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Reaching Out To The Busy Parent: QR Code Usage

Updated on August 26, 2012
QR Codes are useful tools in keeping busy parents in the loop at school.
QR Codes are useful tools in keeping busy parents in the loop at school. | Source

Today's parent is faced with multiple responsibilities at work and raising children is a top priority which needs to balance out with work, social life and personal needs. As parents, our children's needs come first and our desire is to keep abreast of what is happening in their lives and engaged in as many school and social activities as possible.

In the past, schools posted news and parent information on bulletin boards, sent notes home with children (which sometimes were lost in transit home), and printed newsletters to keep parents informed and involved. Some school still use these methods and they work well. The parent with a full agenda is the gap many schools try to fill, knowing that if they can be reached it will benefit child, parent and school. With the technology we have today it is quite possible to reach all parents, especially the busy ones, better, quicker and still keep within the school budget.

Schools can effectively use a QR code to draw attention to important information by using creative means of distribution. The Quick Response Code (QR Code) is a 2D barcode with square-like mazes or pictures that contain a URL to a web address, phone number or even a text message. They are read using a smartphone app which immediately leads to the specified content.

Let's look at a traditional way of reaching parents and update the method using QR code technology.

Activity events using paper forms can be enhanced through QR Codes.
Activity events using paper forms can be enhanced through QR Codes. | Source
Smartphones can easily read a QR Code and direct users to a website in seconds.
Smartphones can easily read a QR Code and direct users to a website in seconds. | Source

Family Literacy Month: BINGO Event

The adjacent picture displays a BINGO sheet handed out to parents listing activities to complete for a prize. The sheet is a bit fuzzy but some of the activities included:

  • Attend Family Day
  • Complete A Homework Sheet From Your Child's Teacher
  • Visit the Public Library
  • FREE SPACE
  • Read 5 Books With Your Child and Send in Form
  • Work As A Parent Volunteer
  • Read To Your Child's Class

Using the paper version, parents simply cross out the activity as it is completed. Activities that involve a visit, such as the library, need evidence such as a receipt of library books listing the date of visit. Activities attended at the school are initialed by a teacher or stamped by the administration. The "Complete A Homework Sheet From Your Child's Teacher" requires the parents to obtain the form from the teacher.

As you can imagine, using the paper method works well with some event activities but in others parents have to either check the child's book bag, ask the teacher or the administration for forms. Here is where using a QR Code can help save time for the busy parent and keep them engaged in the school event. The QR Code can be displayed on posters hung in the classroom and around the school where they are highly visible. Parents are directed to the website after scanning the code, the landing page displays the event upon which visitors can click and be sent to the webpage holding event information and all the forms (BINGO form, Homework Sheet, Volunteer Sign-up, etc.).

There is so much more a school can do using a QR code. For example, posting a QR code in the school lobby where parents can easily scan it not only gives them quick updates but says "we value your time". Your parents will appreciate your efforts.

VOTE ON QR Code School Usage

Would scanning a QR Code to obtain school information be useful to you?

See results

QR Code Logistics

QR Codes cost a minimal of $25 per design. Prices vary with size, customization and content contained in the URL. Besides Website address, codes can contain direction to pictures, videos, text messages, and links to social networks. They can also be used as "check-in" on location providing a low-key method of advertising.

The bigger code designs work better in versions 1 or 2. Designs with fine dot image preventsome smartphones from reading the code accurately. Also, lighting has an effect on the code so it is recommended that a low gloss paper be used when posting the code on your flyer's, envelopes and forms. Printing companies are eager to promote this new technique and will sometimes run discounts so it is worth it to call ahead and check for savings.

If you want your parents to remember your QR code or just want to call attention to it in advertising, you can customize your maze design using familiar symbols or logos and include pictures. (See the photo below for an example.)

The QR Code is still fairly new and only accessible through newer technology such as the smartphone. It has its drawback indeed but for those who are wanting to stay ahead of the game, it is worth the consideration.

Customizing your QR Code will make it stand out and memorable.
Customizing your QR Code will make it stand out and memorable. | Source

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    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Wordnut, I do see more of this technology being used but not so much in schools to date. I believe using it would save busy parents lots of time and keep them connected. Thanks for your visit and enjoy your weekend.

    • wordnut profile image

      Mister Word 3 years ago from Californiaaah

      Hats off for the creative use of QR codes. I see a lot of applications of QR codes in my job, but this is a new one for me!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I see QR codes increasing on packaging but it slowly being adapted in schools as potential outreach to parents. Thanks for your vote and support, Skarlet. Enjoy your day, my dear friend.

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      I just noticed this hub. I absolutely love it. QR codes are a great way to advertise! Voted up!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I think it is going to take some time for the QR codes to catch on. It does take the smartphone or Ipad to capture these images, not everyone has it yet. Formosangirl, thanks for the feedback, supportive vote and your visit. Always glad to see you!

