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Move on from Googling: research in the Juniors

Published on 04/06/14

Navigating the vastness of the internet successfully can be an issue for Key Stage 2 children but QR codes provide an easy way for teachers to direct children’s research quickly and effectively avoiding the usual pitfalls.
Although our children, like most 7-11 year olds, are adept at Googling their topics to do research, they are less able to sift through the thousands of results they get to find the most helpful websites. As a result, it is often better for the teacher to provide a list of websites, the addresses to which the children can access via a hyperlink or, more often than not, type in. This can be time consuming and frustrating as the address for a specific section of a site is often a long and complicated string of words and letters that must be accurately replicated to ensure success. However, by using QR codes, all this can change.

As part of our current topic ‘Chocolate Heaven’ I wanted the children to complete a quiz to find out about the history of chocolate, the ingredients and production of the chocolate bars they buy, the risks and benefits of the treat and the principles behind Fairtrade chocolate. With such a wide selection of topics I decided to use QR codes to make it easier and more exciting for the children to access the information.

QR2

A QR code is basically a glorified bar code which, when read by a QR scanner on the iPad, links directly to a web page. I created QR codes for each of the pages I wanted the children to visit using the app, QRafter, and hung paper versions of the codes around the classroom and corridor ready to be scanned. The children were then given the quiz questions and an iPad each and they set off to scan the codes one by one and find the answers. It was great to see them so engaged with their learning and I’ll certainly be using QR codes again.