I’ve written a number of posts about QR codes over the years such as this one and this one, including ideas for their use in education. You’d think given their age, they might be a bit old hat now, but they’re still super useful as reference points in lots of different ways.
During the pandemic, where we truly learned the importance of keeping our distance, QR codes really come into their own again as useful tools for quickly sharing and accessing information.
From menus to COVID passports, QR codes are here to stay for the foreseeable future, so in this post I’ll share with you four of the best apps and tools you can use to generate QR codes for use in the classroom with your students.
A word of warning…
Before we dig into some free QR Code Generators, be mindful of tools such as “QR Code Generator” or “QR Tiger” which you may find if you search for QR Code Generators yourself. These tools are not free and do require you to set up an account. QR Code Generator will also, once you’ve signed up for your ‘free’ account, only give you 14 days of access, plus a limited number of scans on your QR code.
Moving on to some free-to-use tools now though…
QR Code Monkey
Completely free (although ironically, while it generates your QR code, it displays an ad for the aforementioned ‘QR Code Generator’ tool, QR Code Monkey is simple to use and has multitudes of applications for use in the classroom and more.
With the ability to create QR codes to point to URLs (great for links to surveys in Google Forms, resources and more), text (great for keyword definitions) VCards, social media codes and more.
Here’s a fun one I made earlier. Why not scan it and see what it does?
The QR Code Generator
Not to be confused with ‘QR Code Generator’ mentioned at the top of this post, ‘The QR Code Generator” with its simple interface, gives you a bunch of different QR code generation options for different types of content, from websites to PDFs and more. You can also create both dynamic and static QR codes with this one.
The website goqr.me really is one of the simples sites I’ve come across to use to create QR codes. What I particularly enjoyed about this site was the information below the actual generator which explains in some detail what QR codes are, how they work, how they’re generated and much more. Their options are relatively limited but if you want a quick, easy-to-create QR code for text, URLs, cards or eve just your WiFi, GoQR is a great little site to add to your arsenal of tools.
Now you might read this and think, OMG, not another Adobe Express post from me, BUT… whilst I had seen the wide variety of quick tools available on Adobe Creative Cloud Express, I hadn’t noticed that there was a built-in QR Code Generator. There is though and you can access it here.
One thing you may not know about this tool, however, is that you do not need to be an Adobe Creative Cloud Express subscriber in order to generate simple QR codes with this tool.
Simply visit the link here, pop in the URL you wish to point the QR code to, style it how you want, choose the file type, from PNG, JPEG and SVG and away you go. Job done. Of all of the QR code tools shared in this post, this has the least options available, but if it’s a quick QR code to a web URL that you want, this would be a great tool to choose.
Now, this isn’t exactly a QR Code Generator tool in its own right, so I’ve added it to the end to share the option but yes(!), that’s right, Google Chrome now includes a built-in QR code generator which will save you lots of time. To create one, simply navigate to the site you wish to create a QR code to point to, go to the share icon on the right-hand side of your address bar and choose ‘QR Code’ from the list:
It’s also a nifty little way of sharing content to your favourite sharing platforms too, such as Twitter or LinkedIn so you can share your latest great blog post read to your PLN.
Once selected, the subsequent image appears on the screen which makes it easy for your class to scan from your display or you can simply download the QR code to your device to share however you wish to share it.
I hope you found this little post useful. I hope that your biggest takeaway is a great, free-to-use QR Code Generator, but if I had a hope, another of the takeaways would be for you to be mindful of which tools you choose to look at and explore. If I’ve been reminded of one thing in my research to create and write this post, it’s how many tools that are out there that share that they’re ‘free’ but clearly really aren’t. Be careful and mindful of what tools offer, what data they might be processing and how you subsequently choose to use them in the classroom. As with all tools you choose to use in education too, check with your IT support team that they are ok to use and whether or not their use should be checked with a DPIA (Data Protection Impact Assessment) before you use them.
Have a great weekend (and summer break if it’s about to start!)
Over and out.