|The result of everything I talk about in this post. |
Also a shameless plug for my books.
I was playing with QR Code creators in support of the website that I have for one of my other outlets for creative energy, www.plossville.com. It's a website to support the author/illustrator side of my life and is where I promote my six self-published books for children.
One of the sites that I found for making free QR Codes online is QRCode Monkey. You can create all types of QR Codes there and, as far as I can tell, it's free. One of the options you have during the design process is to have a graphic or logo embedded in the QR Code block. I opened Illustrator and worked on some shapes and designs for the graphic. For part of it I wanted to create something that appeared more organic or hand-drawn.
Since my WACOM tablet is not here with me at the moment I looked to my iPad and the Adobe Draw app. I opened it up fully expecting that I would create and save it on the iPad, load it into DropBox and then recover it on my Mac from there.
Imagine my surprise when, after creating the graphic on the iPad, one of the options was to send to Illustrator. I clicked the button and within seconds a new Illustrator window opened up on my Mac with the image drawn on the iPad in it.
But that's not even the best part.
The best part is that Adobe Draw on the iPad saved and sent the image as a completely editable Illustrator file so that I could tweak the design in Illustrator before adding it to the graphic bound for the QR Code. To me this is amazing. I can sketch with stylus or finger on my iPad and the files are instantly available on my more full-featured Mac to continue the design process.
Then the Illustrator file, with the Draw image added to it, was saved as a jpg and then uploaded and embedded in the Qr Code block.
So how to use this around school?
You can create QR Codes with different embedded logos to give the user an idea as to what type of information is included in the code block. For instance, our Library in the pre-2 school in which I work the new-this-year librarian (a former Technology Instructional Leader in another school in the district) has code blocks all over the library. It was his showing me what he'd done behind the code block, the information you are sent to after scanning, that got me playing with them this weekend.
Now I can see that with the addition of icons in the logo field that users can see which QR Codes might provide the information pertaining to what they need right now.
It's taken me until now to formulate a response because, like many of you I suspect, I hadn't spent any creative capital on the subject.
So here it is, and I suspect it has always been, QR Codes in education provide the ability to embed more useful information in signage than could reasonably be presented in the traditional way. You can link to anything and as long as the user has a smartphone, internet access either through WiFi or Cellular and a code scanner, they can retrieve that additional information. It also deeply embeds the impulse to do act rather than delaying and possibly loosing that interaction because the user forgets to do it later.
How do you use QR Codes in your school or life?