QR Codes in PE

There has been an increasing amount of strange black and white codes showing up all over the place. Restaurants, shops, cinemas, magazines and even on the side of buildings! What are they? They are QR Codes, with the QR standing for Quick Response. Basically, they are barcodes that you can read by downloading a simple free app on your handheld device like your smartphone to be able to scan the code, which will take you to a website.

What does this mean for teachers?

There are lots of ways of using QR codes in teaching PE and they can be a fantastic tool to increase student learning and engagement.

One way QR codes can be applied to Physical Education is the creation QR Skills Posters to help students understand and master a variety of sports skills. The idea is that a student can scan the QR code if they are having difficulty understanding a skill. This can take the student to a video of a teacher or specialist coach explaining the problem.

The following example by @Joeyfeith from www.thephysicaleducator.com effectively combines text, pictures and video into a one stop package for skill development.  (See example below). Simply Print them out, laminate and display them in your Gymnasium for a great self-paced individualised instructional activity.

QR Skills Card

I think QR codes are fantastic and that there are loads of different ways of using them in PE. For example you could use them in Orienteering. The scanning of the QR code could reveal the directions students need to take to get to the first marker and next QR code. They could also be used when using fitness equipment. This can help make it easier for students to know how to properly use fitness equipment by adding a QR code to each machine. Each code can also show how many sets/reps you should be doing based on your training goals.

How to create your own QR Code Project

  1. Set up your devices. Download a free QR Reader App to your handheld devices.
  2. Download a free QR code generator App – although many of the QR Code reader Apps have QR Code Generator features too. I recommend using https://www.qrstuff.com/
  3. Always have a back-up plan. As exciting as it is to start using QR codes in your lessons, remember that Networks slow down and some content is not available on all devices.

From my experiences QR codes whilst initially quite daunting are a simple and effective tool to promote independent learning and allows learners to progress quickly at the own pace. They also provide the added bonus that students love using them and quickly become engaged in the learning process.

This post was contributed by Ali Lund, Head of KS5, Second in PE, Devizes School (Twitter: @Lundy10).

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  1. I like this a lot as there are unlimited possiblities for students to enhance their learning.
    Just a couple of questions and comments.
    For students who do not own a smart phone they could buddy up or make this a group activity.
    If I was to make my own video – does any video player work such as a flip cam?
    I am going to tie this into my dance and parkour units. I look for suggestions and build with Ali Lund.