    • formosangirl profile image

      formosangirl 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Teaches12345, I use QR for work sometimes, but for some reason, I have not found an interest in downloading any apps for personal use. The Bingo idea is a great idea for a teacher to use to engage parent involvement. Great idea! Voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hi Debbie! QR codes are a new tech tool that allow us to quickly access information, which is so helpful to busy parents. Granted, they must have the technology to do this but so many people are upgrading to iphones for this purpose. It would be helpful to access QR codes with other tools and perhaps it is up and coming. I appreciate your read through and your supportive comments. Have a great day!

    • debbie roberts profile image

      Debbie Roberts 5 years ago from Greece

      Hi, the idea of using a code to keep parents abreast of things when it comes to school stuff, is a good idea. It definitely needs to be made easily available for people who don't have smart phones though, I'm sure they are working on this as I write!

      An interesting hub that can make a parents life easier!!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Sky9106, I appreciate your stopping in to read through the hub. You are so kind in your comment and I thank you for the words of encouragement. Be blessed today!

    • Sky9106 profile image

      Sky9106 5 years ago from A beautiful place on earth.

      I can only say that you are one with great intention. and having the interest of others at hand, speaks volumes of your character. So keep up the great work .

      My the Most High God, be your forever guide. "GREAT WORK"

      Bless.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Dr. Ope, I know you will get there because you are a person who researches new trends and uses them well. Thanks for the visit and support. Keep smiling!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Debby, you are a good morning wakeup for me today! Thanks for the comments and positive feedback. This technology will most likely become popular through the year and beyond and much easier to access. Be blessed today.

    • Dr.Ope profile image

      Olive Ellis 5 years ago

      Interesting points. I must admit I am not so versed in technology - but getting there, thanks to hubs like yours. Keep sharing information. All the best

    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 5 years ago

      Dear Teaches ~ You definitely are thoroughly modern Milly and a leader in using technology in the classroom and school. I'm sure you could teach everyone a thing or two -- well, well, that's where you get your Hub Name!

      You have also given many fine points about how to prepare the QR Code for best visibility, accuracy and usage. I'm sure many more activities and functions will get started due to the innovation of this device. Blessings, Debby

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Yes, many of us still prefer receiving emails and newsletters via computer. I love being able to read through messages quickly using this tool. However, new technology is a good option for those who can download information on iphones to read at their convenience. Thank you for visiting and the support. Have a great day!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I love technology and this sounds great. Personally I would rather get an email newsletter that I could print as necessary. My son's principal sends a weekly newsletter by email. But they might like t his idea also. Thanks for "teaching" me something today.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I think it will take awhile for technology to become a common method of communication. For those who have the means and enjoy the challenge, it is a good option. Thanks for your support!

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 5 years ago

      Use technology as much as you can to connect. Great idea.. we here still use the printed paper and tons of it.. I will send a link to my son's school principal.. and I'll wait to see his reaction. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful day.God Bless.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thanks, cookingrecipes. I appreciate your stopping in and commenting.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      AliciaC, your comment and visit is much appreciated and glad you found it interesting. Take care.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thanks for the vote, Sturgeoni. Yes the usage of QR codes is growing and can be useful in marketing school programs, leading to the website, posting newsletters and so on. Our church uses one on the bulletin to direct people to download forms. It is quite a novel feature worth considering.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thanks for stopping in The Frog Prince. Even though your kids are grown, you still have valuable input on parenting.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Kids are always on top of technology that is true. However, the parents with kids are becoming tech savvy with the growing number of smartphones and ipads in use. It will be interesting to see how this technology spreads through the next year. Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Yes, we are not used to seeing QR Codes outside of retailers but they are popping up in magazines, business cards and church bulletins. It is a suttle way to lead people to your site. Thanks for the read and the vote.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the very interesting information, teaches12345. I don't have a smart phone and don't know much about QR codes, so I appreciate learning about them in your hub.

    • Sturgeonl profile image

      Sturgeonl 5 years ago

      I think QR codes are another way to help develop parent/school communication. I think with time the benefits of this technology will really take off. Thank you for informing me on a topic I did not know very much about. Very informative and innovative hub! Voted up and useful!

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

      I had to vote no again because I have no children in school anymore. The idea may work though since technology seems to have too much attention being paid to it.

      The Frog

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Now that's an idea, teaches, using a QR code to reach parents. Assuming they are smart enough to recognize it. The kids, yes. The parents, only the shadow know. :)

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I know that QR codes are popular with retailers and manufacturers, but this is an interesting suggestion to use it for schools. Given your suggestions, any organizations can find this modern wonder useful. Voting this Up and Interesting.