Check out this blog post with more ideas on using technology for your field trips.
13. Create dedicated learning centers
Teachers can build dedicated learning centers for different subjects. For example, there can be a specific digital repository for English literature. Students can find all required resources here, like textbook PDFs, mock exam papers, video tutorials, Grammar tests, FAQs, etc.
Each student can access these learning centers with unique QR Codes and prepare for tests independently. Schools can take the initiative to create similar learning centers for all subjects that are accessible to all students 24⁄7. This creates an interactive learning environment and encourages the students to learn faster.
💡 For our widgeteers: Create a digital learning center using a WebQuest widget. You can divide, for example, your English learning center into different tabs - Reading, Writing, Listening, Vocabulary, and Grammar- with different sections in each tab. Think of Theory, Practice, Games, Repetition, Deepening, …. This sounds a lot like self-regulated learning too. Go check out our guide to SRL and the WebQuest blueprint that can be redesigned into a learning center.
14. Save paper by making the most of digital resources
Going paperless is the need of the hour. It saves the environment and promotes the digital-first culture. However, many schools still need more papers to perform most of their activities. While we admit that it is challenging to go paperless overnight, schools can limit paper use by leveraging digital resources.
Educational institutions can create targeted digital resources and encourage students to access them using their unique QR Codes. This initiative will help them protect the environment and create an interactive student learning system.
15. Encourage students to collaborate
Community-focused learning is the latest trend. Teachers need to encourage students to be part of a collaborative learning environment. However, in the remote learning environment, constant collaboration is complex.
Therefore, teachers can create specific digital study rooms and discussion forums that students can access by scanning QR Codes. In fact, there can be different learning channels for discussing specific topics of discussions. Students can pick one or more channels based on their interest areas and explore collaborative learning. Our favorite apps to guide students to a collaborative room are Zoom (video conference and discussion space), Miro (brainstorming space), and Google Docs (group work space).
16. Explain complex concepts with real-life examples
School is where students learn the core of every subject. It might sound easy, but rudimentary learning is the foundation of their career. Hence, if a student cannot understand a basic concept, the teacher must explain it with appropriate examples.
Offline classrooms need more infrastructure. Hence, teachers often struggle to explain difficult concepts in the simplest way. In such situations, teachers can leverage QR Codes. For any inexplicable concept, teachers can find real-life examples online and make it accessible for all with just a simple QR Code scan.
💡 For our widgeteers: Create a Flashcards widget with the theory on the front and real-life examples on the back. As you can create different sections within the Flashcards widgets, you can simultaneously show added flashcards when you’ve taught the subject, theme, or topic. You can just update the widget, and your students will find the added cards. The QR Code will stay the same.
17. Build interactive bulletin boards
Interactive bulletin boards are a fun way to encourage collaborative learning among kids. The best part is that teachers can create digital interactive teaching bulletin boards, too; QR codes make that easier.
You can plan different types of bulletin boards - game boards, encouraging kindness and honesty, math boards, science boards, and so on. All these are part of a fun learning experience, and QR Codes play a massive role in executing them digitally. You can use Padlet to create the digital bulletin boards behind your QR Code.
18. Create a QR code dice to play games
Teachers can convert dice into QR Code dice. A QR Code dice is where you can add six different QR Codes on the six different sides of the dice. Each QR Code can represent a different topic. It is a great way to engage students with different topics or activities and encourage them to learn new things daily without feeling pressured.
💡 For our widgeteers: Add 6 game widgets to your dice. A crossword puzzle, word search, snowman game, memory, bingo, and a jigsaw puzzle. It’s all about rehearsing a topic you just taught. Take, for example, new vocabulary. Insert a word list into your crossword puzzle and use the import option to create the other games using the same word list. With just a few clicks, you created 6 activities. We all know repetition is important. The different games with the same vocabulary will make sure repetition is not boring.
19. Advertise school events
School events require some recognition at times. Teachers don’t want essential events and functions to go unnoticed simply because they weren’t marketed well. This is where QR Codes can help. Teachers can add QR Codes to flyers, bulletin boards, and other physical touchpoints. That way, students and parents can quickly scan the QR Codes to find more details about an event they can attend.
20. Convert physical library cards into digital ones
Libraries play a crucial role in molding a student’s career. Students of different grades can access libraries to find new books and study materials that help their research. Nevertheless, it is high time that teachers convert physical library cards into digital QR codes.
This will remove the chances of losing library cards and help students access vast resources offered by schools with just a simple scan.
