Digital Learning Day at the Worcester Academy Library

Digital Learning Day was February 6. How did your school raise awareness for digital learning?

Worcester Academy’s library chose to showcase QR codes. We commissioned a display project from art students. We were thrilled to discover the QR code they created actually scans!

QR Code ProjectLibrary staff researched media such as e-books, podcasts, videos, and websites that connected to library books and other materials.

Materials DisplayThen we created QR codes and affixed them to the books and materials. in the picture above, you can see Neil Gaiman’s novel Anansi Boys. The QR code attached is linked to a YouTube video cartoon version of one of the many Anansi folktales. The other book, 1812: The War that Forged a Nation by Walter Borneman is linked to an episode of the In Our Time Podcast that discussed that war.

DisplayThe display was wide-ranging and included links to library resources, Black History Month resources, and resources related to the curriculum.

2013-02-13 08.47.41Books connected to a major World Civilizations project that ninth graders complete at Worcester Academy had QR codes that linked to e-book versions that students could access from home.
Novels and Other MediaFiction and other media were not slighted, either. A new box set, The Long Road to Freedom: An Anthology of Black Music has a QR code that links to Black History Month resources, and Rachel Cohn’s novel Beta links to the Human Genome Project’s Cloning Fact Sheet.

2013-02-13 08.48.01We also displayed some titles from our Professional Development Collection.

You may have noticed the iPads as well. The library owns a set of iPad 2’s and 3’s loaded with a QR code reader called Qrafter. Students and teachers can scan the QR codes using their own devices, or they can use one of the iPads and send the link to themselves from the iPad.

QR Code SuggestionsWe set these slips of paper out among the displays for students and faculty to suggest QR codes for books and other media. Two of our sixth graders have already shared QR codes. One student shared a book review of the children’s novel Tuck Everlasting and another student shared a Britannica blog post connecting gladiators in ancient Rome toThe Hunger Games.

QR codes have enormous potential to extend learning in libraries and information services far beyond the four walls of the libraries themselves.

3 thoughts on “Digital Learning Day at the Worcester Academy Library”

  1. I am fairly new to integrating technology into schools. I must say that I'm amazed by this use of QR codes in the library! I can see how the QR codes make the books more interactive for the students, and therefore make reading more fun. I am all for anything that gets people interested in reading! I also like how the students have gotten involved with suggesting content for the codes. I would be interested to know how the websites used were evaluated and chosen, and any further information you could give about how I could implement this in my English classroom, and/or my school's library.

    1. Hi Leslie. We looked at the websites suggested, but honestly, there was not a great deal of evaluation on our parts because the kids did a good job picking websites. There are many reasons for that—we have a school culture that has high expectations of our students, and they generally rise to meet those expectations. I think they knew that the websites needed to offer quality material.

      As to how to implement it in your classroom or library, one way you can try is a scavenger hunt. The possibilities are endless. All you really need are devices that can read QR codes, and you are all set. One project a former colleague used to do was to have students create artwork that illuminated a piece of writing they did. The students' writing was shared in a Google Doc, and next to the art display, there was a QR code that led to the Google Doc writing piece. Our art teacher had students video each other discussing their art and their thinking processes, uploaded the videos to YouTube, and placed QR codes next to the artwork in the hallways so that when parents came for the art show, the exhibits were interactive.

  2. Dana,

    Thank you so much for your response. I think the project you mentioned would be excellent! Like I said before, I love anything that gets my students excited to read, and interaction between the students and the school subjects is a great way to do that. I teach at a high school, where it is often hard to get students excited about anything. I think I will try to implement your ideas here!

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