Tech Tool Tuesday #10

Make your own QR codes

Did you notice that I added a QR code on the sidebar? In a recent conversation with the SIGOL Leadership Team, I started looking for a website that would help us create a QR Code for SIGOL at ISTE this summer. I found QR Stuff and decided to add the code here.

I like this site because it’s so flexible. Here are all the data types it will generate:

  • Text
  • Website URL
  • Telephone Number
  • SMS Message
  • Email Address
  • Email Message
  • Contact Details (VCARD)
  • Event (VCALENDAR)
  • Google Maps Location
  • Wifi Login (Android Only)
  • Paypal Buy Now Link
  • Social Media
  • iTunes Link
  • YouTube Video

What about reading the code? A smart phone loaded with a QR reader works great. I have the Droid Incredible and downloaded the ixMAT Scanner from the Droid Market. It reads DataMatrix, 10 barcode, and QR. If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, search through iTunes and you’ll find several free apps. BlackBerry users can find readers at App World. To find a reader for other phones, check out BeeTagg. They list all the phones their QR readers work for and provide a link for download. It looks like any cell phone with a camera will work. If your phone isn’t listed, another alternative is to try SnapMyInfo. Take a photo of the bar code with your cell phone, send the image to the email listed, and you’ll get an email back with the info from the QR.

Once you’ve downloaded the software into your phone, compare the code below with the one in the sidebar.

Notice all the info I added. There are so many practical uses beyond sharing personal data. Just think, you could create a QR for homework and as students walk out of the room they scan the code. When they finish the assignment they generate a QR and you scan it. No more, “My dog ate my homework.” They’re going to have to be much more creative with their excuses.

I tested out the ixMAT Scanner on my Droid and it read up to 96 words – 438 characters (without spaces) and 531 characters (with spaces). I’m curious how other readers differ. Why don’t you try it and let me know? Also, let’s start brainstorming some other educational applications.

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