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					QR Codes in Education

November 20th, 2008 by Rheinard Korf

                         QR Codes (or “Quick Response Codes”) are similar to bar codes.
                         Bar codes are made up with vertical bars that can be decoded to
                         represent information. QR codes expands this concept by allowing
                         you to add a whole lot more information than a simple serial number.

                          Bar codes uses only one dimension - vertical stripes on one
                          horizontal axis. QR codes introduces a second dimension. Both
                          vertical and horizontal axises are used to represent information.
                          This forms a two dimensional matrix with equal lengths. Each cell in
the matrix can be either on or off.

With a two dimensional approach you can store more information - plain text, web page
addresses, raw data or even contact information.

Here is the most exciting part about using QR codes - QR Codes can work with most of
today’s mobile phones that has a built-in camera. All you need is some free QR Reader
software and you’ve turned your mobile into a sophisticated “bar code” reader - for FREE.

QR Codes have applications in many industries and situations - logistics, stock taking,
marketing and even in education, which is what this post focuses on.

USING QR CODES

When working with QR Codes we have two types of information - encoded (the QR Code)
and decoded (The message, URL, contact details, etc). This means that we will need to be
able to firstly read QR Codes and secondly be able to create QR Codes.

Fortunately, for basic QR Code applications, the software is available for FREE (encoding
and decoding). In the next steps we’ll first locate some tools that will help us with decoding.
Because I personally see a great application in the area of mobile learning (or mLearning),
that is what I will focus on.

READING QR CODES

To read QR Codes we’d first need to obtain a QR Reader for our mobile phone. Here are two
great readers which you can try. The first tool is predominantly for smart mobile phones and
ignores Windows Mobile PDA devices. The second tool, which I use on my PDA, is a reader
that covers many devices which the first tool doesn’t cover. Both tools offer the same feature
set (according to QR Code specifications).

Tool 1 - Kaywa Reader (http://reader.kaywa.com)

Phone Support:

Motorola - E770, RAZR v3, V8

Nokia - 3230, 3250, 5300, 5500, 5610, 5700, 6110, 6120, 6121, 6136, 6210, 6220, 6233,
6260, 6270, 6280, 6288, 6290, 6500, 6600, 6620, 6630, 6670, 6680, 6681, 6682, 7610, E50,
E51, E60, E61i, E62, E65, E70, E90, N70, N71, N72, N73, N75, N76, N77, N78, N81, N82,
N90, N91, N92, N93, N93i, N95, N96

Samsung - SGH-Z500
Sony Ericsson - K300i, K610i, K700i, K750i, K800i, S500, S710a, V630, V800, W300i,
W550i, W580, W710i, W800i, W810i, W850i, W910, Z520a, Z520i, Z610i

Tool 2 - Quickmark (http://www.quickmark.com.tw )

Phone Support:

ASUS - P320, P527, P550, P750, Z802i, M530W, P526, V88i, J502, J210, V80, Z801, P735,
P535, P525

AT&T - Tilt 8900

BenQ - E72

CHT - 9110, 9100, 9000

Cingular - 8525, 3125, 8100

CMCC - Dopod P800 Dopod S1

Dopod - 830, S301, E616, 838Pro WM6, U1000, 900, 565, 818, S300, P800W, D810, C858,
C720W, 838Pro, 828, 818Pro, 700, 699, 595, 586W, 575, %77W, 585

Emobile - S12HT, S11HT

ETEN Glofish - M800, X650, X600, X800, X500+, X500, M700, M600+, M600, M550, M500,
G500

Fujitsu-Siemens - Loox T830

GIGABYTE (gSmart) - MS800, i350, t600, i300, i120, i, g-smart

HP - hw6965, 614c, 512, 510, 514, hw6828, hw6515, h6365

HTC - Touch HD, Touch Pro, Touch Diamon, TyTN P4500, TedBaker, P4550, P3650, P5520,
3100, P3450, S621, P3470, P6500, S730, Touch Cruise, Mogul, Touch Dual, P3600i,
Advantage X7501, P6300, TyTN II, Apache, S710, Touch, TyTN, P3600, Advantage X7500,
S620, P4350, P3300

HUAWEI - C5300

iDo - S630, S601, S600

i-Mate - SPL, SmartFlip, Jamin, JASJAR, JASJAM, JAQ3 (you can try JASJAR fot the
ULTIMATE)

Kyocera - Solo E400

Lenovo - P930

LG - KS20

Lobster - 700

Mio - A501, A700
Motorola - Q8, U6c, Q

Nokia - E71, E66, E90 Communicator, N82, 6120c, N92, E6li, 6110 Navigator, N76, 5700,
N93i, N93, N80, N73, N71, E70, E65, E50, N95, 6290, 5500, 3600,3650, 6682, N90, 3660,
3620, 7650, 7610, 6681, 6680, 6670, 6630, 6620, 6600, 6260, 3250, 3230, N70

