QR Code Kids: The Next Generation of Digital Education

QR Kids: The Next Generation

Older Millennials who rode the cusp of the digital world may remember the sound of rotary phones dialing, playing with their parents’ 8-tracks, and getting up to change one of the four channels on a black and white TV set. You know that your older sister’s phonograph used to be called a “hi-fi.” Your kids only know wi-fi. They won’t have a clue—not unless you share that history with them. Younger Millennials won’t even know what you know. All they know is that a “Mac” is a computer with great graphics capability and that it’s a messy sandwich they get with fries. PC is Microsoft territory and stands for politically correct. Cursive writing and CDs will be passé and “friending” someone who’s a friend of a friend with the full intent of never meeting them, the norm.

Not Your Sit-Behind-the-Desk-Waiting-to-be-Called-on Classroom

Reading, writing and arithmetic, rote memorization and taking a backpack full of books home to study rarely fit into the educational framework. (Really impress your buddies and replace “framework” with “gestell.”) Teachers are using SMART boards, iPads and relying on literacy blocks and group work for holistic learning. Sitting behind a desk, raising your hand and waiting to be called on is not 21st century progressive. QR Kids come to school, sign in with smart technology and get in their groups for the projects of the day. Many educators are using QR codes to create an added dimension of learning and fun for students who are used to the immediate gratification of the digital world. This is not saying that every elementary school child has access to smart technology. They don’t need to be. Schools everywhere are jumping on the digital bandwagon and getting interactive.

Marketers target Millennial children because augmented reality, the layering of the virtual world over the real world, is rapidly becoming their world. QR codes bridge that great divide between paper and digital. Scan and click, get your reward. Educators use QR codes to motivate students to find extra information or videos on a subject that they are studying. Engaging teams in scavenger and treasure hunts around school property for extra credit points or extra recess is popular. Finding author biographies for Accelerated Reader books, science research and checking out lunch menus keep students focused and connected with the past, present and future. Marketing teams love that students acclimate early to new technology that they can use to promote merchandise to them—and have the students share that information with their parents who control the purse strings.