QR-CODES AS A LEARNING TOOL IN ADVANCED DEGREES
The use of QR codes in education can be very interesting. The purpose is to know how and where to use this technology. The ideas are innumerable always in order to complement the information of the physical environment available through different online contents. In addition, its implementation in the classroom can be simple and independent of the subject or knowledge discipline. The great innovation that QR codes introduce is that they allow you to connect real objects with any additional web content. Thus, its technological possibilities are endless, allowing the generation of virtual reality and augmented reality environments in the classroom. The main requirement is that students have a smartphone with an integrated camera and the corresponding application to capture this information. Some examples are: QR Code, Barcode Scanner, QR-Droid, QuickMark, I.nigma Reader, Beetag Reader…, being free apps in most cases. In general, these applications are very intuitive, complete, support different languages and can be used in all types of platforms. There are also other tools that allow you to generate short URLs or reduce the length of any web address (Bit.ly, Goo.gl, Ow.ly…); in some cases it is even possible to obtain the QR code at the same time. So it is a technology that allows the design of learning activities with students through the use of mobile devices. In summary, these tools facilitate the teacher's performance.
The QR code (Quick Response Code) is a basic diagram that allows you to store information in a two-dimensional dot matrix, that is, it is an image that the smartphone interprets as a hyperlink. The information stored in a QR code can be text, a link to a URL, a video or even a photograph. These codes can also be used to generate actions on mobile devices such as: make a phone call, send an email, add an event in the appointment book, indicate a location on a map, etc. Thus the QR Code can be used in activities both read and write. For example, they can contain study material to expand knowledge (video, podcast, blogs, documents, YouTube link...) or simply a questionnaire where the student inserts information.
QR code technology is as powerful as it is easy to use. Now, just like any other ICT tool that you want to implement in the classroom, it should help and complement the learning dynamic. The idea is not to use innovative tools for the sole purpose of entertaining students or follow certain fashions. The schools and their teachers see appear, from time to time, certain fashions or pedagogical approaches that promise to be revolutionary and solve all the problems existing in the classroom. For this reason before the design of an educational activity, it is advisable to think about the use of this technology and the added value it brings about student learning.
The use of multimedia resources and virtual learning environments has already been adopted in numerous institutions of higher education as a Blended Learning process. In this context, applications that allow the combination of digital and physical information in real time through the use of mobile devices have special relevance. The technical characteristics of this tool in education can get extra motivation in students, since it involves a game in a natural format for them: active, multimedia and immediate. This document shows several examples of multimedia resources accessible through QR codes, hyperlinks and applications for use in the university classroom.