Replace Your Textbook with QR codes

Many teachers dislike their textbooks. The textbooks may include too much or not enough about a learning goal. The textbooks may not arrange materials in the most logical fashion. The textbook may not have enough authentic up-to-the-date materials. The textbook may not provide visuals as learning tools. These books may not provide multiple approaches or differentiated learning. The textbooks may not provide assessments that assess what the district, school, team, or individual teacher deem as being the most critical. These heavy textbooks may not be convenient for the students to have with them outside of class. These print textbooks' presentation and practice of material may be boring!

School districts, schools, teams or individual teachers now have a choice. They can create their own specially designed virtual textbook, chapter by chapter or learning concept by learning concept with one page QR sheets. An advantage to a QR code textbook is that the teachers can quickly and easily change any critical material. They change the information on their website page, wiki page, etc. that is linked to the QR code and the QR code is updated automatically. In addition, each QR code can contain multiple links to allow for differentiation or choice.

The educator can use a separate QR code for each critical aspect of the learning. Students simply click on the first QR code to start their learning.

A possible format can be a separate QR code for

  • the essential question, the media situation/project, the “hook” into the lesson
  • the learning goal stated in student language such as “I can” statements. The learning goal can start with low level activities such as basic vocabulary and then work up to concepts.
  • various ways to learn the content (videos, podcasts, screencasts of a presentation, a website with written text, an app, etc.)
  • various ways to practice the initial content (an app, a website, etc.)
  • various ways to assess the learning of the content at the lower levels (quick 5-10 item online quizzes; short performance tasks, etc.)
  • various ways to give feedback to students with learning gaps through providing new strategies (links to differentiated strategies such as visual, auditory, physical response, etc.)
  • a project with a higher level thinking activity (PBL, interdisciplinary project, etc.) and its assessment (rubric, checklist, etc.)
  • if needed, a formal summative assessment at the higher thinking level.

Creating QR code chapters may sound like a formidable task. However, within one week I had my students, as an end-of-the-course activity, find three videos that they felt taught a specific learning goal well, find an online quiz that tested the concept, and find a picture that showed an application of the learning. When students evaluate material, they decide what really helps them to learn. The materials are “student- approved.” You can incorporate online materials that you presently use. If you can work with one other teacher, then you can share your resources.

Get unchained from your textbook so students can learn better. When will you start on your QR learning textbook? You might want to try a QR learning sheet for a part of a unit or for a unit to figure out what format works best for your students’ learning.

cross-posted at http://eduwithtechn.wordpress.comMy three formative assessment books, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, and Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, are available at

My modern language blogs are now at

I have developed many Spanish activities that allow students to begin to express themselves and to begin to move toward spontaneous speaking as in a natural conversation at Teacherspayteachers: