QR codes are becoming an increasingly popular tool for technology users and anyone wishing to advertise a lot of information in a small space.
A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a two dimensional, square, scannable barcode that is attached to an item or resource housed in another location. In more simple terms – you scan the QR code and it will take you to whatever the creator has linked to it. In order to scan these codes, you must download a QR code reader on your device – these apps are generally free and easy to use. I went to the Apple App store and searched “QR code reader” and just downloaded the first (free) option.
Once you have your own QR code reader downloaded, you can start scanning QR codes. Still not sure what those look like? Below are 3 QR codes I created – go ahead and scan them.
These QR codes represent a game we played in class this past week entitled “Two Truths and a Lie.” To play, we were asked to create 3 QR codes – two will link to something that is true about us, one will link to a lie about us. My lie? The QR code that is captioned “a photo from my childhood” and links you to an adorable little girl is not me, but rather my niece, Emma.
So now you may be thinking – okay, it’s simple to scan them, but how do I make them? Making a QR code is almost as easy as scanning them.
To make my QR codes, I googled ‘QR code generator’ and chose the first website that was listed QR Code Generator. With just a few clicks, I could generate a QR code that links to a website, an image, text, an email, a Facebook page, an MP3, PDF or anything else I would want.
What does this mean? – Educational opportunities!
QR codes make it quick and easy to get out information to students and parents – just send out the barcode linked with whatever information you want them to have. You could use QR codes to send students on a scavenger hunt – each code serving as a clue for the next one, you could even use a QR code to link assignments or books to course webpages, syllabi or social media.
QR codes are quick and easy tools to use and can link to just about any content you would want. The only thing required of students to use this technology is a device with a camera and a scanning app. Barcodes can be scanned from the computer, or printed out and posted in various locations around your classroom or school. I would recommend this technology for students of all ages!
The greatest constraint you will face with QR codes is access to devices. Without a scanning application, the QR codes are rendered useless. A regular device camera will not scan the code, a special app is required.