Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) in the Foundation Stage

QR Codes work like barcodes that webcams and mobile phone cameras recognise. They read the code and take the user to a website within a few clicks.

QuickMark is a software that I have used with webcams. When QuickMark recognises a QR Code, it displays the URL and users double click the link to open the website.

At my school, children in Key Stage 2 have been successfully accessing the internet using QR Codes. Instead of taking the device to the QR Code, Tom Barrett reversed this and let children take the QR Code to the device that read them; in his case a NetBook or laptop.

Planning QR Codes:

Following the success seen in Year 5/6, I sampled some QR Codes in Reception using a similar technique to Tom Barrett. Using his advice, I printed a 3×3 grid of each code onto A4 paper, as this would increase the chance of the reader recognising the QR Code. Each A4 page also contained an image or logo of the website that the code would take the child to. This enabled children to choose the website or game. Along with this, I colour coded the QR Codes by area of learning – CLL in blue, PSRN in red, KUW in yellow etc. Each A4 page was laminated.

Recommended Website:

www.qrstuff.com – 4 easy steps to create your QR Code. Allows colour coding, downloaded the QR code and copied into Microsoft Word 9 times (to create the 3×3 grid)

Using QR Codes have formed part of a sequence of skills I have observed that have progressed Foundation Stage children’s ability to use touchpads and computer mice.

17 thoughts on “Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) in the Foundation Stage

  1. This is really interesting, just like the rest of your blog. I teach ICT and currently cover ppa in a reception class so I am going to show this blog to our reception teacher and see if this is better received than water pistols filled with paint!Keep up the good work. Will be a regular visitor to this blog.

  2. Thanks Tracey, that’s great to hear :-)I’m going to put a PDF of the QR Codes I have made on here soon, then they can be downloaded.water pistols filled with paint is just as important though!

  3. Brilliant. I wish I had such an innovative teacher when I was growing up – would’ve made learning so much more fun!ChristianThe Tennis Emporium

  4. I started reading about QR codes and using them in the classroom some time ago, but only just created my first one yesterday. Now my head is buzzing again with how they could be used in class. I love this idea, very simple. I don’t have an iPod Touch or any mobile code reading device so the idea of taking the QR code to the computer appeals to me!

  5. QR code can be used on everything. They are especially useful to link offline items to social networks and track results. I am using YouScan.me qr code generator for my codes and recommend it to everyone.

  6. I would like to understand more about why someone would select to use this method and not just create a website with images as links that students could click on. This is easily created on a wiki and then accessible anywhere. The trackpad skills are identical to what is necessary with the QR code. My daughter age 3 can click on image links. I think QR codes are neat but I am having trouble coming up with ideas where it replaces something I can already do but better OR creates something I couldn’t do before.

  7. Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment.For me, QR Codes mean chn can use the internet completely independently. I don’t need to type any website addresses into the browser before they start clicking, the QR Code takes them straight to the website they want without adult support.You should read Tom Barrett’s blog post about QR Codes and the observations he made with his class, that might answer more of your questions – http://edte.ch/blog/2010/11/25/qr-codes-improve-web-access/I have thought about creating a blog page that is linked with a QR Code so that chn can choose from images on there, rather than separate codes for different sites.

  8. What I do is create a wiki with picture icons that linked to websites. Then I save the website URL on the desktop of the computer by clicking and dragging the favicon to the desktop . Using this method all the students have to do is click on the 1 url on the desktop of the computer to open up the browser and see the menu of websites. They do not have to type anything. This is similar to what you are doing and makes the children more independent with the computer. Thank you for sharing your classroom. Your students are amazing!Do you use the QR codes for any mobile learning opportunities? (if you have mobile devices with cameras) I think preschool kids with an iPod Touch could have some fun.

  9. I like the wiki idea, The outcome is the same which is great. The trick with using the Internet with children is making the process simple and I suppose fun. QR Codes is always a giggle when they use the web came, they like to see themselves on the screen :-)I have been working with an iPod touch in a nursery, and we have introduced QR Codes to the children on the computer. I’m interested in combining the two, but it’s one step at a time.Are you on twitter? I’m not sure if I’m following you? @Marc_faulder

  10. To respond to Lisa, QR Codes are better than that because they represent what are called hardlinks. Hardlinks are the Holy Grail of marketing. They can transform a static image on a poster or the back of a bus or a magazine into a live hyperlink at the click of a button. Thus physically engaging a person with something that they were merely observing before. In marketing terms the power of that single action is unlike anything that has ever gone gone before.We are about to experience a geo digital smart phone revolution. Mobile marketing will be transformed forever and QR Codes will be leading the way.Chris BrandenQReative Studios

  11. Interesting. I have always thought that QR codes are much to complex for children to use. Now I know am wrong! More QR code applications for education please!

  12. I have just finished creating version 1.0 of an entirely web-based (and free!) QR Code reader called Zapp! http://j.mp/zzapp It makes using QR codes with children much more straightforward – no software to install, just click the button or make it your homepage and kids can browse away using their QR codes by just holding them up to the webcam. The window doesn’t even have to be on top to work, they can be looking at a website and simply hold the next QR up to move to the next page. I’ll be blogging about it at http://blog.grokbox.co.uk and posting updates on twitter @grokbox. I’m keen for people to start using it and get some feedback so that I can improve it to make it really useful. Please do visit the website and try it out! (Did I mention it’s free?)Drew

  13. Thank you so much, this has solved a few problems I’ve had with quick mark. Though I do like the idea that children have to click and start using the mouse on quick mark but this is much quicker. Thanks again, I’ll try it out and feed back to you.

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