BYOD QR Code Library Scavenger Hunt

Scanning QR Codes in the Media Center

Being an information specialist, i.e. Media Specialist, it is my job to show my high school students new ways to access information.  One of the latest and greatest ways to link or retrieve information is by the use of QR Codes.  Inspired by the Daring Librarian who used the QR Codes to create a Library Scavenger Hunt (http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/2012/05/qr-code-quest-scavenger-hunt-part-deux.html,)  Carol, the other Media Specialist at my school, and I decided to create our own.  This was exciting because not only would students be learning a new way to access information, but they would get the opportunity to explore the library during the orientation.  The challenges became immediately apparent.  To create our hunt, we needed to create clues to the hunt in a picture format. We did this by creating clues on PowerPoint slides.  We saved the slides in a jpeg format (available under “Save as type.”)  Now to create a QR Code, you have to post the clue (picture)  to a site that will give you a url to access the clue.  I did this by posting the pictures to Photobucket.  To make the QR Code cleaner and easier to read, I shortened the url by using tinyurl.com.  I used http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ to create the codes that we copied, laminated, and posted at appropriate places around the Media Center.  We created a question sheet to lead the groups to the different QR Codes posted and to allow students to use the codes to answer the questions.  Our greatest challenge was getting the devices to read the codes.  Originally, we hoped to use our school wifi with some iTouches that we had available.  Unfortunately, most didn’t have the necessary camera and our school district blocked the tinyurl addresses.  Fortunately, we decided to gamble that the students would have enough devices with Internet access to accommodate the four or five groups we wanted to form.  In almost all the classes, we had more than enough students who BYOD or brought their own device.  Carol and I were prepared to lend our phones if necessary.  This orientation was one of the best ever.  Students were actively engaged and were able to explore and learn so much more than previous orientations of long presentations.

Comments

  1. Ken Cooper

    This sounds like a great activity! You might also consider our new app Klikaklu (“click a clue” – klikaklu.com) for this sort of thing – instead of QR codes, you take pictures of real world objects, and the phone uses image matching magic to verify you found your clue. At this point it’s iOS only, so BYOD will require people teaming up, but an Android version will be coming soon.

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