Tips 2013 Professional Learning #28:Having fun with QR codes


What are QR codes?

A QR code is a quick response code. There was a lot of interest in QR Codes at a professional learning session I presented to a group early years teachers this week.

There were lots of questions about QR codes, as promised here are some great ideas on how to use QR Codes in your classroom

Load a free QR code scanning app to your iPad, tablet or phone and see if you can read this QR code then start making your own QR codes

A QR code is a quick response code . It looks like a big bar code and contains data that can be read by a camera on a phone, a computer, an iPad or any tablet device.

A QR code

Scan this QR code

How do I read a QR code

You need to download a QR code reader this allows the camera on your device to scan the code and reveal the information it contains. Many of the QR code readers are  are free.

The QR code readers that I use are i-nigma and Q-rafter. To read a QR code select the QR code reader on your device. Hold it close to the QR code. It will very quickly take you to the URL or webpage  and will reveal the information embedded in the code.

What do I need to use QR codes in my classroom?

A QR code directs you to a website. To use this successfully in your classroom you need to have a good wifi system and devices that are able to connect to the web. You can use QR codes using your mobile phone data- parents can do this- but it could be expensive for students to connect using a 3G or 4G connections

How do I make a QR code?

To make a QR code you need to pro ( paid) version of the app. This allows you to insert a URL and generate your own code.

Why would I use a QR code?

A QR code is a quick way to take you to a site on the web without you having to type in a log URL. This makes it great for students to use, even the youngest students can point a device and scan the code. You can create QR codes to use in your classroom-
print the codes and place them on posters- students scan them to get more information,
use them in a treasure hunt- scan for the next clue,
place them on students’ artwork add audio to hear them telling their story,
put them in the school newsletter to take parents to your class blog site or link to an interesting website, the list is endless.

Create a Treasure hunt with QR codes- no wifi required

This site allows you to create a free treasure hunt or quiz using QR codes.

Develop your questions and type them into the space provided on the classtools site-

QR codes are generated for each question or clue- P

Print these and put them on display or hide them in the playground- students scan them uisng a qR code scanning app- Qrafter- I-nigma- the question is revealed -no wifi is required

Use Qr codes to gather responses from a group or class

Create a QR code using the URL to an online google form or an online form in Adobe Forms Central- students fill in the form and submit the information online- all information is collated in a spreadsheet

Get your students to create their own QR codes

The fun really starts when you get your students creating their own QR codes. Try this in your classroom and post a comment back on this blog to let use know how you are using QR codes.

How are teachers using QR codes?

Here are some links with great examples of QR codes in educational contexts

  1. Take a look at my Pinterest board to see some great ways to use QR codes
  2. Kathy gives some great ideas for using QR codes 
  3. Seven fun ways to use QR codes
  4. Exploring the educational potential of QR Codes.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #20:Which app is right for you?

When selecting apps my rule is “less is more”…In my experience it is better to have a few carefully selected apps that you can use in multiple ways than an app for every topic.

For many teachers at the start of a semester or the beginning of  a new school year you will be deciding which apps you will be using in your teaching. Selecting the right apps can be a challenge when there are so many applications on the app store. Always keep your educational objective clearly in focus, it is easy to be seduced by bright colours and cute animations. Think carefully about what the student will do… will this app allow the students to create, engage in higher order thinking and connect in new ways? There is some value in apps that allow students to consolidate their skills in an engaging manner. Apps that support the teaching  and can be used across the curriculum are good value per use as opposed to apps that will be used once or twice in a specific area.

A colleague Jan Clarke from AISWA has shared an extensive list of apps that she has complied. Classroom apps  Thanks for sharing all your hard work Jan. I look forward to hearing from you about the apps you find most useful in your teaching.

Tips2012: Teachers’ Voices #3: Phil`s i-Story

Using iPads to teach English as a second language

Phil Rice is a teacher of adult ESL learners in the state of Delaware, USA. He has taught English Composition and multiple levels of ESL classes. He enjoys using technology to teach and help students to teach themselves. Phil is an avid user of iPads in his ESL classes, and he has shared some of the activities he uses in his teaching
Show me

Show Me

 Phil sent in this i-Story in response to a posting we did on using the Show Me screen casting app to read that post Tips2012 App Guide: Show Me. The Show Me app was also used for ESL teaching  in Schools in India as mentioned in Jude`s i-Story.
With ShowMe, teachers can…

1) Create an online lesson for an in-class topic. Record the main ideas of your lesson and give students a link or post your creation to an online social media site.

2) Have students create a narrated visual presentation on a topic using your/their iPad and show it in class as opposed to a “stand in front of the class” type presentation.

