Last school year, I had begun to use QR codes in our classroom (see this post if you want to see what we did). They linked back to audio files of students explaining their work. We attached it to artwork that the students had done, so anyone entering the classroom would be able to hear the child explain their own work.
I knew I wanted to incorporate more of our students’ voice in our classroom this year, and I had the idea of using QR codes to do it! We have a bulletin board outside our classroom that we like to post our math work to so I thought that would be the best place to start posting our awesome math thinking (students also made our learning goals posters).
Side note- a QR code is like a barcode that is readable by smartphones. It can be used in many ways, but I use them to link back to something that is on the internet (in this case audio files).
It took me a while to get this board up and running smoothly. I had each child create their own name tag with loose part letters. I took a close-up picture of each name, laminated and placed it on the board. Before I was able to get everyone’s personalized poster on the board, I had a “Awesome Work Coming Soon” paper posted below their name. I slowly added each child’s picture to the board, and I came up with a way to streamline the process to make it easier for me to get new pictures on the board. Here is how I do it, it is not the only way to do it, but it’s the best way for me!
Step 1: Take a picture of your student in action, and record their explanation of their work. We do this with our math centers, but this could work for anything (art, literacy, STEM). I use my phone to take the picture and record what they are saying. This is easier for me because I can easily carry my phone around when they are working. Our students know how to treat my cell phone, and love asking me to take their picture. Use whatever technology works for you.
Step 2: I transfer the picture and audio file to my laptop. Make sure your audio file is MP3 so that it can be played back by the person who is scanning the code. My phone does not record in MP3, so I have to convert it. I use this website to turn them into the correct file type.
Step 3: Once you have your MP3 file ready to go, upload it to Google Drive. I made a folder specifically for QR codes to make it easier to find what I needed. Change the Sharing Settings so that anyone with a link can listen to your file (or else no one else will be able the access it).
Step 4: Get the shareable link to create your QR code. Right click on the file you want to link to and click “Get shareable link”. This will automatically copy it to your clipboard.
Step 5: Create your QR code (I use this website to make the code). Paste the link into the QR Code Generator and save the code that is made (make sure you name the image so that you know who’s code it is). Now you are ready to share the QR code!
Step 6: Use the QR code to make the poster for each of your students. I included a quote of what the child is saying, so that people walking by will still be able to know what is happening in the picture without scanning the code.
Step 7: Share the QR code! Ours are on the board outside of our classroom so it gets plenty of traffic. I have a QR code scanner installed on the Ipads in our room so if someone wants to listen, they will be able to. Alternatively, Snapchat is also a QR code scanner (that is what I personally use).
How do you share authentic student voice in your classroom?