Monday, 11 March 2013

Thing 18: QR Codes

Until last week I had never used a QR code. I was kind of against them in principle because they use technology that is not available to everyone (you need a smartphone or a tablet device to read them) and that goes against my inner moral code.

However, I had a flash of enthusiam for QR codes, caused by 2 things:

1) I was mulling over ideas of photos to submit to the Sot23 Things Flickr competition and I had a flash of genius: why not create a photo of a QR code that leads to a hidden page on this blog, to enter into the Technology category. Not being one to let little things like never having used, let alone created, a QR code stand in my way I immediately set about using my trusty iPad to create my (soon to be) awardwinning image:


I then had to download a QR reader app to my smartphone to test it worked, which it did. For those of you without QR readers, this is the secret page if you are interested.

2) I was cackling gleefully to myself about the above flash of genius when I went to collect my children from school and got chatting to the headteacher (I move in high circles). I mentioned QR codes which led to him explaining how they use them in school: they have QR codes next to many of the wall displays and the children use school iPads to scan the codes and find out further information about each topic. He was genuinely enthusiastic about it which must have been contagious because I can now see how QR codes can be a useful tool.

However, I am still a bit dubious about using them in the University of Southampton library system purely because they are not accessible to everyone. I see that they could be a useful add-on but think we need to be careful to ensure that the same information is easily available to those users without the technology to read QR codes.


  1. "Chatting to the headteacher", you little hobnobber you! I'm suitably inspired - Library smart phone arriving at Avenue tomorrow (I don't have one!) so look forward to checking this out:)

  2. Well you know I do find it hard to fit in work around the nonstop stream of celebrity parties etc. Looking forward to seeing what you think of QR codes!

  3. Aren't you the clever one. Scanned your QR code with Library where's my chocolate?!