Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cool QR Codes in the Classroom & Library

In our hallway - promoting our Google Form Book Reviews!
QR Codes are popping up everywhere! On the back of my Sephora catalog, windows of shops, and in my library! They're already big in Japan - and now in New York & LA.

On our Recent Arrival Display - Promoting this Blog!

They look cool, matrixy, and very graphic...
but what heck ARE they?

A Quick Response (QR) code is a two-dimensional or 2D bar code which can be interpreted by any mobile phone with camera capabilities. Unlike traditional barcodes, which feature a series of straight lines these barcodes QR Codes are laid out in a matrix and can hold much more information.
Through “scanning” the code by way of photographing it, and installing a a FREE APP or simple piece of software to your smartphone, anyone can access the information behind the QR which might contain images, easily launched website links, and text.

Simply use your smartphone's camera to scan a QR code (via a reader app, such as Barcode Scanner or QuickMark), and you'll instantly be rewarded with whatever content has been embedded in the code, whether it's a URL that you can auto launch to the site, a friend's contact information, or a text message.

QR Codes in the Classroom - and the Library! From a recent article I contributed to at the Innovative Educator blog - txtN N d library: Ideas for Librarians Who Want to Embrace the Power of Cell Phones (btw, feels weird to post this in the third person and do I use quotes if I wrote it?!)

"QR codes can also be used to conduct a treasure hunt of information in the school library. Middle school teacher librarian Gwyneth Jones, aka the
Daring Librarian, uses QR codes to engage students in what she calls “digital discoveries.” Asking the students to bring their cell phones to the library, in small groups or pairs, the kids hunt for sneaky QR codes posted around the library (programed with a free QR code generator) to discover clues that can be scanned that lead to other clues - some asking questions, some that lead students to wiki or webpages with further information, some that require the students to perform a task to discover the final clue and the “treasure” which is a special key code to be submitted to a Google form. Once on the Google form wikipage students input the “key” to a drawing for a chance to win an iTunes gift card or a bundle of free books. Another use is posting QR codes next to book displays & pubic access catalog computers that lead students to wikipages where they can write and read student book reviews.

Because students work in groups or pairs, only about a third of the class needs Smartphones and because she’s done a student survey in advance she knows how much technology her students have. If necessary, being ever cognizant of the digital divide, Jones has purchased a couple iPod touch Generation 4 mobile devices that students may use in the library or check out to use at home with the preloaded Kindle app and several books, music, & library pics." - Read the rest of the article by Tamara Cox and check out her AWEsome Eliterate Librarian blog

Buying information for the iPod Touch 4th Generation
Now with FaceTime, Retina display, HD video recording, and Game Center.

Shopping ALERT! Amazon price beats Apple teacher discount!

An 8G Apple iPod Touch 4th Gen is on sale on Amazon for $215 last week... and the Apple Educator price was.....wait for it....$229! What the what!? So like I mention on my
check Amazon's price before you decide to buy - and remember the low price today could raise higher tomorrow - and vice versa.

QR Code Jewelry -
If I weren't so busy (and so indolent) I'd start a cottage industry of Customizable QR Code jewelry or buttons on As it is - I bought the last one from BarcodeArt this morning. Heh heh. I have shopping issues.

QR Code Resources & Articles:
A Time to Give Thanks

It's true the more you give the more your receive... Since I've started sharing more...I've gotten more back. Thank you everyone who has so generously shared with me this year! Thank you students who voted for us for the Edublog nominatios...sorry, no we didn't win...but we loved having you visit us here & see more of what we do for you! Don't be a stranger & always feel free to leave comments with your screen name or first name!

In this season of light & giving- let's all please remember to be generous, supportive, positive, & INCLUSIVE of each other!
/lovefest bah humbug! LOL
Photo credits:
Calvin Klein billboard Mashable
QR Code on Door: Tailor Made Hotel
Flickr Creative Commons QR Code on a Stick - photo by See-ming Lee - Photo shop by me!
iPod Touch 4th Gen from Villa State
QR Code Custom button photo by BarcodeArt
Photo of the Philly Museum of Art - ME!


Ms. Yingling said...

This would be difficult to implement in my own library, but it is interesting. Our students have to have their phones "off and away" during the day, and few of them probably have smart phones. In fifteen years, this might trickle down to my school!

Patrick Donnelly said...

I like the name "digital discovery"

Patrick Donnelly, QrArts

Juli Caveny said...

I'm in a school w/phone polices like those in the previous post...I'm thinking though...Parents' night? Open house! I will be talking to the powers that be and making it so! :)Thanks for the fabulous information!