Are you familiar with these funny looking black and white QR (Quick Response) codes? You see them everywhere, supplying links and information regarding information and instructions on products or events. QR codes provide information that can be scanned multi-directionally by a mobile device with a camera.
What do they have to do with AT or OT? Well, depending how creative you are or the type of devices you have available to you, they can be another tool available on your iDevice for individuals with disabilities. With some searching you will find that QR codes are readily used in education and special education for all kinds of things. Here is a link to a slide show with numerous educational uses for QR codes: https://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dhn2vcv5_765hsdw5xcr&revision=_latest&start=0&theme=blank&authkey=COX05IsF&cwj=true
My initial thoughts were to use QR codes for students who need support accessing worksheet information. But with a bit more thought here are a few other ways QR codes can be useful:
- Do you work with any individuals with significant motor problems that have difficulty writing down URL’s, phone numbers or other event information? Individuals with a phone equipped with a camera can scan the QR codes which can be saved for later retrieval or will directly link them to the information rather than having to enter an entire URL, phone number or address into their smart phone. Easy access!
- Create visual phone book or address book with pictures and QR codes for quick access to phone numbers using the QR codes
- QR codes can be used to supplement or summarize class material, text-book pages when created using the notes or audio gathered by students or teachers and converted to a QR code. This QR code can be put on a work sheet or posted on a website for students to review information when absent from class
- Create flash cards with words, vocabulary, letters, objects, math facts, study information and place a QR code on them providing the correct answers or pronunciations
- QR codes can provide audio information or directions on work sheets to students who can not access print. With a QR code providing information on directions or content, using a QR reader can supply a student with access to the worksheet information. Some QR generators provide only short information and some tools manage more extensive text or media.
- Do you have handouts or web resources that you supply to parents? If they have a smart phone provide those URL’s via a QR code allowing them greater ease of access to the information by scanning a QR code than dealing with URL’s
Here are a couple of ideas of QR codes in education (gathered from Steven Anderson’s Live Binder QR Codes in Education :
This is a very cute explanation from a elementary student explaining how they use QR codes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSA3YsBy_pU&feature=related)
There are many QR code readers for android and for iDevices with cameras as well as web-based services or apps to generate QR codes. One of them is a QR reader that provides text to speech to the QR code, providing information spoken aloud called QR Voice.
QR Voice is an online QR code generator. Limited to creating a message of up to 100 characters it will create a short audio message. You still use standard QR code readers only the information supplied is not a text but an audio message. Here is the process:
Insert up to 100 character into the text box, select the QR code picture and it creates the code on the information you entered. You can choose the size of the code by moving the slider.
The result is the QR code and URL that can be copied and pasted, or printed out, posted or applied to worksheets, books, materials or laminated for use. Easy? Yes!
Kawya – A web-based QR code generator providing free code generation for URL’s, text, SMS or phone numbers. Requires free membership for access to the code generator. Easy to use.
There are many free or low-cost QR Readers available for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. Here are just a couple:
Qrafter – Pro version creates QR codes (2.99) and standard version is a reader (free). Many different types of information can be utilized in a QR code including URL’s for YouTube, map info, addresses, phone, email and much more allowing QR code readers to be used to supply information on many types of information. I found the most success with Qrafter app.
QR Reader – QR code reader (free or $.99 for Premium which removes ads) compatible with iPhone, iPad2, iPod 4th gen.
Although you might not have an immediate use for the QR reader at present, I am guessing you will be seeing it used more and more if you work in the school setting and may spark some ideas on its application to your OT practice. If you are currently using QR readers or code generation in your OT practice or with students or client please share how you are using them!
Another OT tool for your iTool kit!