Extending Extension with QR Codes

Skrabut's QR Code
A QR code linking to Skrabut's LinkedIn account.

Recently, I have seen posts focusing on quick response (QR) codes. QR codes link the physical world to the virtual world. In case, you have not seen one, I included one as part of this post.

A QR code is essentially a bar code that when scanned and decoded will typically link to a Web site, providing a user with more information about a topic.

QR codes do not only link to Web sites, they can also be created to provide text information. QR Codes can store up to 4,000 characters of information using the correct QR Code generator. I recommend http://qrcode.kaywa.com and http://www.qrstuff.com/.

To scan QR codes, you will need a device to read and decode the QR codes. I recently created a learning guide focusing on QR codes, I recommend it as source to get started.

What I am really interested in is how Cooperative Extension could benefit from QR codes. As I was starting to understand what QR codes do, a number of possibilities came to mind. I would like to share those ideas. Remember, the idea is to link the physical world with the virtual world as easily as possible. You could certainly provide a URL, and I recommend that you still do, however, a QR code makes it more convenient for the user.

Ideas for using QR Codes in Extension

  • Include QR codes in publications linking to videos or Web sites with more information.
  • Add them to recipes to show processes. This would be beneficial for individuals who struggle with the language.
  • 4-H exhibitors could use them to link back to Web sites and videos showing how they progressed over time.
  • Include them in 4-H learning guides to demonstrate processes.
  • Place them on Welcome signs to link back to more informative Web sites.
  • Add them on your business cards to connect back to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Add them to merchandise to pull them back to the Extension Web site.
  • Place them on signs in fields where research is taking place so a learner can get more information.
  • Conference IDs can have QR codes to provide more information about a participant.
  • QR Codes can provide scannable links to equipment instructions.
  • Use QR Codes to promote events, again tying back to Web pages, videos, or text.
  • Color code your QR codes to identify different types of material, e.g., green could mean 4-H or horticulture.
  • Create virtual tours of areas of interest, each QR code gives directions to the next location.
  • Add them to plant identification tags.
  • With QR Codes, you could link to a Google map you created.
  • Use QR codes to highlight nomenclature of an item.
  • Create an interactive book.
  • Include them in your presentation slides, to link back to additional material.
  • Include QR Codes on posters, brochures, etc. back to your Web site, Facebook fan pages, Twitter feed, Youtube site, etc.

This a great little video that shows examples of how a school uses QR codes to facilitate learning: Black & White and Scanned All Over

Comment below with ideas where you see QR Codes can be used in Extension.

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