December 3, 2013

Mission Impossible, QR Style

I’m on a mission, a secret mission. To avert an international library crisis, I’ve come up with a clever solution to a nagging problem: teaching students to search the library catalog and then find
ON THE SHELVES that which they’ve found in the library catalog.

Image from using Creative Commons:

While introducing this lesson, I play the Mission Impossible theme song and explaining to students their secret mission--should they choose to accept it. I hand to them their secret agent tools and send them off to scavenge the library.

Enter, QR codes. I have students in 3rd and 4th grades complete a series of scavenger hunts. I begin with location hunts: Where is the reference section? Which book in the library has the most words? Find the 398.2 section.

Images from Liberty Lady

Each student utilizes an iPad and a QR paddle. After scanning the QR, students see a “clue.” I then ask them to photograph the relevant section and bring me the “evidence” of their search.

Sound like a TON of effort? Not if you follow these steps:

1. Open the Google Chrome browser

2. In the address bar enter the following:

(To alter the size of the QR code, change the 150x150 in the URL to a number of your choice. The numbers must match to maintain the square shape.)

3. At the end of this URL, enter your clue. For example:

PHOTOGRAPH the Reference Section

4. Press Enter. Your QR code will appear. If you copy it, you can paste the QR into any document.

As the weeks pass, students complete more complicated scavenger hunts using our traditional catalog interface or Destiny Quest. They must then bring me further “evidence” of their find. My goal is to teach students to do this ALL BY THEMSELVES.

Mission Accomplished? I think so.

**For more QR code ideas see my post, “How to Use QR Codes in Your School Library.”