QR Codes in Education

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QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are similar to bar codes. Bar codes use only one dimension (vertical stripes on one horizontal axis) that can be decoded to represent information. QR codes has a two dimensional matrix (both vertical and horizontal axes) with equal length. QR codes can store more information than a simple bar code.  They can store plain text, web addresses, raw data, or contact information. QR codes are readable by a QR reader, a camera smartphone, or a laptop with Webcam. When a QR code is scanned by a camera smartphone, it displays text or an image, accesses a webpage, plays a movie or an audio file, sets up an SMS or email to be sent to a user, provides contact details to be added to the phone’s address book, displays a Google map, or links to social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Although QR Codes are ubiquitous in Japan since they were developed in 1994, it is not until  recently that the rest of the world is catching up. Today, mobile computing becomes popular. we can find QR Codes appear in magazines, on signs and posters, receipts, TV commercials, billboards, buses, business cards, store windows, buildings, or on just about any object about which users might need information.  QR codes can be applied in m-commerce applications: buy drinks from a vending machine, order game or concert tickets, pay the parking fee, download MP3 songs, track your package, and even make reservations.

QR Code’s CSI Moment

QR Code in Japan

QR Code Video – Mobile Marketing for Business

Creating a single QR code is quite simple. There are many free QR code generators available on the Web.  My favorite QR code generator is the Kaywa QR Code Generator because it is free and is very easy to use.  The Kaywa QR Code Generator allows four different content types: a URL, text, phone number, or SMS.  Also, you can create a QR code in one of the four sizes: small, medium, large, or extra-large.

In order to read QR Codes, you need to download a QR reader/scanner for your camera smartphone.  My favorite QR reader/scanner is the Quickmark Code Reader.   Quickmark Code Reader is free and is available for PC as well as many smartphones including Android phones and iPhones.

QR Codes are a low-threshold technology.  I think QR technology has a great potential in education because it is low-cost, easy to implement, and easy to use.  I came across several presentations about the use of QR Codes in education.   These presentations offer many great ideas of using QR Codes in education.

QR Codes in Education by David Muir

http://prezi.com/ma3afb24peyh/qr-codes-in-education/ target=”new”

QR Codes in Education

QR Codes in Libraries

Finally, I have created numerous QR Codes for various applications.  Here are few of them.  Please feel free to try these QR Codes out.


About Steve Yuen

I am a Professor Emeritus of Instructional Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States.
This entry was posted in Mobile Technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to QR Codes in Education

  1. sirui says:

    QR codes (quick response codes) is a quite new concept for me. After I know what QR is, I even cannot image how QR codes could be connected with education? Admittedly, I have tried to scan QR codes with a smart phone just when I reading this post, really cool! Although still cannot scan every QR Codes provided here, it does not affect my perspectives of combining the QR codes with education after reading this post and the presentation shared in the post.

    According to the presenter, it seems that QR code is an interdisciplinary field, which could provide many chances for other programs or software. Like orienteering augmented reality game, multiple choice quiz, links to tutorials of online sources could all be fulfilled with QR code; and also, the possibility of creating QR codes by learners themselves create an interactive learning environment, which make study and learning more easier and flexible. (I think flexible is the highest frequency word used for Web 2.0 technology time!) Dr. Yuen has expressed his wish and hope to QR Codes development. As he said, QR technology has a great potential in education because it is low-cost, easy to implement, and easy to use. I think this is the great advantages that QR codes owns compared with other technology for education, and it is also much more convenient and with more information with common bar codes.

    While, the application of QR Codes to education is still undergoing. If there is any chance, I would like to try QR Codes in my classroom. Supposing that learning new English words with QR Codes, it is really an interesting process. Just like doing crossword games, the different way of memorizing new words would leave deeper impression to learners!

  2. Gallayanee says:

    I learned about Quick Response (QR) in one of my merchandising classes while I was pursuing my Ph.D. In class, we discussed QR’s possibilities in marketing and retail environment. For example, it could be used to speed up the check out in retail store. Each cart or basket will have a QR reader and each product will have a QR tag. When customers put each product they intend to buy in either the cart of the basket the QR reader will scan the price and add the total cost. The customers can just pay the total cost at the checkout counter.

    However, I have not realized that QR codes have been using in Augmented Reality. I agree with Dr. Yuen that the QR has great potential in teaching and learning “because it is low-cost, easy to implement, and easy to use”. I, as an educator, firmly believe that these three factors are key criteria for education technology. Viewing several presentations about using QR codes in education helps generate ideas not only for me as a teaching tool but also for my students as a tool to gain competitive edge in their careers. Instead of sending the link of video YouTube or my podcasts to my students, I can put QR codes in my lecture notes. Often, fashion merchandising and design students are required to create their online portfolio to show their works. A QR code on their business card or their resume will be a way for potential employers to see their online portfolio. In addition, faculty’s business card should include QR codes to their website or blog.

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