Sunday, 1 January 2012

QR Codes and TinyURL in Education

We started using QR Codes in our classrooms in the summer of 2011. We began investigating how we could make use of them and found a large amount of information online about the potential for QR Codes being used in the education environment. Some of these can be found here:

In addition to these websites there is also much more that can be found on YouTube, in blogs and by searching for 'QR Codes Classroom'.

Initially, we only made use of QR Codes and made them using Kaywa. This was good as it allowed easier access to a URL through either an application on a mobile device or a desktop QR Code reader. This worked in most cases, but we found that sometimes children struggled to manipulate the QR Code for the reader to pick it up easily and that children and parents didn’t always have access to a QR Code reader at home. 

We then, after seeing them used on Twitter, started to look at the use of URL shortening services. We have found to be the most child friendly. Some others ( and for example) are case sensitive, where as TinyURL is not case sensitive. So, we now provide links to websites as both QR Codes and as TinyURLs.
As a result of using TinyURL we also discovered that if the TinyURL is used to create the QR Code rather than the original URL it makes the QR Code much simpler and therefore easier to read. The two QR Codes below link to the same webpage, but one is much simpler than the other:

So, when creating your QR Codes to link to a URL pop the URL into a shortening service and use that URL to create your QR Code.

Finally, we initially used Kaywa to create our QR Codes in black and white, but have recently discovered which allows you to do this:

We hope that adds a little more to the QR Code discussion and is of use to you.


  1. I'd love to use QR codes in the exciting ways that you are. Unfortunately, though, we don't have any handheld devices in school!

  2. James, thank you for your comment. The TinyURLs are as useful as the QR Codes. Also there are desktop QR Code readers that work on both Windows and Mac:

  3. Are you familiar with SnapMyInfo?

    With SnapMyInfo, sharing contact information is easy. Use any cell phone with a camera to immediately trade contact information."

    Another great resource is from Kathy Schrock.

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  5. Thanks for sharing! I love QR codes, but I'd never heard of Unitag before. Here is a link to the English site, for anyone else who can't read French.

    1. Glad you found it useful. Thanks for the English Unitag link.