July 16, 2011

QR codes for art museums, elm trees and tombstones

Posted by Dr. Laura Guertin

I’m coming across an explosion of websites and uses for QR codes. Cybrary Man’s Educational Web Site offers an extensive list of links to sites and suggestions for the educational uses of QR codes.  I particularly enjoyed the QR Literature Quest that has famous first lines from books and authors embedded in QR codes.  Students go through their school library in the form of a scavenger hunt to find the books relating to those quotes.

On the TeachPaperless blog, I saw a posting called “Thinking Outside-the-Box With QR Codes” (July 15, 2011).  The author details how the Denver Art Museum used QR codes to only repeat the information available on exhibit, but he also shares an application of QR codes that enhanced the information at a photography show.  I like the idea of using QR codes to geolocate a display on view.

Just this week, I was visiting State College and was struck by massive tree stumps in the ground.  At first, I was disappointed to see that some massive trees were being cut down on campus, but then, I saw the sign with the QR codes to explain what was happening.

What happened to this elm tree? What happened to this elm tree?

Finally, one of the “field sites” where I do research with students is in cemeteries.  I recently came across this article on the NPR website, titled “Technology Brings Digital Memories To Grave Sites” (NPR story, May 30, 2011).  Then an article appeared on the Mashable website relating to the same topic.  QR codes, now appearing on tombstones!  In addition, I could see QR codes being used in cemeteries for walking tours and for presenting additional historic (and even scientific) information.

Can’t wait to see where QR codes will pop up next.