This post was written with Showbie Thought Leader, Caryn Trautz

QR code scavenger hunts occur about once a month in my class. My students are all very engaged when solving the problems they “find” and I love watching them search for the next problem to solve. When I first started doing QR code scavenger hunts I had my students solve the problems on paper, which got turned in for me to grade. This part of the activity was painful. I found myself taking stacks of paper home to grade and then wasting time the next day in class handing out pieces of paper from each QR code station. I needed a better workflow solution and it needed to be paperless.

Solution: Email 

When I first moved away from paper, we used iPads and email. But again, workflow was a bit of an issue. Students would open the PDFs in an annotation app such as Annotate+ PDF. From there, they would email me. Every. Single. Problem. Separately. Either my inbox would be stuffed with student emails, or the email system would somehow get hung up and I wouldn’t receive any of the emails for several days. What a headache!

Solution: Showbie 

Today’s scavenger hunt was entirely paperless (well, I did print out the penguins (found here) and QR codes to hang up around the room, but that was it!) and it was entirely email free!

Now students scan the QR code and choose “Open in”  “Showbie”. They can then annotate right there in the Showbie app. When they tap “Done”, it goes into their QR Code Scavenger Hunt folder on Showbie. I can review the work later and grade the files in their folder using Showbie’s digital pen tool. I can also leave a quick audio or text comment. The student files are instantly updated with my feedback which they can check out when they next login to Showbie.


Besides making me a happy teacher, Showbie is hopefully making some trees happy too!

Editor’s note: a version of this case study first appeared on this blog: Tech Adventures in a Middle School Math Class

Justin is a teacher & edtech evangelist from Melbourne, Australia. He moved to California to join Imagine K12 as a startup founder & currently writes for Showbie.

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