Cool Schools: Using QR Codes For Learning and Fitness At Chesterbrook Elementary

6:22 PM, Apr 26, 2012   |    comments
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MCLEAN, Va. (WUSA) -- The students at Chesterbrook Elementary will be able to teach you a thing or two about the iPhone and the iPad. They are actually using them to stay in shape!

Their teachers created an exercise trail at the McLean, Va. school with Quick Response Codes (QR codes). 

"It's a thing that you can scan that can take you to a website or a video or pictures or something," explained sixth grader Zeeshan Khaliq.

Students scan QR codes with a smart phone or iPad and up pops an instructional video for each station. 

Physical education teacher Jay Levesque is the star. "I like it because Mr. Levesque is funny in most of them, and when pops out of the tree is the best one," said Zeeshan Khaliq.

It's also pretty effective. Levesque told us, "I can sit right here in the middle and kind of oversee everything and I know the kids are getting instruction there, there, there, there and's like I morphed myself into six people."

Students are so good they can teach it now. Student Jack Paris told us that you have to do a push-up until you make a complete circle, which is 7 push-ups total. 

"Is [7]  the hardest one out of all of them would you say?" I asked.

Jack replied, "Probably so."

It doesn't end there. Those QR codes are popping up everywhere at the school.

Principal Bob Fuqua shared, "I see children, small children up to our 5th and 6th graders, using them in reports. Teachers are no using them to review material."

Projects on a hallway  bulletin board are not only seen, now they can also be heard! Technology teacher Kurt Kohls brought the idea of the codes to the classroom two years ago and he says his fellow educators keep creating new ways to use them.

Kohls said, "They can scan them to get math videos, we have a microscope mystery, where scanning the code will give you an extra clue as to what's under the microscope."

What started as exercise for the body, now stretches the minds for both teachers and students. Pretty cool.

Photographer Kevin King and I learned a lot on this Cool Schools. If you'd like to teach us something cool, send an email to We may head to your school next week.

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