What I've been reading: Deeper Learning With QR Codes and Augmented Reality: A Scannable Solution for Your Classroom

When I received this book, I was somewhat taken aback by its size. Or, to be more accurate, its LACK of size: it's thin. But it soon became apparent that this little book punches well above its weight.

It is both well-structured and comprehensive, following a framework, devised by the author, with the useful acronym of ACES. This stands for Access, Curate, Engage and Share.

There is plenty to inspire you here. QR codes are ubiquitous, but also suffer from sounding too 'techie' to be of interest to anyone except the converted. However, Burns' mantra is 'tasks before apps' -- a useful reminder to thosewho all too frequently become so excited by the technology they forget why they are using it.

I learnt quite a bit from the book, including the fact that you can create dynamic, as opposed to static, QR codes. This means that you can give people a QR code to scan, such as on a worksheet, and every so often change the link at the other end, so to speak.

Another thing I hadn't realised is that it is actually quite easy to create your own augmented reality resources.
One indication of a good book is having to keep stopping to make notes. While reading it I had loads of ideas for how I would use QR codes as a teacher, and how I could make more use of them now.

Some of the points and web links are repeated throughout the book, which I regard as an advantage: it is very tiresome to have to trawl through a book to find the one page on which a really useful idea is suggested. There is also a good appendix containing the URLs mentioned, plus a glossary, as well as mini case studies and useful tips throughout the book. As if all that was not enough, there is also a companion website featuring extra resources.

I have a small criticism. On some pages there is so much going on -- spotlights, tips and text -- that you don't know where to look first. The format of the book is too small for that kind of treatment, and it would have been better to put spotlights at the end of chapters or as box-outs in the main body of the text. But that of course is down to the designer rather than the author. As far as the content of the book is concerned, it is well-written and authoritative, and excellent value for money.


Monica Burns, Deeper Learning With QR Codes and Augmented Reality: A Scannable Solution for Your Classroom, Corwin, 2016, £13.99. Amazon affiliate link: http://amzn.to/2kUn3zP