The Fabulous Field Trip Guide: Mobile Learning and QR Codes

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”- Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

In 2012, I visited the British Library with Terry Freedman. I was astounded by how much interaction I was able to have with the exhibits. I got to experience the exhibits with 3D glasses, touch tabletop screens, and scan QR codes. As I venture to more museums, landmarks and national parks, I have noticed how these sites are making their exhibits more engaging by adding a mobile component. Before planning your next field trip, discover ways the site is integrating QR codes and mobile apps. Check out my recommended apps and tips below along with a slide presentation (free to download) and bookmarks. Check out the rest of The Fabulous Field Trip Guide with suggested activities, virtual field trips, and virtual reality and augmented reality apps and web tools.

Enjoyed these ideas? Get The 30 Goals for
 and Learning to Go.

Recommended Apps

  • Download a free app of your destination to find podcasts, tours, scavenger hunts, and activities. Many sites and museums have mobile apps for exploring the site. For example you can download the Smithsonian, MOMA, and Louvre apps for free.
  • iPlanFieldTrips– an iOS/Android app with teacher forms and calendars to plan field trips.
  • Hear Planet– an iOS/Android app with audio tours for many destinations.
  • Museum Hunt– an iOS/Android app that get students to learn while playing a game.
  • Poetic Places– an iOS/Android app helping you encounter poems and literature at locations.
  • Fieldtripper-an iOS/Android app to learn about the history of a place with old photographs.
  • Create your own field trip scavenger hunt with the KlikaKlue app, Goose Hunt app, or QRWild.
  • Try Geocaching with your learners at various landmarks. The free Geocache app for iOS/Android will help students find buried treasures and learn about compasses,  deciphering clues, geolocation, measurements, and longitude/latitude.
  • Once you get used to finding Geocaches, your learners can create and bury their own Geocache.

Integrate QR Codes

Your students will learn more about an exhibit by scanning the QR codes next to the exhibit. Your students can also create their own QR codes to go along with the exhibits. Create QR codes and scan with the free QuickMark app. Try any of these ideas:

  • QR Stuff is a good site for creating colorful QR codes.
  • Get students’ feedback or have them post an interesting fact they discovered on a Padlet. Padlet is a free feedback tool students don’t have to register for and each Padlet has a QR code generated when you click export at the top. This makes it easy to share with learners.
  • Create a treasure hunt at your field trip with this generator from Class Tools.
  • Students can answer poll questions with PolltoGo which generates a poll attached to a QR Code.
  • QR Voice is a free service that creates an audio QR code of 100 words. Students can share a small fact, a short poem, or quote related to the exhibit.
  • Students can create an audio QR code. Find the instructions here.
  • Students can create QR codes with their own Tellagami explaining what they like about an exhibit. Find a video tutorial here.
  • Work with a national or state park or other landmarks to create QR codes of exhibits which do not currently have QR codes.

Challenge: Use one of these resources to get learners engaging with exhibits using their mobile devices.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.


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Field Trips, by shellyterrell

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at

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