QR Codes help us pass along information quickly using mobile devices, and they are seemingly everywhere. With the short amount of time teachers have to spend with families during conferences, QR Codes can help readily share general information with parents while they wait their turn to meet their child’s teacher.
What Are QR Codes?
QR Codes are image symbols that encode information, like 2-dimensional barcodes. QR Codes can be easily and quickly interpreted by a mobile device camera to send information from the QR Code image to the device.
Smartphones have apps that can scan a QR Code with their camera and interpret it for you. Depending on the content of the QR Code, the QR Code-reading device could:
- Display some text
- Send you to watch a video
- Direct you to a website
- Load a person’s contact information into your address book
Making QR Codes
To make a QR Code, all you’ll need is a website that can take information and code it into a QR image + the information you want your QR code to transmit (e.g., the URL of the destination website.)
Here are three free ways to make a QR Code:
Once you make your QR code, you’ll download/copy the image of it from the website to paste into a document for printing.
Follow these three rules:
- When printed, the QR Code must be at least 1.5 inches across
- Make the QR Code stand out as an attractive and integrated part of the design
- Tell your audience clearly what they’re going to get if they scan the QR Code
Scanning QR Codes
If you’d like to practice, have your students try it out, or let parents know how to access QR Code information, you can recommend any of these QR Code Reader Apps:
|Device||Name of App||URL to Get App (For Print)|
|Apple||Red Laser (FREE)||j.mp/1cw4N4m|
|Android||Red Laser (FREE)||j.mp/1cw5cnm|
|Blackberry||QR Code Scanner Pro (FREE)||j.mp/1cw5pqy|
|Windows Phone||QR Code Reader (FREE)||j.mp/1cw5ACm|
8 Ideas For Using QR Codes During Parent Teacher Conferences:
QR Codes can be printed with a caption underneath, which can be passed around or displayed to parents while they await their conference appointment. Consider QR Codes:
- to access general information about your class policies, procedures, and expectations; or, how parents can access grades, your class calendar, etc.
- with all the classroom contact information you want parents to have
- to your class website
- to an online textbook or companion site that goes with your course textbook
- to any pertinent class resources, study websites, or helpful information not on your website
- to an “About Me” teacher page that is posted online for parents to get to know you
- to a website displaying student work examples or other “success stories” from your class
- with an interesting video or article about your course content, such as “the history of space exploration”
Consider making four different QR Codes from the possibilities above, then putting them all into a table in a document, and printing it out to share with parents as they wait to see you during conferences. You could even hang one at your conference table or on your classroom door for them to see. Download this template to use with your own QR Codes. The finished product could look something like this:
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