The activity we suggested in our previous post QR Codes prior to an art exhibition, reminded us of  another paper based activity about arts called ‘The Art Gallery’ , which could also be adapted to iPads.

Expressing Opinions

Paintings, photos of places or controversial images are placed on the classroom wall.An iPad is placed under each image, open in the Pages app. The title of each Page is the name of the painting or photo. This activity does mean that for once the iPad is stationary and students have to write on each other’s iPads. Students circulate, look at the paintings and write a comment about each one on the iPad associated with it.

Creating the QR Code

The iPad owner saves the Pages document onto a class website such as fileseverywhere.com or blog such as Posterous. Each painting commentary would be uploaded onto a different blog page (otherwise students would see all of the shared information and there would be no information gap.) They use the blog page URL to create a QR code. QR codes are sent to the teacher who creates a master document in which each QR code is coupled with its painting or image. This document can be given to students as a hard or soft copy. The benefit of QR codes is that they are very ergonomic and a lot of information can be stored within the small square box. Hence, ten photos and ten long lists of opinions can be easily stored on a single sheet of paper.

Discussing Opinions

In a later lesson, working with a soft copy document, students, in pairs, look at the paintings on paper or on one student’s iPad and use the other student’s iPad QR code reader to read different students’ comments. Learners can work individually if the document is a hard copy hand out. Students note down the follow up questions they want to ask each other about their opinions of the paintings. A mingle question and answer activity follows.

Rationale for the use of QR Codes

The pedagogic question is ‘why bother with the QR codes?’ Students could omit this stage and simply read other people’s comments as they walk around the classroom. The linguistic rationale for collating comments and pictures is that the more you work with similar language in slightly different ways, they more is becomes fluid and fluent. Would there be a valid reason to do this activity in other disciplines?