These small squares of data are popping up all over, from cereal boxes to bus stops, Pepsi bottles to cinema tickets, if you keep your eyes peeled, you won’t get far without seeing one. But what is a QR code, and how can you use them in you school this year?

QR, or Quick Response are barcodes that can be read by holding the camera of a smartphone, tablet laptop, or dedicated QR reader. Often, an app will be required, and many are free. They link directly to web articles, emails, websites, phone numbers, videos, social media pages, videos from Youtube and many more.

Many apps allow you to generate QR codes from free, and there are many online webpages that allow you to do this. Simply add the link to the file you wish to share, click generate, and print out the QR code.

These codes can be shared everywhere! Put them on your website, on your newsletters, in notice boards, display boards, windows or anywhere else where users can see it.

A huge percentage of the adults in your school will have a compatible device, and before long, most children will as well, so why waste an opportunity for engagement.

Stick a QR code linking to a Youtube video on your next newsletter, and let the children know, then I bet a larger amount read that newsletter.

Put a QR code on your maths display, linking to an audio explanation from a child explaining what they have learnt about and use that to evidence learning.

Use QR codes as evidence in books when work is done online or on the computer.

Rather than print out full webpages of text for research purposes, link a QR code to it and give this to the children.

QR codes can be printed onto any surface (some people have QR code tattoos! Very extreme I know!) but print them on fabric for the cushions in reception and let visitors scan and sit!

There are hundreds of ways to use a QR code for educational purposes, so what are you waiting for! To really engage the children set up a QR hunt around your school. Put up different QR codes in and around the buildings with a link to a clue, or maths problem, and let the children loose!

Scan this QR code below to be directed to a QR making website.