It’s important to take advantage of any opportunity to connect with the family. Parent engagement is an important part of ensuring the success of students. Many parents will stop by the school, ask questions, or send an email with a concern. For others connecting with teachers and making time to locate resources is a challenge.
One of the reasons I’m so passionate about the integration of scannable technology is the opportunities it affords all stakeholders in the community. When looking at a QR code on a poster or the back of a cereal box you might not think that it has the potential to change the way teachers connect with their students’ families. This free and device agnostic technology is a game-changer in classrooms across the world.
QR codes are a simple and easy-to-use tool.
Teachers can make QR codes for free using a variety of online tools. All you need to do is copy and paste a link to a website into the QR code generator. You can decide how you want parents to receive the QR code. Maybe it’s imported as an image (like a clipart) on the bottom of a page or maybe that QR code is placed on a magnet that is sent home in the beginning of the school year. You can even print out QR codes on sticky paper and attach them to a student’s folder or an item that you’re sending home.
The idea here is that you are connecting resources that you want families to interact with to a QR code. Families can scan a QR code with any smartphone using a variety of apps. These apps are free and can be found on any mobile device app store.
So how can QR codes promote family engagement?
You can connect resources to QR codes for parents to interact with. Maybe this is information you want them to read before you start a new unit with their children. Maybe this is a video you want them to watch with their children to get ready for an upcoming literature study. You can even connect a survey tool like Google Forms to a QR code and have parents open up and submit the form on their mobile device.
QR codes can connect parents to any type of content posted online. You can even take a student creation, like a project made with Adobe Spark Page or Spark Video and connect the link to a QR code. This is a great way to engage parents with the materials their students are creating in school. It’s a simple option to view content students create and post online with a quick scan of their mobile phone.
In order to increase family engagement we need to reach families where they are.
This might mean taking advantage of a smartphone in their pocket with scannable technology. Just like any classroom behavior you want students to develop, make sure parents under value of scanning a QR code on a smartphone. Maybe this is something you introduce at back-to-school night or you use with students regularly so they can assist their families at home. If your students’ families don’t have smartphones easily accessible, use a short URL creator like bit.ly so parents can type in that web link in to access the website at a local library or on a computer in their home.
You can learn more about using scannable technology in your classroom and with all the community stakeholders in my new book Deeper Learning with QR Codes and Augmented Reality, now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
This post was originally featured in P21Blogazine.
10 Things You Need to Know About #ScannableTech
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