QR Codes

By Kerry Wisdom, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant

QR Code

The QR stands for “Quick Response”.  A QR code is a two-dimensional bar code that can be read on devices such as a mobile device (camera phone, iPod, iPad), which, once accessed, contain information such as alphanumeric text, URLs, contact information, phone numbers, SMS messages, etc.  Decoding software on tools such as camera phones can interpret the codes, which represent more information than a one dimensional code of similar size.

History of QR Code

QR Code is a two-dimensional symbol. It was invented in 1994 by Denso, one of major Toyota group companies, and approved as an ISO international standard (ISO/IEC18004) in June 2000. This two-dimensional symbol was initially intended for use in production control of automotive parts, but it has become widespread in other fields.

Where are QR Codes found?

The codes are increasingly found in places such as product labels, billboards and buildings. These codes are attractive, inviting potential customers to pull out their mobile phones to uncover the encoded information.

How Does QR Code Work?

Data can be translated into a QR code by any QR generator, many of which are available free online. Users simply enter the data to be translated, and the generator produces the code, which can then be displayed electronically or in printed format. Decoding the information can be done with any mobile camera phone that has a QR reader. Once the software is loaded, the use points the phone camera towards the code and scans it. The software translates the code and the phone will either display the text or the user can answer the question.

QR-Code Generator

There are several QR Code generators out there on the web.  Here we will list a few of them that we like:

How can I get a QR reader on my mobile device?

There are several QR code readers out there to pick from; you will just need to make sure it is compatible with your particular mobile device.  Here we will list a few along with links listing their compatible devices:

How are QR Codes being utilized?

  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Games or Scavenger Hunts
  • Newspapers and Magazines
  • Business Cards

Advantages of QR Codes

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
  • Connects user to hidden information
  • Incite creativity


  • Not everyone is aware of QR codes
  • Not everyone owns a camera phone
  • Many cell phones do not include QR reader, so the software has to be downloaded and tested

The Implications for Teaching and Learning

QR codes link the physical world with virtual by providing an on the spot access to descriptive language and online resources for object and location. In this way, the codes support experiential learning. They offer pedagogical values in activities that draw students into creating and contributing content.

How can QR Codes be integrated into Education?

  • Put them on worksheets with links to websites
  • Scavenger Hunts with QR clues
  • Enhance posters with URLs
  • Sheet music with links to mp3 sound files
  • Embed QRs in books or print resources that link you to digital resources that supplement the text or provide video/audio reviews from other students about the book
  • Print maps are embedded with QR’s that go to digital information about the location
  • Report cards include QR’s that link to student’s electronic portfolio
  • Embedding contact info for students & parents (phone, email, FB, Twitter, etc.)
  • Homework assignments (added to student’s digital calendar)
  • Links to online material in support of classroom content
  • Yearbook – linking to additional images/video from the school year
  • Advertising school events (online & in hallways)
  • Highlighting historical school information around campus
  • Math Trail (my favorite) – reducing paper usage by embedding instructions/clues from checkpoint to checkpoint, integrating discounts at local businesses, highlighting local customs/laws, etc.
  • E-Cards (if you have the time) to send special messages to students/coding comments to specific students

QR Code Additional Resources

Tech Tip – Creating a QR Code

By Whitney Ezell, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant

QR codes are easy and fun to make. With the website www.qrstuff.com you can make them with ease.

The first step to making your QR code you need to decide which data type you would like to use.

With this tip you will be shown the Website URL and the Contact Details data type.

To select these you simply click on the circle next to it. We will first  begin with Website URL. You will then have to move to the next step which is the content of the QR code.

When you select the Contact Details the next step will be entering the contact information you would like to use.

After all of your information is complete you are then able to put color to your code.

Once your color is chosen you are then ready to download your custom made QR code. To download you just press the download link at the bottom of you QR Code.

the code above is the Contact Details. Below is the Website URL

The last step to this process is the Output type.

Without making an account with the website you are able to Print out your code or send your QR code by Email. When emailing your code you are required to enter the information for sending, and recieving.

, , , , ,

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>