HOT QR Codes in the Classroom & Library

QR Codes are popping up everywhere! On the back of my Sephora catalog, windows of shops, and in my library! They're already big in Japan - and now in New York & LA.

Calvin Klein Jeans recently put up three billboards - 2 in NYC and 1 in LA - to promote the brand’s upcoming campaign for Winter 2010. Rather than a racy montage of scantily clad models, but with a bright red QR code - all the rage in Japan - under the words “Get It Uncensored.” The code allows you to use your smartphone to scan the image, being lead to an exclusive 40-second sexy commercial - "It’s often difficult to measure engagement with billboards, and QR codes help advertisers better measure their impact." The commercial might be sexy but I think the QR code is even HOTTER! -Mashable Source: Lauren Indvik

They look cool, matrixy, and very graphic...
but what heck ARE they?

A Quick Response (QR) code is a two-dimensional or 2D bar code which can be interpreted by any mobile phone with camera capabilities. Unlike traditional barcodes, which feature a series of straight lines these barcodes QR Codes are laid out in a matrix and can hold much more information.
Through “scanning” the code by way of photographing it, and installing a a FREE APP or simple piece of software to your smartphone, anyone can access the information behind the QR which might contain images, easily launched website links, and text.

Simply use your smartphone's camera to scan a QR code (via a reader app, such as Barcode Scanner or QuickMark), and you'll instantly be rewarded with whatever content has been embedded in the code, whether it's a URL that you can auto launch to the site, a friend's contact information, or a text message.

QR Codes in the Classroom - and the Library! From a recent article I contributed to at the Innovative Educator blog - txtN N d library: Ideas for Librarians Who Want to Embrace the Power of Cell Phones (btw, feels weird to post this in the third person and do I use quotes if I wrote it?!)

"QR codes can also be used to conduct a treasure hunt of information in the school library. Middle school teacher librarian Gwyneth Jones, aka the
Daring Librarian, uses QR codes to engage students in what she calls “digital discoveries.” Asking the students to bring their cell phones to the library, in small groups or pairs, the kids hunt for sneaky QR codes posted around the library (programed with a free QR code generator) to discover clues that can be scanned that lead to other clues - some asking questions, some that lead students to wiki or webpages with further information, some that require the students to perform a task to discover the final clue and the “treasure” which is a special key code to be submitted to a Google form. Once on the Google form wikipage students input the “key” to a drawing for a chance to win an iTunes gift card or a bundle of free books. Another use is posting QR codes next to book displays & pubic access catalog computers that lead students to wikipages where they can write and read student book reviews.

Because students work in groups or pairs, only about a third of the class needs Smartphones and because she’s done a student survey in advance she knows how much technology her students have. If necessary, being ever cognizant of the digital divide, Jones has purchased several iPod touch Generation 4 mobile devices that students may use in the library or check out to use at home with the preloaded Kindle app and several books, music, & library pics." - Read the rest of the article by Tamara Cox and check out her AWEsome Eliterate Librarian blog

Buying information for the iPod Touch 4th Generation
Now with FaceTime, Retina display, HD video recording, and Game Center.

Shopping ALERT! Amazon price beats Apple teacher discount!

An 8G Apple iPod Touch 4th Gen is on sale on Amazon for $215 last week... and the Apple Educator price was.....wait for it....$229! What the what!? So like I mention on my
check Amazon's price before you decide to buy - and remember the low price today could raise higher tomorrow - and vice versa.

On our Recent Arrival Display - Promoting our Blog!

In our hallway - promoting our Google Form Book Reviews!
Want More Ideas?
Black & White and Scanned All Over!

Great Video from Laura Jacob

QR Code in Your Pocket
This weekend I worked on updating my MOO mini business cards adding a QR Code to this blog on it. Then dear Shannon Miller asked me to update hers adding one (of course I agreed after a little [cough] snarky grumbling [grins]) & and then whilst I was on a roll I offered this service (which does take hours) to my dear mentor Joyce Valenza as her holiday pressie. Whew! Now...I'm crossing my fingers that the code does work once printed. I'll keep you posted!

QR Code Jewelry -
If I weren't so busy (and so indolent) I'd start a cottage industry of Customizable QR Code jewelry or buttons on As it is - I bought the last one from BarcodeArt this morning. Heh heh. I have shopping issues.

QR Code Resources & Articles:
A Time to Give Thanks

It's true the more you give the more your receive... Since I've started sharing more...I've gotten more back. Twitter makes me happy this way! Thank you everyone who has so generously shared with me this year!

That's why this phrase from a recent posting on Diane Cordell's brilliant blog Journeys made a great impression: "'Mentors are simultaneously mentees; students and teachers can become co-learners" LOVE it! So this is my holiday message of love and thanks!

In this season of light & giving- let's all please remember to be generous, supportive, positive, & INCLUSIVE of each other!

I want to take a min to thank you dear readers - from all over the world! I also want to thank everyone who takes the time to comment! (it makes me so ridiculously happy!)

Whew, I'll stop shouting...LOL As a blogger I've learned (in the last 5 years of blogging -my school library blog I started in 06) - you don't blog for comments..if you do, you are SURE to be disappointed - you don't even write for readers - I swear the first few years I was writing I was sure only a few of my students glanced at it....Just write from your heart, admit your failures, celebrate successes, & SHARE SHARE SHARE! - give your stuff away & you'll be surprised at how much you will get back!

/lovefest bah humbug! LOL
Photo credits:
Calvin Klein billboard Mashable
QR Code on Door: Tailor Made Hotel
Flickr Creative Commons QR Code on a Stick - photo by See-ming Lee - Photo shop by me!
iPod Touch 4th Gen from Villa State
QR Code Custom button photo by BarcodeArt
Photo of the Philly Museum of Art - ME!

HOT QR Codes in the Classroom & Library
Diane Cordell, ipod touch, joyce valenza, mini moo cards, mobile apps, qr codes, shannon miller, tamara cox


  1. Love your QR code ideas. WE've been trying them on our entry way Whiteboard leading to prizes(one way to get hs students to download the app!) and on the covers of books to link to author websites.

    But your ideas are awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love this! We are definitely going to try some of your wonderful ideas and maybe, yes maybe, try to create some of our own. Of course, we'll share too! Thank you, thank you for keeping us moving in the right direction!

  3. Thanks for your blog post. I had planned to start the new year over here (Australia) with QR codes strategically placed in our library to link to our intranet pages, catalogue, Libguides, and author websites, and this has given me the impetus I needed to get started!

  4. Thanks so much for all the great applications for QR codes - and your QR Codes at a Glance Comic. I've done a few presentations on using QR codes in the library and classroom, and always find your stuff the BEST!

  5. I love the idea of your treasure hunt with QR codes, I would really like to try this in my library, but ours, like many schools have strict rules concerning student cell phone usage. Do you have any suggestions for approaching reluctant administrators about permissions?

  6. Our school newspaper staff has created a Vine video account. Do you know of a QR code generator that create a code for Vine?

    1. That's the beauty of the QR code! Just go to the Vine video - isolate it (find the direct URL) by going to share & make the QR code from THAT URL! Bam! There you go! It's like Flickr - the trick is finding the right URL to JUST the picture! Hope that helps!


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