Home > No. 45 QR Codes

No. 45 QR Codes (2009年04月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
(Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Studies)
Hello everyone. This month’s topic is QR codes. Like everyone, I’ve
been seeing QR codes everywhere recently, on packages, at supermarkets
and on advertising leaflets. Usually they contain links to a site that
can be accessed via a cell phone. But QR codes can contain lots of
different information, including text messages, phone numbers, and
images, in addition to website links.

Some people may not be familiar with QR codes and so I guess I should
quickly explain what they are and how they are used. Developed in
Japan by Denso-Wave in 1994, QR codes are two-dimensional barcodes now
primarily aimed at cell phone users. To scan the codes and extract the
information, cell phone users take a picture of the code with a phone
camera using the barcode reader setting. The contents are then
automatically extracted.

At the recent Wireless Ready conference in Nagoya, Damian Rivers gave
a very interesting presentation about how he uses QR codes at his
college. He creates an interactive problem-solving treasure hunt with
his learners using text-based problems encoded in QR codes. The QR
codes are made using a QR code generator (if you google QR code,
you’ll get a list of about 10 services in either Japanese of English).
The generators are easy to use and usually require no downloading or
registration. You just type in your message (up to about 140
characters) and then push a button to get the square code image. Since
no internet access is required for text messages, QR codes give us the
ability to put a message into students’ cell phones, where they can
be saved if the learner so desires. You could also use the codes to give
learners vocabulary or short reading texts that they can take with
them and read later.

That’s it for this month. See you next month. Good luck with the new term.