Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How to Use a QR Code to Distribute More Than Just a Link

QR codes can be super-useful for quickly sharing links, but did you know you can share more than just websites?

Here are some other things you can put in a QR code:
  • prompt scanner to make a phone call
  • prompt scanner to send a text message
  • prompt scanner to send an e-mail (you can even decide on the subject and body text!)
  • an electronic business card
  • a location on a map
  • an iTunes or Android app
  • a location on FourSquare
  • a YouTube link
  • the last tweet of a particular user on Twitter
  • a tweet from Twitter
  • someone's Twitter profile
  • a WiFi network
  • free-formatted text
My favorite QR code generator is a site called Kerem Erkan, and it's what I'll use for the screenshots in this post. 

Here's how to put more than just a link in a QR code:

1. Go to Kerem Erkan's QR code generator. Scroll down on the page until you see something like this:

2. Click the arrow to reveal a drop down menu with these options:

3. Select whichever option you prefer, fill in the blanks accordingly, and click "generate code" at the bottom of the screen:

4. Right-click on the QR code that pops up to save it to your computer. 

Ideas for use
  1. Phone number: create a code with your desk phone number (or Google Voice or Convoi number) so that parents can call you quickly without having to dial a number. 
    • Similarly, create a code with a mobile device phone number (use Google Voice or Convoi if you don't want to reveal your real cell phone number) that prompts parents to text you.
  2. E-mail: create a code that connects to your e-mail so parents have one less thing to type. 
  3. Google or Bing map: need to direct parents to a field trip or other off-campus location? Embed the Google or Bing map link in a QR code so parents can easily access it on their phone. 
  4. iTunes or Android app: Ensure students download the correct app by placing the link to it in a QR code.
  5. Twitter: direct students or parents to your Twitter profile or a specific tweet without making them search for it. 
  6. Free Formatted Text: the possibilities are endless! I used to use this feature for creating a scavenger hunt (although now there is a tool that makes it even easier -- QR Treasure Hunt Generator). You could do a scavenger hunt or other challenge-based game to help kids get to know the room, school building, or rules at the beginning of school. You could also create a game over any subject or topic that hides the questions inside a free-formatted text QR code. 


1. My Twitter profile:

2. My favorite ePortfolio app on the iTunes store:

3. Freely-formatted text with a secret message:

4. Send me an e-mail:

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