Does your grandson have to help you get your email? Well, if you’re reading this, you’re not as bad off as you think you are! The problem is finding the time, first to research it, and then more time trying to figure out the research. Ay carumba! It makes me tired just thinking about it. Don’t run away, but today is a lesson on one such thing – using QR codes. What the heck is a QR code, you may ask and why in the world would we want to use it? Stick this out and there will be a reward of sorts at the end.

BORING PART, BUT WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT.

A QR code is just a fancy bar code. You know, like the bar code that’s on every single item in your Wal-Mart. That’s what the cashier scans to get the price. Or heck, you scan it yourself if you go through the Fast Lane at the grocery. QR stands for ‘Quick Response”, and once you understand how to use it, it really is very quick and fun. The most fun thing about them is a QR will do much more than a regular bar code. A QR will take you to photos, or a website…or a page in a magazine, on and on. You can scan a code with your smartphone or tablet and it will take you right where you want to go! No having to copy in a website address or dial a phone number. (Yes, you can even get a QR code that will dial a specific phone number or email).

SO, WHAT AM I UP TO?

I think that this QR thingie could serve us well, so I’m giving it a trial run in this blog. I’m going to give you the very easy steps below. If you’d like to try it out, follow the steps to install the QR reader onto your device and at the bottom of those instructions, I’m going to give you a QR code that will lead you somewhere. He, he.

FIRST OFF, YOU NEED TO DOWNLOAD A QR READER ONTO YOUR DEVICE.

This can be an iPhone, an iPad, an Android or other Smartphone or tablet. The only thing that will take you a moment is to decide which one you want.

Since I’ve researched the readers for you, if you just choose the same one I chose, you can go download it, which will take maybe 2 minutes.

CAUTION: Don’t just download any QR reader. I tried a random one and it wanted me to download additional things before it would work. Aack! So, I wrote an expert, Leslie Saeta and asked her opinion on a reader without any spam. This is the link she sent me to the best Visual QR code readers: http://www.visualead.com/qr-code-tutorials/what-is-the-best-qr-code-reader.

This morning, I clicked that link and researched the readers they suggest. I have an Android phone, so I chose the very first one on that list: (Barcode Scanner), because it was number one and mostly because I just didn’t want to read about all of the others. And it’s FREE, too.

(For iPhone, the list recommends using an app called, “QR Reader for iPhone).

TO DOWNLOAD THE QR READER TO YOUR CELL PHONE or TABLET:

  1. Find the Programs icon on your cell phone. Then look around for Google Play or Play Store in the program list. (You would use iTunes on iPad/iPhone). I then typed “Bar Code Scanner” for my Android phone (QR Reader for iPad/iPhone if you have an iPad/iPhone) into the search box.
  2. Bar Code Scanner app came up, along with the option to INSTALL. It’s free, so I clicked install and about 30 seconds later, it was on my phone. Woo-hoooo! I was feeling really smart and sassy.
  3. Then, if you click on the Bar Code Scanner App to open it up, you’ll see a sort of ‘camera-type’ screen with little frame marks. You are supposed to center the code inside those little frame marks. THAT’S ALL YOU NEED TO DO. You don’t even have to click anything! The phone will see the code and recognize it automatically. It may take you right to the destination, or it’s possible it may give you the link – and if it gives you the link, you’ll have to click on it. Ugh…the work involved! Ha.
  4. So, okay, let’s give this a try. If you have the app downloaded, here is my very own QR code that I made up for you today. Where will it take you?

Do you recall last week when I introduced a set of Vintage Christmas Cards in packet form? I thought it would be fun if I could give you the STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS for those cards!

If you scroll down to the QR code below, then hold your phone (with the Barcode Scanner program open on your phone, of course) it will recognize the code and take you to a Dropbox file where you’ll see step-by-step photos to go along with the waxing diagrams for each card in the Vintage Card Packet!

At least, I HOPE that is what will happen! Yipe! I tried it myself and it worked great. But I need a few more guinea pigs to try it out, too. I need to give Murphy a chance to put in his two cents, so I can hone this to perfection. Remember, this is my first try at this so let me know if it worked for you and how much trouble it was. Would you use it again (Assuming it works right this time. Gulp)? I think this could be really cool for lessons/packets…lots of photos I couldn’t normally put in a lesson packet, or heck, even a DVD attached! I think there are a lot of ways we could use it.

Also, this code is good forever. There’s no time limit. You can use it anytime and it will always take you to the same place.

 TT1216-1

Thanks to any of you who actually read this far! And double thanks to anyone who has a moment this time of year to actually give this a try! I’ll still love you if you don’t.

Kathie xo

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