Good Use of QR Codes

Good Use of QR Codes

  Just about a year ago I predicted that 2011 would be the year of the QR Code. That we would see these little squares popping up everywhere especially in America as smartphone sells continue to climb.  Looking back over the past year I’ve given quiet a few talks on QR Codes their power and scenarios for best us. When used propertly QR Codes can add value. When not used propertly they’re just wasting space.  QR Codes should be used to connect something in the physical world to something in the virtual world.   This is the phrase and idea I focus on when talking about QR Codes and where I believe their true power in connecting information lies.      A great example and my most common use of QR Codes in society is when I am shopping. Last summer while helping my sister-in-law pick out a new refridgerator I was able to scan the QR Codes on each refridgerator at Best Buy get more detailed information about that product and customer reviews. The amount of information that I was given would never have fit on the refridgerator. It would have been covered in details. I was able to scan the 5 refrigerators she liked compare them side by side and help her make a choice. Linking something in the physical world (refridgerator) with something in the digital world (more information) in this case allowed me to be a better more informed buyer.  QR Codes on a webpage is a no-no You don’t see this as much as you did even 6 months ago. But QR Codes on webpages really just don’t make sense. Linking something digital to something else digital is much easier with a hyperlink then it is with a QR Code. Plus many QR Readers have a hard time reading QR Codes that are on a computer screen.  QR Codes on posters/billboards QR Codes on posters and billboards isn’t a bad idea as long as you understand that you can’t read a QR Code when you’re moving in a vehicle. Which means they really only work on billboards that are focused on predestrian traffic. Also the farther away you are from the reader the bigger the QR Code needs to be, taking up valualbe space on a billboard. Posters or advertisements can have QR Codes but it’s important that the link takes the scanner to more...

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Want to Win a Prize?

OK….so the title made you click and read this post…and that’s what I’m hoping will happen with our student body. I got a brillant…stupid idea the other day to see if I could engage the student community in using Facebook and FourSquare to promote our up coming Softball Spirit Night (I’m Asst. Coach to boys varsity softball….we play softball instead of baseball at school…so don’t judge me!) I’m sure there are going to be people that read this and think I’m insane, think I’m putting kids in danger, or a host of other reasons why this might not work…but I do have to say on this one I actually got it approved through the school admin and our very switched on Atheltic Director is in full support. (In full disclosure our Dean of Students, Dennis Harter did my job before me…and our Atheltic Director Andy Vaughen is a COETAIL graduate and a huge user of technology in both Atheltics and Physical Education) Here’s the plan: Spirit Night is this coming Friday as the softball team takes on the International School of Kuala Lumpur.  I first made a special on the school’s FourSquare page (see this post about using FourSquare at our school) that you can see in the image above that outlines how to win a prize if you attend Spirit Night.  Basically kids have to do two things. 1. They have to check-in on FourSquare between 7-8pm (during the game) 2. They have to post on their Facebook Page a status that reads “I’m at Spirit Night are you?” Monday morning the first 10 students to come to my office and show me that they accomplished the two things above in the time frame win a prize donated by our PTA via our Athletic Director.  Next step….how do I get the word out to kids? Sure I could have put it in the bulletin that not every student reads, but instead I decided that using the network fully would be an interesting test. So I found 5 very active ISB Facebook groups, joined them and posted a message outlining the details of the compitition to get this in front of kids and get them talking about it. That’s it…we’ll see what happens tomorrow night…I’m excited to see if this works…or it might be a total flop as kids will look at this and think “There goes Mr. U...

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Using Cell Phones and Scan Codes in the Classroom: Intel Sponsored Webinar

Just a quick announcement that I will be running a Webinar as part of the Intel Education Community on December 1, 2010 5:00pm PDT/ 8:00pm EDT (click on the link to register.) Here’s the discription: Using Cell Phones and Scan Codes in the Classroom You’ve probably started seeing these scan codes popping up around your neighborhood, in stores, on packages, and in airports. If you haven’t then you will be seeing them soon. They’re called QR Codes or “Quick Reference” codes and they are taking the world by storm. Join Jeff Utecht and explore the possibilities of using QR Codes in the classroom and with the larger school community. Click the date below to register to attend. December 1, 2010 5:00pm PDT/ 8:00pm EDT Hopefully some of you can join me. We’ll have some fun…look at some sites and have a great discussion around how QR Codes can be using in the...

