QR Safari


An activity designed to enable two groups to work together to explore an environment.

Suitable for

All ages who can read and write simple questions.

What you need

Mobile devices for scanning codes, each with a QR reader installed (eg. Scan).

A printer. Squares of card in two colours for mounting codes.

‘Treasure’ for both winning groups to find and share.

Internet access for creating the trails. No internet access is needed for carrying out the trail.

What you do

Explain to the groups that you are going to create treasure hunts for each other and that the idea is to do some finding out and exploring about the new place.

Their first job is to explore the environment as a group. What can they discover by looking, by talking to people or by researching online? What would make an interesting focus for the treasure trail?  Encourage them to choose a focus and to be creative in their ideas. The first word of the answers might solve an acrostic puzzle, for example. They can use the notebook on their device to draft questions.

The next step is to visit an online QR Treasure Hunt Generator: http://www.classtools.net/QR . This has a click-through guide to creating a quiz. Questions and answers need to be separated by *.  The questions are turned into printable QR codes and the answers are available for reference.

Once they have their printed codes groups stick them to the coloured card and make their trail around the environment. Groups then swap and follow the trails, decoding the questions as they go.

Learning Benefits

Participants gain experience of team working and of exploring an environment. They create and follow instructions.

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 15.31.10 Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 21.53.29

Taking it Further

Experiment with other code types such as websites, uploaded images, YouTube videos or audio files uploaded to Audioboo or Croak.it.

EarthCaching for visual treasures


An Earthcache is a visual treasure, a sight to behold, a treat for the eyes. You navigate to an earthcache using GPS coordinates. On arrival you will be presented with a visual phenomenon. This is usually a natural phenomenon but it can include man made beauties such as murals, buildings or structures. Once you find the earthcache you will be able to download supporting information and fascinating facts (via Aurasma, QR codes, weblinks or a good old fashioned notice board).

Suitable for

All ages who can follow simple instructions or directions on a mobile device.

What you need

IPad or iPhone with GPS and the Geocaching United Kingdom app installed (or similar), or a Garmin GPS device.

What you do

Decide what your natural or manmade cache will be. It could be a local beauty spot, an interesting building, or an unusual perspective, for example.

Measure your GPS coordinates using your mobile device with GPS capability.

Design the description and fascinating facts that will be available to upload or appear at your Earthcache. It should be factually correct and inform the reader accurately about the history, process, or meaning behind the cache. Consider using a QR code to link to a website, a blogpost or a spoken description created using Audioboo or Croak.it.

Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 12.46.10


Select image to read about Balmullo’s QR Safari

National curriculum links

Computing- are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

Physical Education KS2- take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team

Geography- understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world. Communicate geographical information in a variety of ways.

Art and Design- produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording them.

English- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

Learning Benefits

Learners will be given opportunities to appreciate the hidden treasures all around them and invite others to do the same. Recognising and understanding geographical formations or appreciating perspective and are fundamental to the learning here. Children will benefit in collaborating to produce their earth cache and develop their speaking and writing skills in developing the virtual description to accompany to their earthcache.

Taking it further.

  • You might design a virtual visitor trail around your school or grounds.
  • Alternatively you could record the GPS coordinated whilst on a school visit and on return to school design the information that visitors or explorers might need to know.
  • If it is a structure or sculpture your earthcache might link to consider creating a series of before, during and after pictures visualising the creative process.
  • Why not create your own virtual zoo, world tour, tree trail, or ghost walk?
  • Find out more on GeoSociety’s Earthcaching website.

Here’s an example of a sculpture trail around the University of Northampton grounds created using the iPad app Haiku Deck:

Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 12.33.14









Digital Scavenger Hunt


Designing a scavenger hunt for a team to collect images around an environment.

This activity is based on an original idea from Ed Tech Workshop.

Suitable for

All ages who can read and write simple questions and use an iPad camera.

What you need

What you do

Explain to the groups that you are going to create scavenger hunts for each other and that the idea is to do some finding out and exploring. The first job is to explore the environment and think about what items to include in the scavenger hunt.  Encourage groups to choose a theme and to be creative in their ideas. They are going to use iPads to collect photos of things they find and then arrange them according to themes such as colours, natural objects, shapes or signs.

The next step is to plan a hunt list for another group.  For example ‘Can you find…something green, something smooth, interesting, red, old, circular, alive etc’.  They create a template in Pic Collage. Groups then swap scavenger hunts and aim to add photos of the objects they find.

They import these into PicCollage and arrange and annotate on the page. There are options to add borders, to clip elements from photos, to edit photos for effects, brightness, sharpness and colours, and to annotate by drawing over photos.  Text, stickers and backgrounds can be added to the page.

 Learning Benefits

Participants gain experience of group working and of documenting their exploration of a place. They practise photo manipulation skills and think about page layout options.

Images are from the Ed Tech Workshop blog.

Taking it Further

Additional challenges can be based on using the photo editing tools to produce a pleasing poster of images. Groups might collect sounds to upload to Padlet using Audioboo, or Croak.It, or to VoiceThread in response to a set of questions based on sound in the environment.