For example, my district—North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools—has started using QR codes to help parents connect more easily with school lunch menus. GCS’ QR codes were created using http://qrcode.kaywa.com/, a free online tool.
“Instead of searching for a crumbled menu that has been entombed in the nether regions of a child’s backpack, students and parents can now quickly scan a code and have access to the menus anytime they wish,” said GCS communications staff member Akil Livers.
“The QR codes are a great idea and easy to use,” said Pamela Harper, a parent at GCS’ Pearce Elementary School. “They’re very helpful and more convenient to use than the [district’s] website.”
Human-resource personnel also include QR codes in their eMail messages so teacher and principal recruits can find online information about district recruitment and performance incentives for high-need schools more easily.
GCS’ Guilford Parent Academy program is adding QR codes to promotional materials so parents can use their mobile phones to go from a printed flier or business card to the entire semester-long schedule of free workshops, classes, and events posted on the district’s website.
Other potential school and district uses include linking parents and students to athletic schedules, band concerts, parent-teacher conferences, registration deadlines, inclement weather announcements, staff directories, and other important news, activities, events, and information.
And, just as marketers use QR codes to connect consumers to store coupons and movie trailers, schools and district personnel could use QR codes to connect Realtors and parents shopping for schools to positive TV news coverage or online videos that feature testimonials from happy students, alumni, and current district parents.
QR codes also could boost employee communications by making it easier for personnel to connect with professional development schedules, benefit news, job postings, and other announcements.
Because creating and sharing QR codes takes little time and no money, experimenting with this technology is low-risk and sends positive messages about your ed-tech prowess.