Tuesday, April 1, 2014

QR Codes and Special Education

QR (quick response) codes are fast becoming a tool that special education departments are accessing to differentiate teaching in the School District of Janesville.  A QR code is a 2D bar code that anyone can create.  QR codes are accessed through the camera on your Smartphone or IPad.  Once the code is scanned, access to media is immediate. QR codes are simple to create and used for students with limited motor, verbal, or cognitive skills.  It allows students to access data in a quick and independent manner.  Students can access YouTube videos, information from a Dropbox, a link to a website, plain text, or directions in an audio format (the ideas and places are limitless.)  QR codes also promote an improved school-to-home link for sharing information with parents. 

Some of the multiple ways QR codes are being implemented in our district, for students with special education needs, are:  scanning and seeing a visual schedule; watching video modeling of a task they will be performing; accessing a YouTube video for a sensory break; providing a purposeful way to participate in a classroom activity (please see picture on lower right) and participating in literacy activities.
QR codes also provide a unique method of sending information home with non-verbal students.  The 

QR codes provide an opportunity for the parent(s) to experience a part of their child’s day. An example would be a video of a student achieving a skill in therapy.  A video has the ability to provide more information to the parent than writing a few sentences in a notebook.

The students who have access to the use of QR codes are reported to have increased active independent participation, a greater percentage of on task behavior, and are better able to self-regulate their sensory system.

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