Wednesday, October 19, 2016

QR Codes Series - Creating a QR Code

I use QR codes daily, several times a day, in my second grade classroom. QR stands for quick response and they really do elicit a quick response. I get asked often in my building about everything from how to create a QR code to ways to use them.  So, I'm creating a mini-series of blog posts about QR codes.  We'll begin at the beginning with how to create them and move slowly forward on the many ways I use them.  If you prefer a video, you can view a narrated screen-cast of me walking you through the process at the end of this post.

Creating a QR Code

QR codes can be created to point to:
  • a URL
  • simple text
  • a picture
  • ...basically anything stored online can be connected to a QR code.
A popular and easy site for creating QR codes is

This free site doesn't require and information or sign in.  It walks you right through the steps to create a QR code.  

1. Start with step one and choose the type of data you want the code to point to.  Most popular will be either a URL or text. 

2. In the text bar enter either the URL or the text.  I just copy and paste the URL from the navigation bar of my browser when I am on the site I want to use so I make sure I get it all correct and don't miss type them. 

3. Choose a color, I've played with colors a bit because, well, color is fun.  You can coordinate your colors and make all math QR codes a color or codes for a center a color, the sky's the limit.  However, lighter colors won't be as easy to scan. My ipads seem to scan any color fine, but my Kindle's and especially Chromebooks have a much harder time with the lighter colors. 

4. Wait a few seconds for the code to reset. I watch the code and make sure I see it change after clicking the enter button on my keyboard. Once I see the code reset, I know it's updated. 

5. Download your code.  I click the dark blue button under the code that says Download QR Code. It then downloads to my downloads folder, like anything else you download from online.  It's a picture file. 

A few tips...

Insert your QR code immediately to your document.  I usually use Word or PowerPoint and I open the file immediately after I download it and copy the code picture right from the photo editor that it defaults to open in.  Then I paste it directly into the document where I have labeled what the code is.  

Here's an example of a PowerPoint I set up for QR codes directing students to audio for my listening center. 

The other option is to go right to the folder and rename the code so you know what it is or copy and paste to a new folder destination, also renaming it so you know what it is.  If you don't use the code right away or rename it, you won't be able to tell what the code points to. 

View the video below to see me walk you through creating a QR code for a URL and for Text. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Teachers, Share Your Profession!

I've been working in my home office for the last two weeks preparing for my new assignment in second grade this coming school year. In between, I've taken breaks to check out social media. This week several topics have hit my nerves and it's come down to one thing...

Teachers, share your profession!

What I mean by this is that we not only need to educate the students that come to our classrooms and spend 9 months with us, but we need to educate the public about what it means to be an educator. 

We need to advocate for ourselves, inform ourselves and educate non-educators about our profession.

I have felt like a lone duck on many threads about education this week as I attempt to share the issues and realities of educators. I can't do it alone and neither can you, but together, we can make a difference in our communities and change the stereotypes and misunderstandings that exist about what it means to be an educator.

Here's how you can make a difference:

We currently have a taxation issue in our district area property taxes and a state wide policy change about licensing people to be educators without education training. 

 Add positive and informed thoughts to social media threads about education issues that affect you, whether in your own local community or nationally.

For goodness sake, I still talk to people who think they are getting a free private education for their children by sending them to a public state funded charter school instead of their neighborhood school. 

Parents and community members don't realize that your classroom library wasn't funded by taxpayers, it came out of your pocket. A gentleman telling me I didn't have to spend money on my classroom was surprised to find out his children wouldn't have a classroom library, center activities, birthday gifts from me, class parties and so on without the money I spend from my income. 

Complaining to your colleagues about the state of education doesn't make change. Write letters to your local and state school boards, participate in social media conversations, set neighborhood gossip straight.  Be a voice for your profession. 

The public is basically our employer and from my perspective, its important for them to be informed about the job they have as employers. Being a teacher means being a public figure. In 2014, there was estimated to be 3.5 million public and private k-12 educators with a total population of 319 million people in the United States, that means K-12 educators make up about 1% of the population.*  That's a lot of people who need to know about what it means to be an educator.  Instead of hiding in our classrooms, we need to share our profession and help the rest of the world.

What are your ideas about how we can stand together to help our communities better understand education so they can be better informed voters, policy makers and education supporters?

*Statements based on data from:


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