It’s Black and White and Scanned All Over!

The Instructor’s Guide to QR Codes
You’ve seen them in the grocery stores. Commonly seen, one dimension bar code scans that ring up the price for the register and let the stock room know when the row needs to be replenished.

You may have also seen them at the zoo

Your favorite Italian restaurant

Or even your local place of forced detention

However, do you know how to “kick it up a notch” and use two dimensional QR codes for education?
QR (short for Quick Response) codes are the latest in mobile device advertising. First used by Japanese automotive manufacturers in 1994, QR codes have increased in popularity because of its ability to read the code and the ability to store more information than standard UPC barcodes. Combining QR codes with the availability of smartphones and tablets in your classroom presents many unique, effective and fun ways to enhance your classroom material.
You may be thinking that you don’t have the time or resources to invest in the development of a QR code for your class. That type of thinking is what I like to call…wrong! Generating a QR code could not be easier. Your students will need a QR reader to scan the code, but those can be found, also for free, by simply Googling “QR Readers”. More than likely, they already have this app installed on their phone. Before they can utilize them, you will need to generate a QR code. There are many QR code generating sites on the internet. Let’s examine one.

Kawya QR Code Generator is one such site that will generate a QR Code for free but they also have paid offerings as well.

Place the web address of the internet page that you want to direct your students to in the appropriate box, the select “Generate Code”.

Almost instantly, the website produces a two dimensional QR code that will direct your students to any website of your choosing. They will need a QR reader to scan the code, but those can be found, also for free, by simply Googling “QR Readers”. If you scan the QR code below with your mobile device, you will find that it takes you to the Low Cost, No Cost Blog. How easy and simple was that!

So…now that you know how to generate and read the codes, what can you do with them? I’m glad you asked!
How to Use QR Codes in Class
1. Homework- Post Homework assignments in codes for students to scan before leaving class.
2. Tutorials- Students are able to scan the code when they are having trouble or need help. The code will take them to a site for step by step instructions that you have set up.
3. How to use equipment. – Posting a QR code near or on a piece of equipment that the student need to be familiar with will speed in learning how to use it.
4. Use QR codes for practical skill scenario stations. When the student arrives, have them scan the code and the patient information for the scenario is presented on their phone.
5. Removes the hassle of excessively long web addresses. Simply generate a QR code for the website and they are able to link to it with no typing involved.
6. Check Answers. When worksheets are complete, have your students check their work by visiting an answer key QR code. You will then be able to visually confirm that the students are checking their work as well as check on their progress.
7. Interactive dissections. Attach codes to the various parts of a skeleton or model of the human body. The codes will take the students to additional information on that body system. In addition, the instructor could include some review questions to reinforce and verify the learning.
8. Build interest by linking to current medical research.
9. Link to a YouTube video demonstrating any concept that you might want.
10. Ask an open ended question to check the status of the class on an issue. This goes a long way in verifying understanding of content.

For more information on using QR Codes visit the following links:
Why You Should Use QR Codes in the Class.
QR Codes in Education
Seven Ways to Use QR Codes
QR Code Book Summaries

Using QR Codes can be a great way to dig deeper into EMS coursework – especially when your students are working on projects that may involve skills, performance and various creations not to mention collaboration. They can bring the depth of a learning experience to a virtual and a physical audience.