We have discovered a new favorite game that I want to share with you today. It’s called “Spot the QR Code,” and you’ll be amazed at what you can find. It’s one of those sneaky games that makes kids learn stuff while they are having fun.
My kids were initially introduced to QR Codes through Usborne’s Children’s Encyclopedia.
Each page touches on a different topic and has an associated QR Code that, when scanned, sends the reader somewhere (safe) on the internet. Often it’s an educational video or picture or quiz that expands the child’s knowledge about the subject they are reading about in the book. My kids loving scanning the codes so much that sometimes they just flip through the book, scanning each code and looking at whatever educational material pops up. IT’S AWESOME!
Now my kids notice QR Codes everywhere. A bus stop, a store front, a box of cereal, the wall of a public restroom. They are all over my house, too. In the refrigerator, on the side of the washing machine, inside the toilet tank. (Don’t ask, just please, don’t ask.) And ya know, I happily stop and let the kids scan those funny little square boxes because they get a thrill out of seeing where the scan takes us. It’s fun for me, too! Plus I feel like my kids are learning, not just about technology, but about business, marketing, and web campaigns.
What is a QR Code?
Hey, I’m really glad you asked! QR Code is an abbreviation for Quick Response Code. It is a special kind of barcode that anybody can scan with a smartphone app that usually directs the user to a website. (You can download any number of free apps for iPhone and Android. This is the one I have for my Android.) QR Codes have gained a lot of popularity in commercial marketing because they are so easy! Rather than typing in an entire web address, the user merely scans the code and they are there! So easy.
Here are a few examples of unique QR Codes we have run into recently:
|On the trash can at Chick-fil-A.|
|Don’t want to wait in line to buy tickets? Scan the QR Code, buy tickets on your mobile device, and walk right in!|
|QR Code on a car! Difficult to scan if it’s moving, but pretty brilliant parked on the side of the road.|
|On the wall of the bathroom at the Denver Airport. It was clean and I told them so, BTW!|
In my experience, most QR Codes direct you to a company website. Sometimes they enable you to send a text message directly to a company. Sometimes they instantly pull up a video or send you to an online campaign. Sometimes it just pulls up a phone number or a plain text message. The possibilities are endless! My kids are always excited to scan the code to see what pops up.
You can even generate your own QR Codes! I’ll tell you how to do that and why you might want to make your own codes in another post coming up, so stay tuned!
What are you waiting for? Get scannin’!