Today’s Contributor: Rosalinda Rodriguez is a social studies teacher at LBJ. This is her 1st year as the campus CIC. In her free time, she likes to bake and listen to podcasts.
This past school year has been focused on getting students reacquainted with school bells, group work, and lively discussions in the classroom. Despite a whole year of virtual learning, students at LBJ still exhibited a small dose of aversion toward technology. In the early months of the school year, students traded in their worn out chromebooks for ones with newer and updated software. We used chromebooks almost daily but the most useful technology tool in our classroom was the QR code.
QR codes have been around for several years and with the increase of social distancing their purpose has been renewed but little did I know how it would change the dynamics in my classroom. Our teachers designed their own lessons and adapted blueprints and made resources and assignments readily available in BLEND. However, students without proper technology were struggling to be successful. Enter the QR Code.
I vividly remember forgetting to post in BLEND a reading on the Effects of the Columbian Exchange and in the spur of the moment, I opted to create a QR code instead so students could access it right away. The results were astonishing….because everyone quickly accessed the reading and we were able to have an inclusive and meaningful discussion on the challenges of the Columbian Exchange.
The percentage of students accessing the reading was 100%. I didn’t hear anyone say “I don’t have a chromebook.” or “Do you have a charger I can borrow?” because everyone had the means with a camera phone and they were reading almost immediately (those without phones were able to access the reading through BLEND). My learning experience was finding a new tech tool to increase student engagement.
Since then, I’ve made sure to add a QR code for readings and exit tickets so that students do not feel left out in their learning. QR codes are game chargers in our social studies classrooms because it invites more students to feel connected to their learning and each other.