Thursday, 1 November 2018

Web QR (NaBloWriMo 2018 is here!)

It is that time again! NaBloWriMo! November means a blog a day for me!  Some of you may have heard of NaNoWriMo; it is a writing activity that challenges writers to write a 50,000 word novel in one month (NAtional NOvel WRiting Month). Authors commit to writing every day.

While I don't feel I have a novel in me, I often say I wish I blogged more. So, two years ago, when I started in my current district-level roll, I decided to challenge myself by writing a blog post on every work day in November (notice I replaced NO from Novel with BLO from blog).

Last year, I did an A-Z theme (thank you Eric Curts, for the idea). This year, I am again going to pick an EdTech tool to highlight each day explain why I like, and three ways I see it used in education. Note that I say education and not classroom, this is intentional. As a consultant, a lot of the work I do is around coaching teachers and presenting to adults, so sometimes this will be my focus. Without further ado, here we go...  

The Tool

About the Tool
QR codes are those pixelated squares you see in magazines, on signs, just about anywhere. When scanning these codes, a variety of things can happen including automatically adding information to someone's contacts, launching an app, but most popularly directing the scanner to a website.  

QR codes are easy and free to generate, and can be accessed simply on a mobile device with a QR reader or, if you have iOS 11 or above on your iPhone, you simply need to scan the QR code with your camera app and a pop down notification will appear that will take you to the linked website.   

Earlier this week I was helping a colleague create a hybrid analog/digital breakout EDU activity.   We realized that students would be working with Chromebook and not mobile devices. This posed a problem with one step where they had to access information using a QR code.  A quick Google search later and we found web QR. It is an online service that facilitates reading QR codes with computers that have webcams.  

How to Use the Tool
1. Go to
2. Give permissions for the site to access your webcam,
3. Hold the QR code in front of the camera, and a link will generate.
4. Click the link

Why I like it
Chromebooks are excellent, economically friendly tools for a classroom. QR codes are simple ways to direct students to resources or activities. Having a tool that can make these two things work together is amazing in my books.

Three uses in education
  1. Have QR codes printed and put in a small binder in your classroom. Each QR code can link to important documents students might need during the course (e.g., syllabus, code of conduct, etc.).  WebQR is especially useful in this situation for learners without mobile devices in class.
  2. Have stations at faculty meetings wherein you put QR codes in various locations. Instead of teachers sitting at the same table with the same people the entire time, they get a chance to stand up and walk around and can easily access information without facilitators having to print everything out.
  3. Leave teaser QR codes around school campus to promote events. QR codes with no writing peak curiosity and people can't resist scanning them to see what it is all about.  (I realized this idea is not for this tool exclusively, but I have done it and it is a really cool thing to see everyone talking about the mystery QR codes.)

This post is part of
annual NaBloWriMo exercise wherein I  write a blog post every work day in November.

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