The time for back to school night has come again. Every year I am excited to try something new that will make the experience better for my students and better for my parents. The problem with back to school night has been I have felt like I just ran a marathon and have been talking at speeds that an auctioneer would be jealous of. In my district we run through all 8 periods in an hour and 45 min. There is just so much information to give and very little time to talk. I have given stacks of paper in the past with all the information, but many times the papers are left and never read. I have tried just posting links on my teacher website, but then I need directions for them to find all that I need them to read. I decided my something new this year would need to help resolve this issue.
This year I have gotten the idea to try using a QR code board and hand out. The idea is to use google QR code creator to make a single handout that has links to all the documents, websites, calendars, and a video introduction to the class. I will have a board at the door that parents can scan with their phone and a hand out of the same they can take home. I plan to have a few paper copies as well and I will still do my website setup.
QR codes are a very cool way to take advantage of a technology that many of our students and parents already have access too (smart phone). In fact I believe cell phone are a widely underused educational technology. I saw a great presentation last year at NCTM in Philadelphia — ‘Technology in Mathematics Is More than a Calculator’ by Johnny W. Lott. In his presentation he showed a great slide that compared the populations of countries to the number of cell phones. There are several countries where the number of cell phones is more then the population. The US has 331.6 million wireless subscriber connections as of December 2011(source) and 314.3 million people live in the US as of September 2012 (source) You do the math 🙂