This article describes how flight instructors (CFIIs or CFIs) can use QR (Quick Response) Codes to enhance instructional lessons with their students. QR codes, like their ubiquitous barcode counterparts, operate on similar scanning principles. However, instead of consumers receiving a price for an item–say during checkout at a retail store or market–QR codes direct smart-phone-equipped users to websites where they can access video clips, audio excerpts, animations, graphics, or textual material.
For instance, a QR Code could direct the user to the SAFE mobile website where he or she would find abundant aviation resources, publications, and information about SAFE.
Application to Instructional Lessons
Suppose that as a flight instructor you were preparing to teach a lesson on Risk Management–one of the key elements in single-pilot resource management. Further, suppose that you developed a multi-page Powerpoint textual presentation and handout that underscored key points about the subject (e.g., using a personal minimums checklist or the PAVE process.), but you wanted to provide a “visual” to your student to reinforce the concept. After “embedding” a select QR code in your PowerPoint handout, your student would have at his or her fingertips, a SAFE video, an FAA publication, a YouTube movie, or any other resource of your choosing. An explicit example will unfold in the steps below.
How to Generate a QR Code
1. Go to your favorite search engine (e.g., Google, Bing, etc.) and type the search term you seek using expanding or limiting symbols and methods. For instance, continuing our Risk Management example from above, you might use the search term, Risk Management, in your search browser. However, to use this term alone might yield millions of potential sites to explore; too many sites to be practical. If you limit your search by typing “Risk Management” +FAA +aviation -marine -cars, your search might yield approximately 200 sites to explore. The quotation marks, plus signs, and minus signs delimit the search automatically.
2. Scan the most promising sources from the web search, noting the publication date, the author(s) of the article, its authenticity, and other relevant information. Also, note that some of the results from your search might be video sources (e.g., YouTube videos), PDF files, or excerpts from reading material, such as books and magazines. Also note that a textual source describing Risk Management that is dated 2015 maybe more relevant than a source dated 1989. A video from SAFE’s members-only portal, or its public portal, is likely to more informative than a video that comes from Tom, Dick, and Harry’s Flight School and Beauty Salon.
3. After reviewing the search engine results, click on one of the entries that appears promising.
4. Scan/Read the entry to see if it meets the criteria you require for your lesson. If it does not, close the entry and go to the next browser selection in the list. However, if you do like an entry and want to use it for your lesson, “copy” the web address from the “toolbar” at the top of your page.
5. Now that you have identified and copied a website, return to your “toolbar” and type the name of a QR generator website. I use, and recommend, QRstuff.com.
6. Once on this site, click the HOME tab (if not already preselected), located at the upper left corner below the QR Stuff.com header. Next, follow the 3 substeps below.
6.1. Under DATA TYPE (Step 1), check that the website URL is selected (default setting). If your search produced a YouTube or other video clip, click the second button in the sequence, labeled YouTube video. (Note: You’ll then be given a choice to “paste” the video URL in the box provided).
6.2. Whether text or video, “paste” the URL address in the box provided.
6.3. Click on “Download QR Code button” that is found on the far right side of the page below the sample QR icon. Once you click on this button, the system software will immediately generate a QR Code.
Once the code is generated–and it only takes a second to do so–choose “Select All” from your main “edit” pull-down menu and copy that code. Open a blank Word document, and “Paste” your newly generated code to the page.
7. Go to “Save As” and save the document using a reference term of your choice (e.g., Risk Management QR code video or IFR Risk Management QR code video). I recommend saving the document in a format that will allow you to ultimately “paste” include saving the code as a .doc, .pdf, or perhaps converting it to a .jpeg format.
That’s it! With QR Code technology, you’ll be well on your way to enhancing your instructional lessons by embedding compelling video clips, audio excerpts, interesting animations, or authoritative graphics directly into the lesson. Of course, follow appropriate copyright restrictions. In the end, your students will be well served because they’ll now have an enhanced method for extending the content of your lessons with video, audio, animated, or graphic enhancements.