Sunday, December 11, 2011

What's the Code? #edtech

QR Codes are all the rage right now in the US.  They seem to be popping up everywhere.  But what are you to do if you don't have a smart phone with an app on it to decode the mysterious blob?  That's a good question and one that I've been researching the last few days thanks to @polluckburke sharing Snapmyinfo with me last week. When you sign up for an account it automatically generates a QR code for your e-mail address.  Supposedly, you can email qr codes and have them decoded for you without the need of a cell phone.  I have tested it and found it works.
But, QR codes can be tricky (especially custom codes).  It failed for codes that I know work with a scanner.  So, I went hunting for others. ZXing, the Patrick Wied QR Generator (and decoder) and Esponce all allow you to upload a picture of a QR code and will decode the result for you.  Incidentally, I have found Esponce does the best job and almost gets the custom QR Codes (most results came back scrambled).
So, if you are going to use QR Codes in an educational setting, I suppose the best advice is either make sure people have a way to read the code or keep them extremely simple and clean so people have a chance at using some of the utilities mentioned in this post to decode what they snap with a regular camera.
I felt bad about falling behind yet again on the 365 project so today I gave you 4 for the price of one! :)
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