Did you know that touching the Pic Collage Copy Link in the Share Menu can generate a URL that links to the collage online for anyone to view? Even better, use the Pic Collage copy link to create a QR code that opens the image when scanned with this quick workflow. It is so simple, students can create and even print their own QR codes that link to their Pic Collage images! Learn how we use the Pic Collage copy link to QR code workflow in elementary to easily share digital Valentines created on Pic Collage!
Making a Valentine in Pic Collage
As I was prepping my digital Valentine activities for students to complete on Pic Collage, I wanted to try a new workflow for generating and getting QR codes quickly.
I have several digital Valentine resources at www.shoperintegration.com where students are creating on a template on Pic Collage then linking to the image via a QR for sharing with their recipient. Students really love these projects as they can personalize their templates with pictures, images, Emojis (and now digital drawings!).
Pic Collage prints beautifully, but since students are making multiple Valentines, we opted to link each digital image to a QR code. We glue the QR codes onto the mini iPads included in the pack and hand these out to loved ones. When the recipient scans the QR code they see the Pic Collage Valentine.
In the past, students uploaded their finished images to me then I would pop them onto a Google Sheet that would auto generate the QR codes from the share link on Google. I blogged in detail how to do that here and I still use this ALL the time.
However, in this case, students would be needing their QR code right away and would be gluing it onto a mini iPad to take home and give to their loved ones. Elementary teachers know the dangers of relying on a prep period to get done same-day tasks so I thought I would figure out a way for students to create their own QR codes and print them directly from their devices.
That’s my backstory, but this workflow will work for you if…
- Students are creating an image or images in Pic Collage.
- You want students to share Pic Collage work digitally via a QR code.
- You have access to either a printer capable of printing directly from an iPad.
- Student iPads have a QR code app that can create QR codes like the free QR Reader for the iPad or can visit a free QR generating site like QR Explorer – check that this site isn’t blocked before using.
Follow the steps below to learn how your students can easily and quickly generate and print their own QR codes that link to their Pic Collage creations!
Generate URL from Pic Collage
I’m not sure where this info has been all of my life, but thanks to being a Pic Collage Ambassador and collaborating with awesome educators all using Pic College, I learned that Pic Collage gives a URL that links to your Pic Collage images.
Touch the share button when finished your collage. (Sidenote: The images for this tutorial are from our Digital Conversation Heart project). Touch Save to Library to save a copy to the camera roll as backup.
Also in the Share menu you will see the hyperlink icon – it says Copy Link. Touching this will copy a URL that links to your Pic Collage. So easy right?!?!?!
Paste Pic Collage Copy Link URL into a QR Generator
We use the free app QR reader for the iPad. Open the app and press the down arrow to open more options. Touch the fuzzy QR icon on the bottom to open the generator.
Touch the plus to make a new QR code and select Website.
Touch and hold your finger on the Enter URL address box. Choose PASTE when it pops up to Paste the URL you copied from Pic Collage.
Touch Create and you will see your QR code!
Touch the share button in the upper right hand corner of the QR code window. This opens options you can do with the QR code. Choose Share Image.
At this stage if you don’t have access to an AirPrinter, student could upload the QR to Google and share it with you to print from a PC. BUT if you are lucky to be able to print from iPads, students can choose Print and print their QR code right from their device.
The only caveat is a bunch of identical QRs will print out so students will need to scan to see which is which. But since I want to them to scan it anyway to check that it worked, I’m ok with that.
More than one Pic Collage image?
In our case, students also created Digitial Valentines using my Digital Valentine on the iPad templates and made Valentines for family members. Some students had 2-3 Pic Collage Valentines they need QR codes for!
In this case, they entered the Pic Collage URLS they grabbed one at a time into the Bulk QR Generator. Bulk QR Generator is a website so they will have Safari open. They toggled between Pic Collage to get their URLs then pasted them into the Bulk Generator.
They just need to hit Return after each URL to put it on a separate line in the window. Remind them to check “Add Code Data to Image” or “Add Filename to Image” so their QRs are labeled. This makes it easier to know which is which later.
Touch generator to make the QR codes. Next touch the share button in the Safari window and select to Print.
It will print out the Safari page with the QR codes. You can also touch and hold each individual QR code, save to the camera roll.
From the camera roll, find your QR code and print from there.
Check and Share QR Codes
Since we will distributing the QR codes, students cut them out and glued them to the mini iPads included in my resource. Remind students to leave a border around the QR code when cutting so it can be scanned. We tested all of the QR codes too.
If you are creating a digital display or adding QR codes to an interactive anchor chart, students can glue them to a Post It or directly onto the chart with their name nearby.
I’m a huge advocate of having students do as much as possible on their own when it comes to technology in the classroom. Not only does it save me time so I can focus on assisting them with the important stuff – like content – it also helps students take ownership over their work, learn problem solving strategies, and be more independent.
While prior to this I was making all of the QRs myself (and will still do this for some things when it makes sense), having students do it is WAY faster. Plus now that they know the workflow, they can use it as needed to share their Pic Collages easily without having to upload them anywhere.
Not just for digital Valentines
While I shared this trick under the guise of making digital Valentines because initially that is how I used it, there are SO many ways to utilize the sharing URL on Pic Collage to have student generate QR codes to their work. I expect to use QR codes even more than I already do and the Pic Collage Copy Link feature will make that even easier!