Tuesday, November 9, 2010

QR Codes in Maths Class

I've been working with a fantastic math teacher, Anne F., on how we might use QR codes in the classroom to engage students in a new way. It took her all of twelve seconds to come up with an idea:  Each group of math students has a problem to solve as an introduction to the mensuration, space and shape unit.  They solve the problem and post their answer to their blog.  Then, they create a QR code that will direct people to the blog post and we post that QR code in the hallway.  The hallway will be full of math questions like:

Screen shot 2010-11-02 at AM 11.49.47

The next day, we'll send students around the halls with their mobile phones equipped with QR code readers. Their task will be to search for a question that interests or intrigues them, anticipate how the group may have solved it, view the group's blog post and then leave a comment.

Will QR codes improve student learning? In this case, we are anticipating that the novelty of it will at the very least engage them. Additionally, having the codes posted around the school will draw some attention to QR codes and hopefully might generate some interest among teachers in finding ways to leverage them for learning.

I'll write a post about how this activity works out later, but for now, here is the information that we will share with the students.

Order of Operations for students:

  1. Solve the problem in your group and document your answer (text, audio, video, etc. or any combination of those).

  2. Post your answer to your blog.

  3. Find the url (web address) of this specific blog post (clicking on the title of your blog post will take you there)

  4. Paste the url into Google's URL Shortner http://goo.gl/ (you have to have a Google account if you want create the code)

  5. Then click on "details" to see your QR code

  6. Save the image of your QR code to your desktop

  7. Create a document including your problem, and your QR code (following the example above) for posting in the hallway.

QR Code Readers

There are a lot of readers for iPhone, Android etc.  Here is just a quick reference of links:

iPhone - I tried three and read the reviews of seven.  Red Laser is the free one I chose and it works well for me.

Android - try QuickMark (thanks, Jeff)

Other Phones - Try here: http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/qr-code-software/

Mac OSX (and Windows and Linux) -Your Mac can read QR codes using the built-in iSight camera.   QReader is the only App that I found that isn't in Japanese (which I can't read).  You also have to have Adobe Air downloaded.


  1. [...] with Jeff Utecht. This was quite useful, as I got two references to using QR codes in history and math [...]

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  3. Great idea you’ve got! Good luck to your mission.Here is a free barcode generator that I’ve been using, quite easy ! Hope I helped!


  4. [...] QR Codes in Math Class– a Order of Operations classroom activity to fill school hallways with math problems [...]

  5. [...] Put math problems on campusShare problems and answers through QR codes, posting them on campus for other students to find. [...]