Effective use of QR Codes

In recent months, we have started to see more and more QR Codes – for those that don’t know what they are, here’s a brief description from http://www.qrstuff.com/:

“QR Codes are a cell phone readable bar code that can store phone numbers, URL’s, email addresses and pretty much any other alphanumeric data. Storing up to 4296 characters they are internationally standardised under ISO 18004. Think “print-based hypertext links” and you’ll start to get the idea. “

In short, a way of getting content of various kinds onto a mobile device such as an Android or iPhone simply by using the phone’s built in camera!

If you’ve not seen one before, they look like this: (This is a link to my blog!)

But what role do they have to play as far as my day job is concerned?  Currently working in a Financial Services Organisation, that isn’t at first obvious! But here’s just a few ideas that I have already come up with:

  • Adding a link to a video in printed sales training materials to enhance the printed material without needing a PC or Video
  • Making item specific learning available at the point of need – imagine having the user manual for that complex telephone on your desk available simply by pointing your handheld at the QR code!
  • Having a vCard on you business card – scan the code and put the contact details straight into your contact list
  • Deeplinking to just about anywhere in our LMS
  • Adding the ability to listen to an MP3 version of a printed document for the visually impaired.

Imagine having your contact details printed on your T-Shirt or a baseball cap at the next Conference you attend! (I have a T-Shirt on order hopefully in time for the 2011 Learning Technologies Conference!)

Creating them is easy too – there is a great free tool at http://www.qrstuff.com/ which will create links to websites, your social networking profile, vCards, vCalendar events and even simple text.
An alternative site which gives free high resolution images is http://app.qreateandtrack.com/#/create/url - you will need high resolution if you want the QR code to be displayed on some printed items.

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