I have recently been investigating the concept of QR codes in teaching and learning. A QR code is a 2-dimensional image with information encoded in it. Below is an example of a QR code for anyone who may not know what a QR code isThe code can be decoded by QR code readers that are usually found on mobile phones and are read using an image of the code taken by the mobile phone’s camera. The code above is a link to Wikipedia’s English mobile website found at http://en.m.wikipedia.org. While QR codes have been in existence for quite some time in business (used initially to track product parts), I have only recently come across the concept. I recently installed a QR reader on my iPhone and made use of QR codes at #ECOO2010 as each of the conference’s sessions had a QR code. The codes were used to allow conference participants to connect to session information on the ECOO website in order to learn more about the sessions.
I was recently reading an Educase article titled “7 Things You Should Know About QR Codes” to learn more about QR codes and their application in education. Some interesting implications for teaching and learning that are mentioned in the article include:
- QR codes can link the physical and virtual worlds by allowing students to link to more information about an object or historically significant building or area
- Bringing learning into the physical world and out of the classroom
- Allowing students whose native language is one other than the dominant language of their school to connect to information about objects or ideas in their native languages
Essentially, the power of QR codes is in their ability to allow learners to use their mobile devices to link to specific information on the internet quickly and easily. It’s connection to mobile learning appears to be a natural one as it’s often a mobile device that is used to decode the QR codes and to access the information provided through the QR code on the Internet. Using QR codes in education is still very new and much more learning and experimentation is required. If anyone has any further information on QR codes in education or can share links to projects/experiments in their use in education, please share in the comment field.