Quick Response Codes

Differentiating with QR Codes


 Quick response codes can be an effective learning center in your classroom.

With the simple installation of a QR code scanner and an online code creator such as the QR Code Generator, students can participate in independent centers that include differentiated practice with an engaging technology component.

Here is how we can differentiate using QR codes:

  •  Create codes that scan to different activities relating to the same skill. If your class is reading the same story focusing on a specific literary skill, codes can be scanned that bring students to different levels of practice activities. Qr codes can be color coded to identify skill leveled groups.
  • Attach directions to a QR code. This is ideal for your independent practice centers. Diminish the need to reexplain by attaching a brief video or sound clip with directions. Students can replay as needed.
  • Allow students to scan QR codes for video explanantions. Students can benefit from varied explanations by offering several videos on the same concept. Pacing becomes individualized when students can play and replay the video as needed.
  • Thematic units are an ideal setting to utilize QR codes. Try sending students to different websites relating to the theme.  Higher level students can work with more advanced websites and questions while others may benefit from online content with more basic terms and activities.

Consider including a QR code center in your weekly center rotation as a simple differentiation technique. Differentiating with QR Codes can send students to virtual destinations where learning is tailored to their individual needs.


The QR Code Challenge

It was any old Friday in a seventh grade math class, but something was different.


As the students entered, bewilderment quickly turned to intrigue by the QR codes that were posted around the room. Interest was sparked as a buzz ensued about a possible change in routine.

The lesson was a simple incorporation of Quick Response codes into the curriculum. With the use of a QR code reader and printed codes, students were instructed to simply scan the codes to retrieve a variety of word problems. Differentiation was effortless as problems varied in level and difficulty.

How could something so simple create engagement?

Scanning codes appealed to the kinesthetic learner. Kids were up and moving, the thoughts were flowing, and the stagnancy of constant direct instruction diminished.

Students were placed into collaborative groups to maneuver through the QR challenge.  Discussing methods, drawing out problems, and “Googling” math rules, were all evident. It was collaborative problem solving at its best.


Students were engaged. They demonstrated a level of focus and intensity that created a productive classroom environment.

As students filed out of the classroom, we were met with statements such as,  “that was fun”, or “I liked scanning  codes”. To any educator, these statements are pure gold.

For ideas on how to incorporate QR codes into your classroom: QR Codes: Scanning to Learn