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How to create and use audio QR codes 🔊

Yesterday I had a nice conversation with one of you, my lovely readers 😊 Caroline asked me if I've ever written a post about QR codes, specifically about putting sound into them. My initial thought was "not really, because it's easy, right?". That lasted about a nanosecond because I remembered that actually it's not that straight forward and it took me some time to figure out how to do it. So, per Caroline's requests I'm going to tell you how I make QR codes with sound.

Step one: create an audio file

You can't create a QR code with sound without, well, the sound 😜 There are a couple of ways to get the recording: you might use an audio file from a course book you're using; you could use which is a free voice recording website; you can also use a dictaphone app on your phone.

If you use Vocaroo, you're pretty much done at this point. Vocaroo offers the option of downloading your recording as a QR code. You simply click on it and get a QR code which you then simply save on the computer with the right click "save picture as ..." option. You need to remember, however, that Vocaroo stores your recordings for a limited time and the generated QR codes will stop working at some point.

Step two: upload your audio file

If you want your recordings to keep working for as long as you want them to you need to do a bit more. After you make your recording you need to upload onto a cloud service online. I use Google Drive for that.

Log into your Google account (if you don't have one, create one first). Go to Google drive and click the upload option. Pick a file from your computer and upload it. Once your file is uploaded, right click on it and get the "shareable link". Copy that link and move on to the last step.

Step three: create the code

Once you have your shareable link go to any online QR code generator. I use this website. Chose the URL option in the menu and paste your link. Click save, name your file and click save again. Voila! You've got your audio QR code 😁

Some ideas on how to use sound QR codes:

I use QR codes created like this in some of my materials but most often I use them to create individual listening activities for my students. I print out the codes and stick them onto handouts (or paste them onto handouts before printing). This way my kids get to listen to the recording as many times as they need to and they can do it when THEY want to do it.

You could also create lists of vocabulary with pronunciation and give the QR codes to your students to paste in their notebooks. This way they can listen to the pronunciation of the words they're studying at home. It's fun for them because they get to use their phones to study.

You could also ask your students to create recordings for you: assign tasks in which they have to record themselves speaking. If they put the recording into QR codes they don't have to email them to you but can print them out as any other homework/task and you can use your phone to listen to them.

Another thing I do with sound QR codes is record formative assessment onto them. I don't like handwriting and I sometimes prefer to record myself talking about my students' work. I put the assessment into QR codes and stick it onto their work for them to listen to and make notes of what they need to work on or correct/improve in their work.

Hope this helps Caroline 😉

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Ewa Górna
Ewa Górna
Oct 11, 2019

We have an iPad in our classroom so my kids can use it. They're not allowed to play with their phones at school but they can have them in their bags. So if I need them to use QR code scanners I ask them to get their phones out. They love it!

I have no idea about the intranet. You'd have to try to store the files there and see if they work with the QR scanner. Sadly, I have no access to an intranet so I can't check it.


Caroline Pociegiel
Caroline Pociegiel
Oct 11, 2019

It does, it does! It helps a LOT! Thanks so much!

I do have two more questions:

- do your students use their own devices (smartphones etc) to read the codes, or do you have a dedicated 'classroom' device? (I'm not sure my students are allowed to have their phones with them during class time - which I'm quite happy about)

- does it have to be internet related or could the files be stored on the school's intranet and accessed by wifi?

Thanks again!

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