SIS News Archive

The Enigma of QR Codes
Posted 03/11/2014 07:40PM

    The Enigma of QR Codes

Are you wondering what these geometric designs are? You’re not the only one. You have probably even seen QR codes at breakfast. They are everywhere—on breakfast cereal boxes and bus stops. They are in use around the SIS campus as well.  Here is a quick primer on what they are and how they are used.

1. What are QR codes?

They are similar to barcodes on supermarket products. It’s information encoded in a two-dimensional graphic. A supermarket barcode consists of vertical lines, a QR code encodes info vertically and horizontally – so you can get more info on it. You scan QR codes with your mobile device. A code could include a short amount of text, or a website link (url). 

2. Where can you find QR codes?

A QR code might contain nutritional information on your breakfast cereal box, or it can contain travel information at your bus stop, or a link to an online timetable. A code can be included on your business card, e.g. to include a direct link to your online CV. A QR code on a class handout may contain further references, or links to resources such as an online video. A QR code is placed on a physical object. It’s a quick (the Q in QR) and easy way to link the physical world with the virtual world.

3. How do you read QR codes?

You need:

a mobile phone with a camera

software called a QR reader

You’ll have noticed that I have cunningly placed a QR code at the top. Have a go at reading it!

4. Uses for QR codes in the Classroom

Less Typing for Little Fingers

Second Language Learners

Classroom Libraries

Scavenger Hunts for Learning Resources




Checking in


I have just started experimenting with QR codes. I’m finding that it’s fun, dreaming up new ways to put these to use. I’d love to hear what you’ve come up with, as well. Please share your ideas.

Authored by:

Shane Gower


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Shekou International School

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