QR Codes Using Kaywa

16 May

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that I’m a big fan of QR Codes (those black and white squares you have seen all over the place).  As part of the celebration around Digital Learning day I recorded a webinar on QR Codes so if you want to learn more about how they can be used in education I suggest you check it out.  But since I made that recording, the tool I used to generate my QR Codes, the URL shortener, Bitly, no longer allows for the creation of QR Codes. Your old codes still work, but you cannot create new codes.

What now?  Isn’t this one of the greatest fears around using technology in teaching (or life in general)?  That you find some great tool and then one day when you try to use it, it has changed/gone away/now costs money?  It was a hard blow.  I hoped the change was temporary, but after a few weeks had passed without any change, I actually contacted Bitly and they confirmed that they no longer support the generation of QR Codes, no further explanation.

And what do we do when this happens?  Well, if we’re going to persevere we have to search for a new tool–and that’s just what I did, I googled “how to make a QR Code.”  I found QR Stuff which makes QR codes for lots of things beyond URL’s, but the QR Code it creates has to be downloaded in a file type that isn’t very useful for my purposes.  So I have moved on Kaywa to generate my QR Codes.

Kaywa allows unlimited creation of static QR Codes and you can right click on the image of the QR Code to copy it and then paste it into a word document or onto a PowerPoint slide—or save it as a jpeg etc.

A note on static vs dynamic QR Codes–As I mentioned, Kaywa allows unlimited static QR Codes, but it limits you to 5 free dynamic QR Codes. Dynamic QR Codes allow you to edit the URL that the QR Code points to. For the purposes of education, I find that static codes do the job, because I use the QR Code to send people to a website or web content. Then I can change the content but the URL stays the same. I’m not against dynamic QR Codes at all, but I like free, so static QR Codes work for me.

Your turn!  Try out using Kaywa to generate your QR Codes and tell us how you are using QR Codes with students or for your program.  We put a QR Code on our catalog of professional development workshops—when scanned, it takes you to our registration website which is mobile friendly so you can register right then and there.

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