Monday, June 21, 2010

QR codes

I'll do some blog posts about the AULIC (Avon Libraries In Cooperation) event (held at Bath Spa University) where I was speaking today. Andy Ramsden (Head of e-learning at the University of Bath) talked about the use of QR codes (example QR code on the right). Although QR codes are not central to information literacy education, this was a useful talk, so I will do a quick report on it ;-)
Their primary use is probably linking the physical and digital world (e.g. a QR code on a poster with a web link) also for linking the web and mobile phones (e.g. to get a bookmark from the screen to bookmark on your phone, rather than typing in long URLs or uploading). To use QR codes, people need the QR scanning app on a camera phone and good connectivity. They could, e.g., go to using their phone’s browser, and then see the apps compatible with their phone and download one. At the moment it looks like it is more useful for e-admin than e-learning, unless is used creatively with other tools. Obvious implementations: getting contact info quickly via a QR code onto their phone; getting feedback (e.g. a QR code on a poster advertising information literacy training sessions which takes you to a page where you can book a place); automatically generating a QR code when you find a book on the catalogue, so you can pick up the location details; subscribing to news feeds; having codes in physical locations so you can scan and it will say where you are or pick up an audio tour. Key is “getting the information to the person when they need it”. Andy talked about results from a survey undertaken by 4 universities. 40% of learners surveyed had heard about QR codes, and nearly 10% had used one. 98% had camera phones, about 50% had wifi capable phone and had a data tariff (but in both cases quite a lot of people didn’t know whether they had or not). Only about 17% said they were likely to use their own money to access learning stuff on their phones, which highlights how you have to be cautious about planning learning involving use of learners’ own mobile devices.
Bath University have a QR codes blog at with useful posts highlighting what has and has not worked at Bath University. There are also other links to useful e-learning things on the side of the blog. Andy's presentation is on Slideshare at (you can click that link, or scan the QR code at the top of this blog post, created using the page on the QR generator page on the Bath website)

No comments: