Monday, April 25, 2011

How Can I Use QR Codes?

QR Code
In the last three posts, you learned what QR codes are, where to download a reader, and how to create them. Today, we will learn some practical uses for this tool.

Would you like for visitors to view videos of current school events? Post a QR code on the wall of the main office and consider it done. Visitors scan the QR code and view the video while they wait for their appointment.

Would you like the entire community to view those “current events”? Post that same QR on bulletin boards and windows throughout the community.

Ah, but the “current information” changes, right? No need to pull down those flyers and put up new ones. As long as the new information replaces the old and uses the same URL, the QR code can remain the same.

The spring play is coming up and you would love to include a wealth of information in the printed program. Printing costs, however, are high. The solution? Keep the program simple, but include a few QR codes. While the audience waits for the play to begin, they enjoy a slide show of photos, read bios for each actors, digest letters from the superintendent and principal, and even view a video of “out-takes” from rehearsal, all from a smartphone or tablet.

In our profession dealings, we exchange business cards with other people. Later, we manually enter their contact information in our electronic address books. Want to shorten that process? Create a QR code for your own information. Save it as a JPEG and transfer it to your smartphone’s photo collection. Now, you can give someone your “electronic business card” by letting them scan the QR code. Your information is safe and sound in their contacts without anything having to manually enter anything.

One of this blog’s readers mentioned putting a QR code with his contact information on the back of the school ID he already wears.

What about putting a QR code of your school’s contact information on promotional material? As people scan the QR code, your institution’s information becomes a part of their contacts.

Flash cards have been a popular study tool for generations. QR codes add a new dimension. Instead of hiding the answer by putting it on the reverse side of each card, you can create a single sheet with all of the questions. Next to each question is a QR code containing the text for the correct answer. Students check themselves by scanning the code and viewing the answer on the smartphone’s screen.

Do you have items you want students to identify on sight? Budding geologists should be able to identify various rocks. In anatomy class, students should be able to identify the bones on a skeleton. Print the QR codes for the names of the rocks or bones and attach them. Students check their knowledge by scanning the QR codes to reveal the correct answer on the screen of the smartphone.

You have a flat tire. You open the trunk and are a little unsure as to the steps for changing the tire. But right there on the inside of the trunk is a QR code. You scan the code, and on your smart phone see a video for how to change the tire.

Enjoy this short video on QR codes:

Whether it’s turning a sheet of paper into a multimedia presentation, opening a door to a larger document, unlocking hidden text, or sharing contact information, QR codes offer a new dimension to how we can communicate information.

What ideas come to mind for you that we have not listed?
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