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’11 the year of the QR Code

I’m so confident in my pick for what 2011 will be about that I’m publishing it before Thanksgiving Holiday in the States. Before we begin let’s take a look at the history of my predictions. 2007: The Year of the Network (Can we say Twitter and Facebook) 2008: The Year of the “Live Web” (Ustream.tv and other services take off) 2009: Bringing Social Learning to the Masses (Education goes deeper in understanding social connections) 2010: The Year of the Mobile Web (iPad, Android, iPhone do I need to say more?) I’ve never been as confident as I am this year about what we’ll see explode onto the scene in 2011. These little black and white 2 dimensional bar codes are going to start showing up everywhere. QR Codes or Quick Response Codes have been around for a couple of years now (1997 according to Wikipedia), and like most technologies we’ve seen them the past couple of years start to creep more and more into our lives. The power of QR Codes and why I think this is the year for their explosion has to do with my 2010 prediction being the year of the mobile web. Now that SmartPhones (still don’t like that name) are becoming more and more the norm and will continue to gain in popularity in 2011, we have a reason to use these perfect little squares of information. The second reason is because the level of skill needed to use the QR Codes has dropped significantly in recent years.  You basically need two things. 1) A QR Code and 2) A QR Code Reader The QR Code: Some rights reserved by Adrian Short Take a moment to make one yourself. Head over to my new favorite website http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ where you can enter a link, text, a phone number, or text message and click generate. In an instant you’ll have yourself a fantastic looking square. Now what do you do with it? That’s up to you. I like to right-click on the picture and choose “Save Image As” and download the .png file. Now that it’s an image you can: put it in a document, print it off, or put it on a website. Anything you can do with an image you can now do with this information. The QR Code Reader: Next you need something to read the QR Code with: For your Desktop download this one (Windows, Linux, Mac): http://bit.ly/bRLO3C For iPhone, iPod (need a camera) users: i-nigma is...

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AIS Conference and QR Codes in the Classroom

It seems like it’s been forever since I made time to sit and reflect. Then I looked at the date of my last entry and sure enough…it’s been awhile. So I told my wife tonight I was not going to read/respond to any COETAIL blogs but rather my only goal for tonight was to write a blog post. Last weekend I flew to Sydney, Australia to keynote the New South Wales AIS ICT Integration Conference along with Jenny Luca. What a blast of a conference. First of all the size was great with around 120 people, second of all almost everyone there was in education technology and very switched on. The first day Chris Betcher asked the crowd to raise their hand if they were not on twitter and only about 10 hands went up. He then proceeded to to say “Why  not?”. A fact that was again confirmed when halfway through the first day of the conference the conference tag #aisitic10 was a trending topic in Australia. The tag has stayed alive and well after the conference as well. I haven’t been able to delete it from my Seesmic Twitter App just yet as the resources around QR codes continue to pile up. Today alone there were 10 more updates to the tag. The two day conference was “brill”. Jenny Luca set the stage Thursday morning (Recording and slides here). I took the red eye Wednesday after school to get there in time to listen to her. I’m glad the committee decided to have Jenny keynote before me as her being Australian I was able to get a feel for what was going on in the country…and then be completely embarrassed by the quality of pictures and presentation that Jenny used in her keynote. Thursday I opened the day with a talk (listen here) where I was focused on showing ways these tools can be used in a learning environment. Because so many people were already on Twitter, I used Twitterfall to have the tweets show up on a secondary screen. I then asked for three volunteers to take notes on a Google Doc, as well as asked for a visual learner to go to Flickr and find pictures that could be added to the Google Doc notes to help visually represent the ideas. Last but not least for those not on Twitter, or those that wanted another experience, I set up a...

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