QR Code Loo Reviews & Pocket Videos

Promote Reading With QR Code 
Loo Reviews & Pocket Videos! 
Here's a fun idea! Combine QR Codes that link to video book trailers on a laminated sign taped to the back of a bathroom stall door that says "Do NOT Scan These!" and you should get the kids streaming into the high school library to check out books!  Let's face it, kids sneak their smart phones into the bathroom to check their text messages why not take advantage of that & get them into the school library! Even better if you have the time & ability to let the kiddos create their OWN trailers & post them to SchoolTube! Don't forget the teachers! Create signs with the hottest YA books for the teachers bathrooms, too!
Now...my principal gently put the kibosh on this brilliant idea for our middle school bathrooms, and totally I see his point. Whether I like it or not, we're not BYOD yet, and our school district policy says middle schoolers must keep their cell phones in their lockers except when entering & exiting the school
(and except for our digital discoveries in the library!) and I can just imagine sending that kind of mixed message with a Loo Review would anger the teachers!  So for this situation, I deftly changed it to Pocket Video & my principal suggested I post them by the library doors, the front doors, in the hallways, and in the student services office.  So, I guess the Loo Review concept would be good for High Schools or Middle Schools that allow phones, and Pocket Videos for everybody else!  Test this idea first by scanning the above left code!
The Lowdown on How To in 4 Easy Steps!

1. Pop Up Video! Find your desired book trailer. I tried to find a video that would appeal to my gals and for my guys. If you find a great video on YouTube and YouTube is blocked in your school look on SchoolTube. I particularly like the The Book Brat & TeenLitCentral YouTube channel and the Westlake HighSchool SchoolTube videos. I also downloaded publisher created book trailers & uploaded them to School Tube using KeepVid.com - check out my full size Comic Tutorial HowTo! Also, if you go this route always give full attribution, contact the poster,  and link back to the original YouTube video.
2. Sneaky Trick Grab the right SchoolTube video URL to create your QR code. If you just grab the one that's in the URL bar or in the Share direct link your QR code will go to the channel page & the video will be small. BUT...if you do the following sneaky trick you will get the full screen video!
Click SHARE to reveal the embed code. This is the code you use if you want to post the video on your blog or your wiki. But...hidden inside the embed code is the full screen URL. Again, IGNORE the short url!  I paste the whole code in an email compose screen, then cut out just embed url.

3. Code Me
Now, with that URL in your computer memory, go to QR Code Monkey and create your QR code!  The cool thing with QR Code Monkey is that you can add a square graphic to the middle of your code. So, I made the graphics for this project using another fav monkey, PicMonkey!  LOVE them!

4. Sweet Signage
Next, use this graphic in a MS Word document that says, Don't Scan This! (I'm oppositional defiant, that works with me every time!) laminae & post around your school! I also included directions on how to download my favourite i-nigma QR code reader and for the Loo Reivews I included a funny Horrible Histories Rotten Roman potty centric video on my poster just for immature scatalogical laughs & fun trivia! Another tip, for the Loo Reviews, I put the words: Guys & Gals on the top of the posters so I wouldn't have to scan it to make sure that I got the right book trailer in the right john!

Then, as shown on left, I made popout captions with ComicLife that I can print out on NEON paper, cut out & paste at the corner advertising that this book & others are available at the library, visit today (with a pass! ;-P)  Check out my posters on Slideshare!  Also feel free to check out the Loo Review Flickr gallery also has all the graphics & at larger sizes! As always, Take, Use, Share!

I'd LOVE to hear in the comments on Twitter what you're doing with QR codes, book trailers, book promotions, and more!

Links, Credits, Resources, & SNARK!

Thanks to my new favourite new resources Scoop.it! and the great scoops from Jamie Forshey aka @Edutech20 I found out about the QR Code generator called QR Code Monkey!

Great idea from one of my fav Tweeps! 
I'm doing this on the walls in the staff loos. I wonder how many have QR readers?


  1. We ARE a BYOD school, but NO phones are EVER allowed in a bathroom. We should NEVER encourage the use of a camera in a bathroom! (which is basically what you do with a QR code - take a picture of it.) Please, I would encourage no library, whether public or school or any business, for that matter, to put QR codes in a bathroom for any reason.

    But I do LOVE the idea of putting them on signs and posters in the hall and other places! I've been putting them in my library, but maybe I'll expand to the halls!

    1. Thanks Annette for your comment & I see your point. But, devils advocate here, we've got to be realistic & know that kids have their phones in the bathroom. Grownups do, too! Of course I cringe when I hear people talking on their cellies in the bathroom - it happens.

      So, go with the idea of signs around the school & skip the loo, my darlin! ;-) (couldn't resist, sorry!) LOL

  2. I LOVE the idea of the Loo Review!!!
    I did QR codes with 2nd and 3rd graders and we had a BLAST! I borrowed a set of Ipod Touches from the district tech office and we had so much fun. I even had a 5th grader demonstrate QR codes to the general public at our district tech fair. We will be doing this again next year...

    1. Hello fellow Jonesie!
      Sounds like your activity was brilliant! Did you take pics of the kiddos & blog about it? If not, let me challenge you to do that next year - your web presence will thank you! ;-)

  3. Hi Gwyneth, To add to your idea, have students create the book trailers you're uploading to QR Codes. We're hosting a Book Trailer Summer Reading Extravaganza with student made book trailers to promote summer reading.

    1. Excellent idea! Of course, that's the best case scenario! Kid created book trailers using iMovie, PhotoPeach, Animoto, GoAnimate, or even Blabberize is fantastic if you have the time, technology, & ability!
      Otherwise, using already created book trailers works, too!

  4. Too funny! I just saw your post, and we did this about a month ago in our student and teacher restrooms.

    I was trying to promote our e-books before summertime, so we advertised them on flyers with selected book jackets and then QR codes to connect to the e-book app.

    We are 1:1 iPads so no objection to having the device for us, like your interesting problem!

    I had forgotten we had one in the teacher's lounge RR, and we had a visitor on Friday to our library. When she came out, she walks up to her colleagues and me and says "Wow, you even advertise in the bathroom."

    I have to give credit to Phil Goerner who gave me the idea! He does a "toilet newsletter" for teachers.

    Thanks for sharing the instructions!

  5. By the way, I tried using an app called Caption on the iPad and it makes easy caption bubbles. You can import an image into the app and add a caption bubble or dialogue bubble to it!


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