How QR Codes CAN Help Your Child

How QR Codes CAN Help Your Child


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What The Heck Are QR Codes
And How Can They Help My Child?
  • Are you looking for new ways to motivate your child to see learning as fun again?
  • Is your child bored with the same old worksheets?
  • Would you love to help your child learn to do things more independently?
Today I decided to pick two tech strategies to share with you that can make an awesome difference in what and how your child learns.  And what’s so cool, it works for both young students and for adults with disabilities.
1st Tech Strategy: 
Using QR Codes In Classrooms
Have you seen a QR code before? 

About 4 years ago when I was designing my new business cards and I included a QR code to the back of my business card.  Now why would I do that?

I did it so people could scan the QR code with a cell phone or tablet, and it would quickly take them to my website for advocacy resources.

You may be wondering why someone just couldn’t type the url in and get to my website that way.  And they could.  However, some people have fine motor challenges and may not be able to type in the url for a website.  Or, some students may try to type in an url for a certain website and have a typo, get very frustrated and not ever get to the correct website.  Sound familiar?

Well, what does this have to do with your child learning something new?  And what the heck does QR stand for and why do I need to know about it.
Those are fair questions.  Let me first tell you what QR means – it stands for Quick Response.  It’s a way to share digital information without having to type in a url.

You need a mobile device (cell phone, iPad or tablet) with a camera, an app to do the decoding, and internet access to see where the code takes you.

If you want to find out more about the actual tech side of this, hang in there with me – we’ll get there soon.  You can also download a step-by-step cheat sheet for scanning and making QR codes.  Click here.

I want to share some specific examples of how teachers and parents are using QR codes with students.  You can also go to Pinterest, type in QR codes in the search box and see many more examples.
Watch this 2 minute video narrated by elementary students themselves and learn how they use QR codes at school.  Click here.
Meghan, a teacher that writes the blog post, Meghan’s Pad shared a great way to individualize what stories a student listens to.  She found websites where the author reads their children’s book aloud.  She copied the url of the particular website to generate a unique QR code, printed it out and put it on a card for the student to use.   The student would scan the QR code and be taken immediately to the website where the author was reading the book aloud.

Eleni Kyritsis is an elementary teacher and she uses reflection cubes with QR codes to help her students reflect on their learning. On her blog post, Teaching in the Primary Years she wrote, “I decided to make these QR Cubes where students simply roll the cube, scan the code and are given a question to reflect on their learning, the lesson or the teacher.”

For older students you may want to have QR codes that link to helpful resources. For example,  if a student needs help with a math problem they could scan a QR code that would immediately take them to Kahn Academy for additional explanations on how to solve their math problem.

2nd Tech Strategy:
Combining Video Modeling With QR Codes
When I heard Dr. Sean Smith from the University of Kansas speak at the recent National Down Syndrome Congress’s conference he talked about combining video modeling with QR codes.  I got very excited about this and the possibilities of how it could be used with my son, Dylan.
You may have heard about the researched based strategy of Video Modeling.  It’s a visual teaching method. A video is filmed of someone modeling a targeted skill. The person learning the targeted skill will watch the video and follow the steps shown in the video.
Many students who are visual learners have benefited from using Video Modeling. When it is combined with QR codes, it has even a more beneficial impact!
Dr. Smith gave the example of helping a person learn to do his or her own laundry independently.  The idea is to have someone video a person doing all the steps of washing clothes – from turning the washer on, adding detergent, putting the clothes in, closing the cover to the washer, etc.
The video is then uploaded to a computer and edits are made to make sure the video clearly shows each specific step of the process. There are free video editing tools, such as iMovie that are easy to use for this.

Next, you get the url of the video and type it in a website, such as QR StuffThe url of the video is magically turned into a QR code that you can print.

Finally, post the printed QR code by the washer and the next time your son or daughter needs to wash clothes they can scan the QR code with a cell phone or tablet.  The video of the step-by-step directions for using the washer comes up and they can watch it and follow the video directions.


Now, in case you’re thinking this sounds like a lot of work to do, making a video, and making a QR code, stop for a minute.  Think of how much work it is to stand by your child each week and help them do their laundry.

With the magic of combining video modeling with QR codes you child doesn’t have to listen to you nag him/her about how to wash their clothes.  Instead, you child can easily pull up the video whenever they want to do their laundry – watch it all the way through, or pause it after each step so they can follow along.

When you combine video modeling with QR codes you are helping your child be more independent with any task that requires multiple steps.
Our son, Dylan starts work next week at a Red Robin restaurant near his home.  I think this strategy of using video modeling with QR codes is an awesome way for him to learn the variety of jobs he’ll be doing there.  There is an universal supply of possibilities for how video modeling and QR codes can help our children.
What ideas do you have?
If you’re excited to get started in the land of QR Codes, click here to get a handy-dandy cheat sheet.  It will help you learn how to scan QR codes and even make your own!
Please know, if you have questions about the support your child is or isn’t getting at school, just hit Reply to this email and I’ll respond. 

And as always, I’m also available for free 30-minute phone strategy session (no strings attached).  Just email me at and we’ll set up a time to talk.

Take care,

P.S.  Time is running out to get in our IEP Scavenger Hunt: FREE 5 Day Challenge. 

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