June 24, 2006

Copying down? Just use QR

Several months ago I got an email from Marco in Japan about a mobile phone technology called 'QR', and the email went into the 'to be blogged later' file. What a mistake, although we still haven't heard about it West of Osaka. Well, I haven't at least.

Qr_code_details QR, or Quick Response codes, are small square barcodes that can increasingly be read by mobile phones in Japan equipped with a camera phone and QR reading application. They can be found in magazines and, as Marco's students' examples show, on blogs to give URLs and detailed information in one click so that it can be viewed later, on the phone, at that person's leisure. It's also seen on more and more business cards. Instead of handing over the card you merely show the card to your new friend's mobile phone camera, snap it and all the info is entered into their address book for future use.

It's got me thinking. This could be used to transmit whole sets of resources for homework tasks, by displaying this on the projector at the end of the lesson and getting students to snap it. When they get home, they gain access to that particular tranche of the del.icio.us page, for example, where all their resources lie.

So, does anyone else know about uses for this existing in current education contexts?

Just in case you do have QR and want to leave my blog to find out, then you can find me again on your mobile by QR-ing my barcode:


(generated online for free here)

Update: Thanks to Doug Belshaw blogging me, I've found Kaywa Reader, which will soon be available for my phone. Lots of other models will be in the 1.2 version of their software, so maybe we can start QR-ing sooner than we thought.


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This is a very interesting idea Ewan - do you know if may UK phones have QR technology?

hmm interesting...

As got to print some new business cards so might be worth adding a qr image to them. Will be good as talking point on your cards...


Guardian Unlimited Technology | Technology | Teaching cameraphones ... lots of interesting stuff going on, I might need to get a camera phone sometime.

Sounds a bit like the Betamax/VHS argument to me. There are so many people in Asia using QR (and they've been using it for years) that it would seem logical to work into that medium. After all, China is the country we'll most likely want to get complex business card information from in the future, no?

I love this idea.

Given that Nokia phones are shipping with built-in software that can manage both Semacode and QR-codes, the decision of what 2d-barcode tag format to use is really not much of an issue. At least, we can hope.

That's great! Where do we get these phones? Do you know their name?

I really like the idea, seems interesting to me.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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