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Scanning barcodes has been a staple for decades on consumable items and some equipment. A common question we see is can you use barcodes in SchoolDude that we recently addressed. But what about the newer style of codes called "QR Codes" that is appearing in stores and on packaging?
What is a "QR Code"?
The traditional barcodes (a.k.a., UPC) has some limitations, so a more "quick responsive" code was developed. Its first use was in the automotive industry. Along with a faster read by a scanner, it has evolved to include several additional uses. It has expanded into more of a marketing tool as seen in advertising (e.g., quickly open a webpage on your phone vs. typing a web address), but has practical uses in educational operations.
What can I use QR Codes for?
A code can save you typing for the following:
Web Address or Website URL
Google Maps' Location
Simple text (e.g., an asset number)
Contact file's details (e.g., phone number and email) in your phone's directory
Event on your calendar
App Store Download (e.g., iTunes)
Can I generate my own QR code?
Sure! Try out http://www.qrstuff.com/ or http://www.unitaglive.com/qrcode as these sites are fairly easy to use. They can show you a preview and often allow you to download a copy of a sample.
What Do I Use on My Phone or Tablet with QR Codes?
I formerly used iCody or QRReader, depending on what I'm doing. iCody used to be great for scanning codes in a webpage to save typing, but has recently upgraded their features that has caused issues with webpages such as ours, so now I only use it for QR codes that open webpages vs. scanning into a data field on a webpage. QRReader is great for opening websites, maps, calling someone, etc. RedLaser is great at opening webpages from a QR code on an iPhone as it uses Safari vs. trying to use its own web browser, but you would not be able to do much more than that from a work standpoint unless you are shopping for parts or supplies.
How Would I Use This, or Do You Have an Example I Can Test?
An idea was brought to us was "I have a business card I give to my staff with my contact info, but could it have a web address for them to submit online requests vs. grabbing or calling or emailing me?" I thought "there could be something faster". So, I tested making my own QR Code for MySchoolBuilding to use on a business card or a webpage that someone can scan and it takes the user to the MySchoolBuilding requester's portal to submit an online request without needing to type a web address or a SchoolDude account number (I used QRReader for this test):
To learn how to make your own MySchoolBuilding web link with your account number, check out this handy blog entry!
Now, test this ability to pull up a map that autoloads an address via Google Maps on your phone (I used QRReader again for this example's testing):
Have fun in your own studies and tests!