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  • Writer's pictureBrandi Prater

Videos and QR Codes in the Library

Updated: Dec 2, 2022


Since YouTube is touted as the top social media platform for teens in 2022 (Pew Research Center, 2022) with 95% of them are using the site, it makes sense that video-based instruction has become an integral part of this format. Educators and students both agree on the effectiveness of video-based instruction. It can easily be integrated into a variety of educational systems including Canvas, which is used by our district and Blackboard used on most college campuses. Video-based instruction provides students an engaging way to learn and understand complex concepts while allowing the teacher to be the facilitator.

Through facilitated instruction, teachers are able provide direct teaching and allow independent practice that is self directed. It also provides an opportunity for students to collaborate and guide each other through processes, which fosters self assessment and mastery instead of competition. The goal of facilitated learning is to increase student engagement and strengthen the learning process. I have used both subscription-based training and YouTube tutorials to support learning in my classroom for the past 6 years. In a short amount of time, I have noticed immense growth in the quality of student products/output. When educators provide a learning experience that is memorable and effective, retention and engagement rate are increased.

The use of YouTube videos in education is a great tool for educators and can make boring lessons exciting for learners. Here are three schools taking advantage of technology and using it to bridge the gap in instruction.

This channel provides resources for papers, projects, and presentations. In the world of Google, where students can find images at there fingertips, I chose quick lessons based on image selection and copyright.

This channel was more geared toward specific campus content, but there are a few videos that would benefit all high school students.

  • PaperSlide Story – Provides students information on the process of creating a story. The students discuss how they chose the SAT words for their story, the process of brainstorming, and how they chose pictures that symbolized their words/story. (Most Helpful)

  • Pikesville Highschool FAFSA – This video features high school students in different settings talking about FAFSA. It’s a fun way to encourage students to sign up for FAFSA before heading off to college. (Student Favorite)

This channel has content provided by students and the library media specialist at Bonnie Branch Middle School. Videos provided by the LMS are instructional tutorials. Student content includes library book parodies, BBC Editions (school news), and student projects.

  • How to Create a NoodleTools Project – covers how to set up a project and staying organized. NoodleTools is an AASL Digital Best (2022). (Student Favorite)

  • eResources @ BBMS – Provides a video tutorial review on how to access databases through the the school’s SSO portal. The portal home page includes a Digital Citizenship Pledge with a few quick bulleted reminders that would be smart addition to every school’s page. (Most Helpful)


Animoto is a web-based program that includes easy-to-use templates for users to easily create dynamic promotional videos. Connect with your school community by quickly promoting school events, creating video newsletters, or book trailers for your newest arrivals. With a free account, you can add technology to the classroom tailored to any lesson, teach copyright and fair use, and provide students with resources they’re sure to remember. No design skills are needed for animoto, which makes it a great tool for beginners and there is a partner app that lets you create on the go. However, there are some limitations to your music tracks and editing options in the free version. So, if you’re an artist or a seasoned pro with an iPhone, iMovie might be a better fit.

Creating a book trailer was a lot of fun. It really shouldn’t even be considered work! I get so lost in the artistic process and could see this being my main use for the app. It could be easily integrated into our Broadcast monthly to promote books and supplement the Book Talks we began this fall. I created a book trailer for One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High's notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn't an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he'd planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who's still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

Scan the QR Code below to watch the book trailer!

QR Codes

Libraries are employing unique methods to make their digital collections available to patrons outside of the library”

Libraries are often understaffed and can be uninviting to students. One of the ways to overcome these challenges is by incorporating QR codes into your bag of tricks. There are lots of fun ways to use QR codes for both library promotion and student engagement. With most cell phones, that are already in your student’s backpack or more accurately…their hand, the camera can be used to scan these codes. You can direct students to content on a website, social media accounts, or files such as videos, photos, and pdfs. It is also easier than ever to share links from OverDrive with users to promote your digital collection. With QR codes, you can link to titles, genres, or collections and if you market your library collection, QR codes make it actionable and trackable.

I tried QR Code Generator, but they only offer a free 14-day trial before requiring a monthly subscription. It’s considered a pro-level option due to it’s advanced tracking features and is geared towards the business world.

In the future, QRCode Monkey is a FREE QR Code generator that offers High Quality QR Codes with unlimited scans and no limitations. Signing up all educators now!

QRCode Tiger is another paid service, but it does offer a Freemium version with limited options and watermarks. However, they have blogs and articles on exciting ways to use QR Codes which includes the following 10 Ways to Use QR Codes in School Libraries:

  • To have an interactive library experience

  • To provide a convenient library process

  • Allow students to conveniently find books.

  • For library promotion

  • To boost website traffic and increase social media followers

  • Allow students to easily reach out to you

  • To launch activities such as scavenger hunt

  • To conduct a library contest

  • To access the libraries music and other art collection

  • Contact tracing



Benjamin Claeys, (n.d.). 10 ways to use QR codes in school libraries.

Qrtiger. Retrieved October 22, 2022, from


Cowart, C. (2017, March 1). Digital Wallpapers Open Doors. American Libraries

Magazine. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from


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5 comentários

03 de dez. de 2022

I found your post to be insightful and informative. I agree that integrating videos into instruction is a great tool to keep students engaged. I often upload educational videos into Canvas for student use.


Alma Rios
Alma Rios
30 de nov. de 2022

Using video-based instruction such as YouTube as an instructional supplement has been a lifesaver for many teachers, students, and parents throughout the pandemic. I know when we did virtual schooling, I would assign different educational videos for students to watch when they couldn't synchronously connect or just need extra reinforcement on certain skills. As you mention these educational videos when added strengthen their learning process and allow them to become self-directed learners. P.S. Loved your book trailer! Thanks for sharing.


Nancy Alvarado
Nancy Alvarado
08 de nov. de 2022

Animoto was one of the low tech apps I have used to create videos. With the built-in templates, it was easy to plug and play. I tried scanning your QR code to view your book trailer, but it was no longer available for viewing. Thank you for providing a breakdown of each of these learning tools.

Brandi Prater
Brandi Prater
08 de nov. de 2022
Respondendo a

Hi Nancy,

Thanks for catching that! I had to edit my video due to a typo, which created a new YouTube link. I totally forgot about updating my QR code. It's fixed now if you'd like to check it out.



Latasha Henry
Latasha Henry
01 de nov. de 2022

I completely agree about YouTube. It can be a useful tool for students when used academically. Many students spend most of their day on YouTube and if we can find a way to get through to them in order to give them useful information then we have done our job as educators. I really liked your book trailer and feel like it too can be useful students when doing book reports or showing what they learned overall.

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