3) Create a Vocab Map using Skitch / DoodleBuddy and ShowMe together. Pick a picture that is related to a topic you are teaching and annotate it with Skitch showing the vocabulary for the picture. Then, upload the photo and use it on ShowMe to narrate and pronounce the vocab.

4) Download the presentation and upload it to YouTube so students have instant access to your ShowMes!

These are just a few uses for ShowMe. I use it all the time, and I’m sure that you will too once you get used to it.

Thanks Phil for sharing your i-Story.

You can visit Phil`s blog, ESL Commando, to find more ideas for using ICT in ESL classes.

Tips 2012 iPad App Guide #45: Shakespeare in Bits

Shakespeare in Bits brings Shakespeare to life on your iPhone, iTouch, and iPad through animated, narrated re-enactments of The Bard’s most popular plays.

Highly recommended by secondary English teachers, the app includes full study notes, plot summaries, character notes, and language explanations, helping students better understand and appreciate the plays.

The app itself is free; however, teachers will need to download the plays via in-app purchase at a cost of $15.99 AUD each. (There is a volume licensing option for the USA)

For: Secondary English teachers and students.

Cost: Plays available via in-app purchase (see above). Download Link

Requires WiFi?: Yes, but only for initial download of the plays

Further Reading

Tips2012: i-Kids make a difference:#1:Jude`s i-Story


Jude the “Living Statue”:  A boy who makes a difference…. 


This inspiring i-Story started with some emails in response to the TIPS2012 blog. Jude and his mum Tania asked questions about using iPads in schools in India and how to cope in settings with no WiFi network.

I directed them to the resources on the blog, and a while later received this email…

Dear Jenny, …

Thank you all so much for supporting Jude “The Living Statue” in raising money for an iPad for an Indian school. He raised a total £220 – which is quite amazing and inspiring, especially as it was all his own idea to do this.

The iPad caused huge amount of excitement and the children kept looking at their fingers  when they were drawing/writing on the iPad, as they couldn’t understand why there wasn’t ink on them!  

Here are some photos of Jude showing the kids at the school how an iPad works.

Jude showing the children in India how to use the iPad

We spent hours at a rather nice hotel in the local town, using their free wifi to download some educational apps.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, and Australian Dr Jenny Lane of iPad project in schools, we found some fantastic apps that can be used without wifi.  Especially good were the animations and puppet shows with self recorded narration, which are great for story telling, imagination and those not confident in speaking English – plus they are lots of fun.

Thank you all again for your support…

Tania & Jude

Tania, Jude`s mother comments “I am amazed he had so much courage to stand on Ledbury Road, which is quite a busy street in Notting Hill.  I am very proud of him and very happy for you to include on your blog – which was so helpful for us.”

Living Statutes

“Living Statues” are people who dress up like a statue and stand motionless on the street, usually on a pedestal.  They are usually painted from head to toe – white, bronze or gold, etc. and will only move, or shake your hand etc when you give them some money.
Jude (Millais) is the great-great-great grandson of the painter John Everett Millais (


Tips2012 iPad App Guide: Aurasma – Augmented Reality App

AurasmaMake the pages come alive by using augmented reality.
Augmented reality combines computer graphics and  images of natural objects to make a 3D image or simulation. This is used in advertisements and texts indicated by a large A icon.

To use this app in class, the students can create their own video footage to link to an icon. This is good for learning journeys to showcase project work.

It can also be used outside in treasure hunts and discovery trails, where icons are posted around the school. When students scan the icons using the Aurasma App or the iPad the Auras they have created will spring into life giving the audio and video commentary.

For: Students (Secondary) & Teachers

Cost: Free for lite version (Download Link)

Requires WiFi?: Yes

Educational Applications

  • Create augmented reality learning objects for lessons for your class / school wiki / website
  • Students create auras to demonstrate three dimensional properties of objects
  • Present videos, images and sounds in response to visual cues
  • Enable students to demonstrate their learning,skills, and understanding of topics across a wide range of learning areas.
Please post how you use this app in your classroom

Tips2012:iPad App Guide #27: Tools 4 Students

Tools 4 Students is an incredibly useful iPod Touch / iPad app, providing teachers and students with 25 editable graphic organisers to organise their thinking and comprehend new information.

Students can save their work on their iPad, export to Dropbox, or email completed organisers to their teacher, who can share them via Google Docs or print them off. The app can also be projected onto an whiteboard for whole-class demonstrations and activities.

For: Teachers, Students

Cost: $0.99 – Worth every cent! (Download Link)

Requires WiFi?: No.