QR Codes

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http://ets.tlt.psu.edu/gaming/If you have a code reader enabled camera or cell phone you can tell that this gives the URL for the Gaming Community Hub. The image is a data matrix bar code and can contain readable information that could be text, a URL or phone number. Very simply put, it's a graphic sign that can be read and understood by digital devices. I don't know a lot about them- very little actually. My first exposure was in the Second Life episode on CSNY (wait- that's the music group. I mean the crime TV show) and I've had little follow up. It just seems like the beginnings of something very important, very useful, and perhaps easy to tap into.

There are several sites that can generate the bar codes. I used KAYWA to generate this one, but others include ActivePrint and Codeatron. There's lots of information available, much that points to possibilities. A post in the Mobile Learning blog seems to have a good intro with scenarios for uses in education.

Could we put up barcode signs that point to our digital presence? Could we use them to point to extended schedule information for rooms at conferences? Could they be used together with SecondLife to create a first life/second life educational journey, game or contest?

I just use my phone to make phone calls, but I hear other people actually use them for other stuff. Go figure!


I started using QR and Datamatrix codes when I got my Nokia N95 in March. I usually use Nokia's free generator. I scan the codes right off my laptop's display—much simpler and cheaper than my previous solution of sending data to my phone using AOL's IM-SMS gateway.

It's incredibly useful. I've used them to send URLs, addresses, (short) driving directions, and the call numbers/location of books in the library. I'd love to see Schlow and the University Libraries incorporate that into their online catalog search. I've also kicked around the idea of generating one with my contact info, making stickers, and sticking them on my business cards.

Apparently, in southeast Asian countries where mobile phones are heavily used to do more than make phone calls, it's common to see the codes on ads and signs.

I think this is a great time to start experimenting with these, mainly due to the iPhone mania. I believe there's a free scanning app available in the App Store (though, without copy/paste I wonder how useful that really is on the iPhone). I've only spotted one other N95 on campus, but I've been seeing a surprising number of HTC Windows Mobile phones—code readers are available for them, as well.

dave stong said:

Next time I see you, you'll have to show me. Stickers and business cards would be a great idea. These things basically make the whole world clickable.

I'll be in your building Friday afternoon, if you're still interested then.

dave said:

I'll keep my eye out for you, Jen; thanks.

Brett Bixler said:

If you look at the


site and scroll down, on the right you'll see we've had a QR code there for some time. I hope to use these in a game in the future - maybe for next year's TLT Symposium.

dave said:

Far out! I always read that in an aggregator. Sorry.

Johann said:

I wrote a QR Code Generator myself. Maybe you find it useful.

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