There are paid tools for this, but if you want to set it up yourself, you can do so without paying anything (it will take some time, though!). Every book will have a QR code that gets scanned. It goes to a Google doc, personalized to that book. Here, the librarian must fill out the student’s name who loans it. That’s it. The date will get registered automatically, as for the student’s e-mail address.
With the Uniqode QR code maker, you can bulk generate those personalized QR codes.
21. Create digital resumes
Senior students require resumes for multiple reasons, like applying for internships, summer projects, and even jobs. QR Code is the next-generation tool that can work as a digital business card for students. They can add a QR Code to their resumes, leading recruiters to their websites, portfolios, and social profiles.
22. Create a practice bundle
Create a digital page students can go to with additional exercises on the subjects you’ve taught or are going to teach. You can always update the page whenever you’re adding more activities. Students scan the QR code and can get started practicing. Share fun games, repetition activities, and deepening activities here.
💡 For our widgeteers: A WebQuest widget is the right choice for this idea. Go check out this blog post on WebQuests and learn more about this digital lesson template. You can even lock parts of your practice bundle if you haven’t taught a specific subject yet. Give students the password or update the WebQuest when your students are ready to move on to those activities.
23. Create a homework checker or digital agenda
Give students a QR code that leads to their digital agenda. Here, you - the teacher - can update your student’s agenda for each day of the week, including homework they have to prepare for and stuff they need to bring to the classroom.
💡 For our widgeteers: Although creating a digital agenda could be accomplished with a WebQuest widget, we are aware that BookWidgets is no planning or agenda tool. It will have limitations. If you don’t have any other solution, this could do the trick: create 7 tabs for the different days of the week, and in each tab, you create sections for the subjects (if you teach secondary school students). Good luck!
24. Create a universal exit ticket
Create a universal exit ticket to gather student feedback and gauge student understanding of the lesson you just taught. Students can scan the QR code on their way out, or when you let them keep it in their agenda or backpack, you can ask them to scan it after a lesson.
💡 For our widgeteers: Use a universal Exit Slip widget for this one. Students just have to answer 2 questions. Check out the digital exit slip template here. (Please make a copy of it to change the content and sharing settings!) If you want to spice things up, check out this blog post with over 60 digital exit tickets that are ready for you to use in your lessons.
25. Create an administration page for students
Create a digital space you student administration. Every student will have 1 printed page for in their agenda (make it visually nice using Canva) or in their backpack. It has 6 QR codes with titles for administration stuff. Here are a few examples (*also for widgeteers!*) of where you’d like them to go to:
- LMS: A direct link to your learning management system so students can find digital resources there.
- Scratchpad: a link to a simple BookWidgets whiteboard widget in which students can scribble down their thoughts, do calculations, or just think before they write stuff down on their test or assignment. They can save (download answers) and erase everything again when needed.
- Brainstorm: a link to a BookWidgets mind map widget students can use to brainstorm on different topics when the teacher asks or for group projects. They can save (download answers) and erase everything again when needed.
- Attendance: if you’re working with unique QR Codes for student attendance, students can scan this QR code at the beginning of each day and submit their attendance.
- Practice bundle: add a link to their practice bundle WebQuest. Teachers can update the widget anytime with new practice activities.
- Homework checker: add a link to your students’ digital homework checker. Here, they can check if there are tests or homework coming up, or other things they need to bring to school. Teachers can work in a shared WebQuest and update it with new information without changing the QR Code.
- Exit ticket: a link to your universal exit ticket that can be used after each lesson, no matter what subject you teach.
26. Facilitate access to financial templates
In financial education, QR codes have proven to be exceptionally beneficial. Teachers can use QR codes to facilitate access to a wide array of financial templates, such as budget trackers, expense reports, and invoice templates, which are essential tools for effectively teaching financial literacy and management.
Learning is supposed to be fun and interactive. Teachers are solely responsible for shaping today’s kids into tomorrow’s youngsters. Hence, they are responsible for building an innovative first learning experience that stays with students for a long time.
With QR Codes, you can make various digital resources accessible to students within a few seconds to ensure they have everything they need to prepare themselves better. Furthermore, QR Codes also simplify parent-teacher communication to help both stay on the same page.
We’d like to know which of these activities is your favorite and what other ideas you have, so do share with us. Let us know on Twitter - X - and join our Facebook community to share your first history BookWidgets activity with other teachers. More of an #instagramTeacher? Connect with us on Instagram!