technology tips

Using QR Codes

QR codes make accessing websites effortless, and are a dynamic way to add a third dimension to projects or portfolios.

A QR code is a Quick Response code.  Similar to a barcode that you would find on shopping items, it contains information and the information can be accessed by scanning the square code. 

In this tutorial, I will show you how to turn URLs (or web site addresses) into QR codes and share some great ideas for their use. 

Be sure to scroll to the bottom to discover some great uses for QR codes!


First things first.  Anyone who wants to scan a QR code with their smartphone or tablet, must have a QR code reader downloaded on their device.  There are many free versions on the market available for both iTunes and GooglePlay; simply browse the app store.

To turn a URL into a QR code, you need a QR code Generator.  There are also many apps for this or you can use the following web site:

Instructions for

1. When you arrive on the site, select the type of file that you want to convert to the QR code.  Since we want to convert a web address (url) we will select the icon of the globe image. 


2. Next, type the website address in the Contents section (you can copy the web address if it is open in another window and paste it here).  Then press Enter.


3. The QR code image will automatically appear on the right-hand side in the Live preview section. 


You can choose to download the image, or even embed it in a web site by clicking on those two buttons below the code.  However, one of the easiest options is to hover your mouse over the image and right click, then select Copy image.    

4. Now you can paste the image in a Word document and save it for later use. Here is my QR code image for this web site.  Scan it with your own QR code reader and it will bring you to our Homepage.









Why use QR codes?


QR codes serve many great purposes in the classroom for all grade levels.  With preschoolers, QR codes help them share their voice.  Most preschoolers are not able to write down their thoughts and ideas but they can express themselves verbally.  We can record these moments and present them with QR codes.  Here are a few examples:

1. Use a recording app such as Audacity to record any kind of audio, and then save the audio to Soundcloud (click here for the tutorial).  Next, make a QR code of the web address for the specific audio piece.    

  • Record an adult reading a picture book, the QR code of the recording can be printed and sent home for families to listen to together.  Or, you can print the code and glue it to the back cover of the book (see image) so the children can scan it themselves in class and listen whenever they’d like. 

  • Record the class singing a song or chanting a poem, and send the lyrics home with the children, and include the QR code on the lyrics page.  This is especially beneficial for second language families but all families appreciate hearing the rhythm of the song so they can sing along.
  • Record the children making music.  Click here to listen to a grade one class making the sound of a rain storm using plastic bags, rhythm sticks, foil, tin plates and other interesting items.
  • Record the children telling you about a drawing or creation.  The QR code can be added to the drawing or photograph of the image.  Now, passersby can see and hear what the production is about.
  • Record the children while they “read” or retell a story and add the QR code of the audio to their portfolio.

2. Use recording applications such as Screenchomp, Skitch, ShowMe, Explain Everything, (or other interactive whiteboard apps) that can be saved to the internet.  These works can easily be accessed once a QR code is created. This makes presentations interactive.  Children in older grades can learn the process themselves and can enrich poster or 3D projects by linking to other sites or recordings that enhance their project.    

3. If your classroom has 1-1 or 1-2 iPads and you would like all the children to quickly access a web site, simply make a QR code of the address and display it on your Interactive White Board.  No more wasted time while children try to type in the address.