Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Double Friday Tech Tip (Pine Road Edition) QR Codes

I missed posting a tech tip last week as I was in book fair bonanza mode.  So, you don't really get a two for one, but this is also for this coming make of that what you will.

QR Codes or Quick Response Codes can be found on billboards and marketing materials, but (at least it seems) QR Codes themselves were never marketed, so most people don't really know what they are, what they're for, or what to do with them.  Some savvy smartphone users may have downloaded a free qr code reader on their phone.  Using this, the smart phone and its camera can make sense of the mess of a black square which really directs you to...something.  Either a webpage, or a video, or another piece of online media.  Now that you know what they are, a scannable link, let's discuss how you can use them.
Kaywa is the site I most associate with QR Codes.  To generate a code, I use Kaywa's QR Code generator.  Super easy.  You copy and the link you want to connect to and paste it into the URL box.  You can also generate a code for text, a phone number, or a text message.'s FREE!

You can choose to make your QR Code square small, medium, large, or XL depending on your purposes.  Click generate, and you get a code.  You can then copy and paste that code however you like.  In the school library, I have used QR Codes for a few different purposes.
  • Business Cards for Back To School Night (the code takes you to our library homepage)
  • Bookmarks for Back To School Night (three different codes take you to our homepage, catalog, and this very blog)
  • Bookmarks for Library Volunteers (the code takes volunteers to the sign up page for our information session)
  • Book Fair Online Fair (the code takes interested buyers directly to our online book fair)
How I hope to use QR day
  • Book Trailer links affixed directly to books
  • Scavenger Hunts and/or Webquests for Library Lessons
And, how are other educators using QR Codes
QR Codes in Education Prezi
QR Codes in Education Slide Share
The Savvy Technologist
Social Me Wiki
You don't need to have a smartphone to access a QR Code (though it does help) an iPad or other tablet with a camera, or a web cam hooked up to a computer will also suffice for scanning.

And here's a food for thought infographic.

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