Have you ever seen those black and white squares that seem to be everywhere and wondered what all the rage is about?  These are QR codes and they have such incredible possibilities for an Arts Integration classroom.  Really, these codes line every magazine, store window and even parking meters (yes – you can now pay for street parking using a QR code).  Basically, if you download any number of apps to your phone that will scan the boxed QR code, you can access any additional information that you seek.

So how can you leverage the power of these QR codes in your own classroom?

I saw a wonderful opportunity for their use at a county-wide Art Exhibit this year that I thought was really creative.  The art teacher attached a QR code to each piece of student artwork.  The students wrote a narrative about their piece. It included the art history, and skills linked to it. In addition to, references for other artwork in the same style.  Then, the narrative published to a blog post with the assigned QR code for the work. During the exhibition, parents, students, and any by-standers that walked by the piece could whip out their phone or smart device, scan the code and read the student’s artistic interpretation.  How cool is that?

This same kind of documentation can happen in any classroom.  For any piece of student work that is produced through an Arts Integration lesson, a QR code can be created and attached that either leads to a video narrative or example (think dance or drama), a written narrative, or even another website that the work was based on or featured in.  We are constantly looking for ways to document the AI journey and to share the critical connections that are made during the process with our community stakeholders.  Here is a quick, easy way that is also really engaging to accomplish that goal.

The other great thing about this kind of documentation is that it helps to promote advocacy for your Arts Integration or Fine Arts class.  When people see a QR code attached to a piece of work, they can’t help but scan it.  It’s the power of curiosity at work.  If your QR code took them to your class newsletter, blog site, or gallery, you immediately have an advocacy tool that can be shared far and wide for your program.

How to add a QR code to your classwork

1. Decide what you are going to code and how you want to document that piece of work.

2. Create the documentation and either copy the text or post it to a blog, school website, podcast, YouTube or find the reference website that you want to link to.

3. Go to a QR Code Generator of your choice (I recommend either QR Stuff or Kaywa QR) and enter the URL into the generator, or choose the text option and enter the text.

4. Click “Generate Code”

5. Your QR code will be available to either print or to copy and paste into a website or word document.