Displaying student work in elementary classrooms is important to build community, foster pride for work, and anchor student learning.  However as we move to more digital projects and portfolios, sometimes we struggle to display all of the amazing work students are doing.  QR codes are the perfect way to bridge the gap between digital work and real world bulletin boards as visitors can scan on any device and see the work.

However, creating QR codes in bulk for each of your students can be a process on the majority of URL paste sites.  I’m going to share an amazing tool for create a bunch of QR codes at once – in this case to display student videos – using a workflow that involves YouTube, SafeShare (or ViewPure) to remove ads, and Google Sheets!

Using a batch QR entry on Google Sheets to make a class set of QR codes in minutes. Easily create interactive hallway displays of student videos. Or hang on a bulletin board for student access.

I am posting my various workflows for creating and using QR codes to make a hallway or bulletin board display. I’ve written about how to make batch QR codes that link to images {here}.  I use that for sharing ink-heavy image projects like {Pic Collages} the students have made.  However, sometimes students are saving their work as a video – like if we use {Tellagami} or {Shadow Puppet.}  In this case, I do things a little differently.

There are many ways to go about making QR codes from videos, but I am sharing the exact steps I follow for any digital videos saved to the camera roll.  You will need a Google Account.

Save Videos to the Camera Roll

I can’t stress enough that whatever app your students are using, the first step is to get them to save their work to the camera roll – most apps have a way to do that (usually a box with an arrow button) or students can take a screenshot.

Upload Videos to YouTube

We first upload our videos from the camera roll to our YouTube using our Class Google Account by following this free guide:

Print and display this FREE one page visual step-by-step guide for loading from the iPad camera roll to YouTube.


You can even have your students follow the one-page directions – I wrote it with students in mind.

Use a QR Generator Spreadsheet

Next download and prepare a QR code generator spreadsheet.  This sounds complicated by it is not.  First, you will need to save a copy of the below QR code spreadsheet to your Google Drive.  Make sure you are logged into your Google Account.  After clicking the picture below, scroll down to the templates Tammy provides, click on one then choose “Yes, Make a Copy.” I rename mine to match whatever project I am doing:

Be sure not to delete any of the formulas in the spread sheet.  If you do, just grab another copy.

Set up tabs for quick switching between sites

I keep the QR Code Auto Generator sheet open in one tab on my Chrome browser. In another tab, I keep open my YouTube account and then I open a third tab with SafeShareTv.  I keep these tabs open because the next steps involve jumping between all three to copy your YouTube URL, paste in SafeShareTv., copy that link, and finally paste it into the QR code spreadsheet.  I will explain that in a second.  But in the meantime get your three tabs open:

Turn YouTube URLs into Safeshare TV Links

I do the next series of steps for each video, one at a time. First I follow the steps in this {free guide}



to copy the YouTube URL and paste it into Safeshare.tv.  I then select and copy the Safeshare.tv video URL.

Paste Safeshare TV Links into QR Spreadsheet

Now that you have you link, click your tab to open the QR code Auto Generator and paste the link into an open cell in Column A.  You will see the QR code auto-generate – like magic!  In Column B be sure to write the name of the student whose work it is since you won’t be able to tell otherwise.

Screenshot 2015-04-08 at 9.19.17 AM

Repeat until a QR code has been created for each video.

Repeat steps #3-5 for each video you wish to make a QR code of.  I know you are probably thinking “No way am I doing that 24 times!”  But trust me you will get very fast at sharing, copying the URL, clicking between tabs, pasting the URL and writing the student name.  I can do a class set in about 5-7 minutes even though I was a nervous wreck the first few pastes!

The basic premise after you get your videos to YouTube is to grab the link of each video, paste it into SafeShareTv, then paste your SafeShareTv link into the QR generator.  It is a lot of cutting and paste so I recommend using the keyboard shortcuts control+c to copy and control+v to paste.

To simplify the process even more you can skip the whole SafeShareTV step and just go right from the YouTube URL to the QR code.  I prefer to run my videos through SafeShare to eliminate the ads and block any inappropriate suggested videos from popping up, but if you are only sharing with parents, it may not be necessary.

Print QR Sheet

When ready to print, click the bottom of the QR Generator Sheet to read the print instructions:

Cut and Display QR Codes

Next, cut out each of your QR codes and attach to some sort of display.  I do one at a time so I do not loose track of whose QR is whose.

Now that you make and display QR codes so easily you will have more incentive for displaying and sharing student digital work on bulletin boards and in the hallways.  Yes, digital portfolios are awesome and we use those top, but I think it is important – especially in an elementary school – to have student work hanging for other students, teachers, and visitors to see.  Plus students absolutely love how interactive the display is – send them out with an iPad and they can watch each others videos!

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