NTT-DoCoMo - hTc Z, FOMA HT1100

02 - XDA Stellar, XDA mini S, XDA mini Pro, XDA II mini, XDA Orbit2, XDA Neo, XDA Trion,
XDA Orbit, XDA Star, XDA Nova, XDA Terra, XDA IIs, XDA Exec, XPhone II, XDA Atom Life,
XDA Stealth, XDA Zinc, XDA Atom, XDA Atom Exec, XDA Cosmo

OKWAP - S868, A375

Orange (SPV) - M3000, E600, M600, M500, E650, M3100, M2000, M650, M700

Palm - Treo Pro

Panasonic - X800, X700

Pantech - PN-820

Qtek - S200, 9600, 8500, 8310, S100, 9100

Samsung - i900 Omnia, SGH-i780, SGH-i600, Blackjack, SGH-D730, SGH-D720, SGH-i718

Siemens - SX1

SoftBank - X02HT, X03HT, 705NK, X01HT

SonyEricsson - P901I, P900

Sprint - PPC-6900, PPC-6800

Swisscom (XPA) - v1415, 1615, v1605, v1510

T-Mobile - Vario, Vario II, Vario III, Ameo, MDA US, MDA Compact, SDA, MDA Touch Plus,
MDA Touch, MDA III, MDA Pro, DASH

Toshiba - G810

UBiQUiO - P501

UTStarcom - XV6800

Verizon - XV6900

Vodafone - VPA Touch, VDA V, v1605, v1415, v1615, V804NK

If your phone is not on this list, it is either too new, or it is time to invest in a new phone
anyway.

Most Telstra NextG mobiles released after July 2008 will have a built in QR Reader as
standard. Please refer to your Telstra documentation.
Once you have one of these tools installed on your camera enabled mobile, you should be
able to hover over the picture at the top of this document. To decode it. If you can see my
name, Rheinard, somewhere in your decoded information it has worked successfully and
you’re ready to embrace a world filled with QR Codes. You can search for QR Codes on the
web to play with your new QR Reader.

CREATING QR CODES

Reading QR Codes can be quite fun, but it is even more enjoyable sharing your own encoded
messages with friends. Include it in your blog, wiki or personal website; print it on a T-Shirt, a
coffee mug or make a QR Code cake.

Here are some tools that will help you create QR Codes to share with friends, family, or more
specifically to my proposed application, with students. Or get them to share QR Codes with
you.

Kaywa QR Code - http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

NCF Games QR Code - http://nfg.2y.net/system/qrcodegen.php

VIOOLI QR Code - http://www.viooli.com/qrcodegenerator/demo.php

QR Stuff - http://www.qrstuff.com/

USING QR CODES WITH STUDENTS

Because QR Codes can be freely read and freely created it does give a significant appeal for
use in education. Chances are that your students already own the hardware needed to use
QR Codes, they simply need some free software to enhance their mobiles.

Tag Everything

QR Codes gives the students (as well as teachers) the opportunity to tag their world.
Laminate QR Codes and stick it in a workshop, hammer it to a tree, glue it to a signpost,
include it in an artwork.

Mobile Note Taking

Use QR Codes in your PowerPoint presentations and allow easy ways for students to take
notes, rather than writing it on paper or typing it on a computer. Their mobiles already stick to
them, allow their notes to do the same.

Engaging Assignments

Allow students the freedom to add the novelty of QR Codes to their assignments. Student can
use QR Codes to give web links, contact details or even citations to the teacher. The teacher
can do the same to make his/her assignment paper more engaging to a younger audience.
Add a joke hidden in a QR Code, useful readings, motivational quotes, etc.

QR Code Scavenger Hunts

Being able to easily tag pretty much anything with a QR Code allows for fun interactive games.
Have a physical scavenger hunt by which students receive their first clue in the form of a QR
Code. They then solve the clue and go looking for the second clue, etc, etc. By allowing
students to solve clues in a real world they wont only learn valuable problem solving skills, but
also learn about the environment in which to scavenger hunt takes place.
On-Line Scavenger Hunts

Apply the same techniques in the previous example in a virtual environment. Use your
network of peers and collections of on-line tools to send students from one source of
information to another. Or, if you are already engaging students in a virtual world, like Second
Life or Exit Reality, you can work together with residents to leave QR Code trails.

Having the ability to tag your environment, leave information trails and make it engaging for
an already mobile generation has many applications beyond these already mentioned.

Experiment with QR Codes, Tag Your World and let me know how you’ve used it in creative
ways.

Again I say, PLEASE let me know how you use it!

Rheinard Korf
Senior Educator E-Learning
Western Campuses
Telephone: (03) 5362 2632
Fax: (03) 5362 2648
Email: r.korf@ballarat.edu.au

				
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