QR research pass

Students often think that Google is the Internet.

They complete 'research' by searching for keywords then accept the first result in the list, sometimes abandoning even elementary critical judgement in the face of the all knowing web. They little understand the role of a web browser, how search engines work or the difference between a URL and a search query.

Over time most students learn how to make critical judgements about the websites they visit. They begin to realise that anyone can contribute to the web so not all content can be taken at face value. They learn to check facts by referring to several sources, adjust their keywords to narrow down a search and scan through results looking for the sites of reliable organisations.

Where critical research skills are not the prime focus, teachers provide links for students to follow. This is where QR codes prove useful.

Animated QR code image Photo: giphy.com

There is an abundance of ways to use QR codes in the classroom but usually the net effect is a student arriving at a resource without having inputted a long URL. I wanted to create a method which takes advantage of this convenience while also helping students stay aware of where the resource is located and who has created it.

With the QR Research Pass students can still quickly access resources, but they also see extra information about the site at a glance: the web host is extracted from the full url and is presented alongside a short user defined description of the hosting organisation or site owner; a padlock symbol shows whether a secure connection is used prompting students to question whether their input to the site could be intercepted; the date the site was accessed by the teacher is displayed hinting to students that the web can be fluid and that sources can be become out of date and a teacher comment guides the student and endorses the website.

Teachers can create a page of printable research passes ready to be cut up and stuck in books, or they can create a research page of several resources which cover a topic.

Click here to be taken to the QR Research Pass creator