My name is Ana Gonzalez, and I have worked at Kocurek Elementary for eight years. Each year, my students enter the classroom knowing how to use various types of technology. Students also observe my personal love of technology which only enforces the importance of it in and out of the classroom. In the 2018-2019 school year, I found it to be challenging to teach my students how to use and work with QR codes. This school year, I decided using QR codes would be a focus of mine and that I would begin my plan from day one.
Teaching my students to log in traditionally to iStation, our online reading intervention, was my first challenge. By November, they were able to login independently, so I knew that they were ready to start using QR codes. Although, I had high hopes, I will say that it was not easy. I decided to show the students as a whole group how to login with their codes. This was a big mistake. I realized this when I had more than half my class raising their hands and pulling on me to help. In the end, it took about 45 minutes to get them all logged in. The easiest part was printing the QR codes for each student!
During the following two weeks, I was able to work fluidly with the students to get logged in. Matter of fact, several students became proficient enough that I was able to look to them to help other students navigate the system and login. After about two weeks, once every student learned how to login independently using QR codes, the rest became effortless. They were thrilled to be able to quickly login and start using all their favorite computer programs. Closing out this school year, I have started giving them one day a week to choose what website they would like to work on. From Dreambox to Brainpop Jr., it’s very interesting to observe them and what they choose to spend their time learning. One student chooses to learn about different health issues that people deal with from diabetes to how kidneys work. Others choose math programs learning about and practicing different procedures. This shows that, when given the opportunity, the students will choose to learn more about a variety of interests.
I now see that my efforts (and patience) was well worth the challenge of teaching my students to login using QR codes. Looking forward to the 2019-2020 school year, I know that there are several things I can do to lessen the challenge of teaching my students to use QR codes. The biggest thing I would change would be to introduce QR codes in a small group. Starting QR instruction in a small group setting would allow me to tend to individual child’s needs. The students would benefit because I can go slower and there will not be a lot of wait time for them to get help. I learned that most of my students are proficient at using technology and sometimes even surprise me with their skill. I’m confident that introducing QR codes next year will go a lot more smoothly. I know that my students and I will find it easier to log into our programs when all we have to do is flash a code at our computers.