The answer to this is a resounding YES. Check out the links below and then tell me you couldn’t easily manage to put QR codes around the place to engage your students and your staff. You don’t need a dedicated QR code scanner if you work in a secondary school (although of course you wouldn’t say no if one was available) but you could instead encourage your students, many of whom are toting smart phones already, to get themselves a barcode scanner app freely available from the Android Market or from the App store in Apple and even on Blackberries – though in our experience they haven’t worked as well – and get into it. I’ve been talking with one of our Maths teachers and he is keen to get his class working on the maths part of the coding and they are going to have a go at designing their own QR codes.
I have installed QR codes on the the shelves just in front of where the books are. My books do not sit at the front of the shelves, I like them pushed to the back – library purists will cringe but I don’t have time to constantly keep books sitting at the front of the shelves. My QR codes link popular, or interesting books to booktrailers, author websites, reviews and of course there are extra codes for the Library Blog on random places around the library. So far I have only done the fiction section, and I have about three codes on either side of each bay. I don’t want too many because I want the guys to be curious, but not use up all their data. This is just the beginning, I have plans to link displays with codes, with the Rugby World Cup coming I can see opportunities there, maybe for player profiles, historical stuff about rugby and links to team profiles.
So, what do my students think? They love the idea, are interested in playing along, the Hunger games code is the big hit so far, and also one to Lee Child’s website. This could be because they are in the Cs and therefore are the first ones they see. On open night a couple of parents were scanning the codes, my plan was to have them installed for Open Night and I was really pleased I’d made the effort to get them in there. They initiated lots of conversation and I want the library to be seen as an ICT forward place. We may not have huge banks of computers or laptops but we are fully onboard with phone functionality!
The barriers so far are that they don’t have lots of data on their plans, it is expensive to have data plans here in NZ. It is also quite a lot of work to get them all organised, search out interesting places to link the codes to and get them installed. Worth it? I think so.
So I’ve been collecting links for a while to sites with useful information for school libraries on QR codes and am inserting them below. What do you think? Give us some comments on what you think about the QR code phenomenon. Do you think they would work in your library?
A Google Presentation. 40 interesting ways to use QR codes in the classroom (remember your library is a classroom!)
A treasure hunt using QR Codes by Allanah King
Implementation of QR Codes by The Cool Cat Teacher
Hot QR codes in the classroom by The Daring Librarian (one of my heroines)
Will QR codes become the standard for enhancing print books? by Publishing Perspectives
Stephen Anderson blogging on QR codes in the Web 2.0 Connected Classroom
Scoop-it topic QR codes for learning
I have a whole bunch more but this is enough for now.
If you have a smart phone then you could try it out here. Scan the codes below!
Scan these codes and see where you end up!