The journey of a future librarian

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ah... the QR code

Last fall, in IST 605, I first learned of the illustrious QR codes. I even did a post with a QR code in it. If you want to take a look here it is.

QR codes are clever little guys. Not only can they link to websites, they can lead you to download documents or produce text when scanned. They are very versatile. Here are the ideas for using QR codes in an educational setting:
  • Library Hours or other general information
  • Link to the library website
  • Style manual download
  • Access to databases, research tools
  • Teacher specific links for projects
As with all technology, QR codes are not perfect, they to have flaws. If a link were to go dead, the QR code is not going to be smart enough to change. The information the code presents needs to be imputed by a human. Therefore, if you have generated codes that link to urls, they will need to be checked.

There is also the issue that not ever one has a QR reader, though I image that it won't be long till they do. Therefore, the information being provided cannot be exclusive to the code. You cannot expect every student to access the information in this way. However, it is nice to have the option available (and they look pretty cool).


Denice B. said...

They do indeed look pretty cool! I think the novelty of it seems to be waning a little though - they used to be something totally different that no one had really seen, a completely new way to publicize an event. I would see them all over campus (stickers at the bus stop, etc.) and you wondered "I wonder what that is?" Then you learn a little about it and you are scanning every darn QR code you see just out of curiosity. When there is some context associated with them, I think their effectiveness increases tremendously!

Marilyn Arnone said...

Thanks for pointing that caveat about QR Codes, that is, that they are not smart and can't help you when a link to content goes dead. Easy to forget that, or that there needs to be some oversight or checking to make sure they are working.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big fan of QR codes yet. For one thing, it's just like you said. Not everyone has access to it. I can't imagine an elementary school student with a smart phone. I guess they can use the webcam on their computers, but they can't exactly drag their computers all over the place. The other thing that worries me is if the QR code links you to something vicious. I don't like the fact that I have almost no clue what I'm really scanning.

Anonymous said...

I feel rather indifferent to them. I guess because they feel gimmicky to me. I recently saw one at Target giving more information about a toy. I was wondering how many parents take the time to use it and if the information was really relevant. I think relevant, useful information is important to encouraging use.

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