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Thursday / April 19

Engaging Stakeholders With Scannable Technology [Excerpt]

Technology tools can be used to elevate teaching and learning in your classroom. My new book Deeper Learning with QR Codes and Augmented Reality: A Scannable Solution for Your Classroom, provides a new framework for the integration of scannable technology. I’ve developed the ACES Framework to show how QR codes and augmented reality can be used to help students access teacher-curated materials to promote engagement while making it easy to share student creations.

This excerpt shows how educators can use scannable technology to connect with parents and families. In my new book you’ll find actionable tips to get started with scannable technology and ideas for taking integration to the next level. It includes stories from K-12 teachers and plenty of pictures of students at work. Use the hashtag #ScannableTech on Twitter and Facebook to share your own experience, questions, and ideas for using QR codes and augmented reality in educational settings!


Student and Stakeholder Engagement: Setting Your Community Up for Success

Strong community engagement is essential in schools that want to support all learners.  Scannable technology places dynamic resources in places parents and families can easily access.  It connects all stakeholders to the information they need while engaging school visitors.  Educators can customize school spaces, distribute useful resources, and engage families with scannable technology.

Getting Families Hooked

Educators must establish scanning as an intuitive routine rewarding users with useful information. This a learned behavior that should be taught explicitly.  Families need to see the purpose of scanning and how it benefits them and their children.  Getting families hooked on scanning is crucial for success in distributing resources and providing easy access to information.

Introducing Scannable Tech

Educators must decide how and when they will use scannable technology in their school and learning community.  Once this is established, you can make a plan on how and when you will introduce the concept to families.  If QR codes are displayed at a school event, student ambassadors can stand near displays and show families how to scan and access content.  At an assembly or open house, a school leader can take a few minutes to introduce scannable technology and how it will be used this school year.

When demonstrating augmented reality or QR codes to families make sure to not only show how the technology works but how it will change the way families interact with content.  If you’ve added a QR code to a sticker on a student homework folder, show families when they scan a QR code they’ll be taken to a class website with extra resources.  Placing your demo in context for families will help them understand the benefit of using scannable technology to connect to school resources.

Staying Consistent

Part of making sure families are using scannable technology to access information is keeping yourself accountable for being consistent.  Sending home AR triggers every week will help families build scanning into their routine.  If they only see a QR code once a month they’re likely to forget how to use it or dismiss it as unimportant.  It’s also important to make sure the resources on the other end of scannable technology—school website, online student portfolio, class Twitter feed—are up to date.

One way to stay consistent sharing content with families is to identify times of the week, month, or school year when you’d like to send scannable technology home.  This could include weekly homework sheets that include QR codes linked to video tutorials or a letter to parents at the beginning of a new unit with videos to watch at home.  Picking out which moments in the school year works best for sharing content can help you make a plan for scannable technology integration.

Transforming School Community Spaces

In addition to sending links home to families you can make the spaces of your school community shine with scannable technology.  In Chapter 7 we spoke about the power of sharing student work by connecting it to QR codes and AR triggers.  This is a big part of transforming school community spaces.  You’ll also want to think about ways parents can access and interact with information you’ve handpicked (curated).

Entryways and Hallways

Traditional school building entrances often include posters on useful resources, a school directory, or information on the history of the school.  Adding QR codes or turning posters into AR triggers can connect community stakeholders to important information.  It also provides a unique and engaging way to interact with content.

Scannable technology can transform your existing bulletin board ideas.  An augmented reality creation tool like Blippar or Aurasma can turn a poster or bulletin board component into an AR trigger.  You can decide what content will connect to the AR trigger.  This can also be done with QR codes.  For example, QR codes can enhance existing hallway display like a school map.  Place QR codes on different places on the map and connect each one to a special message or tip from a student that relates to each location.

Student Work Celebrations

School spaces are perfect for celebrating student work.  Rotating exhibitions or permanent installations can include scannable technology.  Try placing QR codes linked to a slideshow of a field trip on a bulletin board of student writing.  Turn student self-portraits into AR triggers connected to a digital portfolio of student work.  Posting projects in community spaces is a great way to increase parent engagement and celebrate student work.

Maintaining buy-in is essential for any community imitative.  It’s important stakeholders understand how scannable technology works and how it impacts their everyday lives.  Introducing QR codes and augmented reality should emphasize how quickly each one connects users to information.  Encourage families to explore community spaces where scannable technology is present.  All it takes to get started is a demonstration of a simple scan!


You can order Monica’s new book Deeper Learning with QR Codes and Augmented Reality: A Scannable Solution for Your Classroom from Corwin Press. Interested in bringing Monica to your school or purchasing copies in bulk? Contact: ClassTechTips@gmail.com.

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Monica Burns is an EdTech & Curriculum Consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator and Founder of ClassTechTips.com. In her role as a classroom teacher in general education and integrated co-teaching settings, she used iPads one to one with her students while aligning her instruction to the Common Core State Standards. Monica has presented to teachers, administrators and tech enthusiasts at numerous national and international conferences. She is a webinar host for SimpleK12 and a regular contributor to Edutopia, Teachability and Channel One News.

Monica visits school across the country to work with PreK-12 teachers to make technology integration exciting and accessible. She also provides support to organizations using technology to reach children and families in need. Monica is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Hunter College, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Global Education Leadership at Lamar University.

Monica is the author of Deeper Learning With QR Codes and Augmented Reality and the upcoming #FormativeTech: Meaningful, Sustainable, and Scalable Formative Assessment With Technology, publishing March 2017.

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