However, one of the simplest, easiest and most effective places to showcase student work is within our own school building.
Like most schools, we believe the walls of our school should be covered with examples of student projects, artwork, ideas and initiatives. While school walls are a great place to showcase students 2D work (posters and artwork) what happens when student work is 3D or multimedia?
How do you staple a student-created documentary or music video to a bulletin board?
With that in mind, we have a few of our teachers experimenting with how the presentation of student work can be enhanced by using something called QR (quick response) codes.
QR codes are a basic form of augmented reality – the layering of digital information onto the real world. You have probably seen QR codes as they are becoming more popular in advertising and product design. Basically a QR code is like a UPC code – except it provides a shortcut to information that lives online somewhere.
For example, a company might want you to visit their website to get additional, multi-media information about a product you bought – so they create a QR code that you can scan with a web-enabled mobile device (iPhone, iPad2, smartphone, etc) that will take you to the site. In order to scan QR codes, you need to have an QR code scanning app on a device with a camera.
For example, if you have such a device, run the app the point the camera at the QR code above.
Why would you want to do this in a school? While there are many uses for QR codes, we’re excited about the potential of layering our students’ multi-media work around our school.
However, by adding a QR code to each piece of student work, we can now add an additional layer of information. In this case, each student is going to create a short video podcast for their work, explaining the image choices and their historical significance.
Think of it as a ‘video museum guide’ attached to each piece of work. Now when people tour the school, if they have a smartphone, iPad or iPod touch, they can scan the QR code and watch a short video explaining the student work.
The process for creating a QR code is very simple. (1) The file that you want to link to needs to be posted online somewhere. For example, we use Vimeo to host all our school videos. (2) Google ‘QR code generator’ to find a website that creates QR codes. (3) Paste the link for the file into the QR code generator. (4) Copy the QR code and add it to your documents.
We’re excited about how this will allow us to showcase all sorts of student videos that would have been impossible before. We see using QR codes in numerous places around the school, including: