Tuesday, December 3, 2013

QR Codes. In the classroom?

At the end of the year, teachers have tons of dates and assignments we need to comply with, that is the case here and in almost every educational setting I can think of. 

Last weekend I wanted to send a reminder of the dates we needed to take into account in the following weeks but I wanted something that could make it memorable, I didn´t want to send an ordinary reminder. Something different... a card?, a short video? a presentation? 
Bearing in mind one of my main objectives is to show teachers different tools and how they can be used for educational purposes I wanted something new... that´s when I remembered QR codes. Just what I was looking for, and I could show how they could be used! 

What are QR codes? 
Mashable explains: QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside the industry due to its fast readability and large storage. It was invented in Japan by the Toyota in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process. It has since become one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes.
Here is a short video which explains very graphically what QR Codes are. 

What do we have to do to make our own QR Code?
First I needed a QR Code Generator. If you Google it, you´ll find there are many. Once you´ve chosen one you can insert text or a link, depending on the use you want to give it. In my case I had a text I wanted to share. 
Once I inserted the text, my QR Code was generated. Then I uploaded it to our teachers' group in Facebook. 

Now, how do others read it? 
What do I have to do if I want to read one?

Normally we would use a mobile device (Smartphone, tablet) which has a QR Reader´s app
You can find many, you need to choose one taking into account your device´s system (IOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry) and download it. 

Once you have, you must open your QR Reader and scan the QR Code. 

Have a look at your Apps Market and download one of the options it gives you, most of them are free. 

BlackBerry World


Interested? This is just the beginning. 
Have a look at this site Free Technology for Teachersyou´ll find lots of ideas to take back to your class.