Tuesday, March 22, 2011

QR Codes: What are those things anyway?

I have used QR codes in the library this year and plan on expanding their use next year. I posted a QR code on a bulletin board of our state junior book award nominees that linked to my Youtube channel full of book trailers about the books. I have one on the circulation desk that takes students to my online business card at Retaggr with links to my blog, Twitter handle and other social media information. I used QR codes at our state conference. I created a sign with a QR code that linked to my presentation materials for those that could not attend the session. Kristen Hearne and I created QR codes for each junior book award nominee and shared with our state organization.
My order of next year's nominees arrived this week and I added the QR codes to the book covers that link to either the author site or a site that relates to the topic of the book.
I have plans to create a QR code scavenger hunt for orientation and assist a few interested teachers in creating them for their subject areas. Now that we have 18 iPods in the library I have enough for students to work in pairs to complete the scavenger hunt.
Thanks to Cathy Jo Nelson I read about a QR code reader that can be used on a desktop computer in combination with a webcam. This is a great alternative for libraries without iPods or days when my iPods are checked out to a classroom.
I recently spoke with 6th and 7th graders about the future of using cell phones in learning. I am presenting on this topic this summer at the Upstate Technology Conference and I wanted to get student input. As part of the lesson I shared QR codes. Several students and the teachers from those classes have come to me since then and mentioned seeing them on clothing tags and other packaging. This is a fun and growing tech trend.
How are you using them? How do you plan to use them?


  1. I know most of your middle schoolers have cell phones but I'm at an elementary and I don't want the fact that most of my students don't have a phone stop me from using QR codes. What do you do for those that don't have a phone? I'm thinking of just letting my kids use my phone just so they can be exposed to QR codes and have some fun in the library. What do you think?

  2. You have a few options here, let them use your phone, use iPods with a QR code reader, invite parents or volunteers to the library with Smartphones or you could use the desktop QR code reader mentioned above, turn a laptop or desktop around and hook up a webcam. Then the students could bring the QR code up to the webcam and get to the online content. Would love to hear how it goes. Good luck.

  3. Great use of QR codes! Our two webcams arrived Friday and we put in the request to install the dansl.net QR Code Reader on one of the library computers. Hope that it will be installed our first week back from Spring Break as I am anxious to play with these awesome codes myself!

    Our students are not allowed to use their cell phones inside the school at all. Guess I should think about posting QR Codes on the windows facing outside to entice students to try them out (if they have smartphones - many don't).