Barcodes Offer Interesting Opportunities for Mobile Learning


Google is now offering a barcode reader on the Android Mobile Platform, which in itself is not a big triumph for mobile learning, but it’s just the latest company to offer the capability as part of it’s mobile platform. Apple has a barcode reading app for the iPhone and you can purchase barcode or QR code (similar to barcodes) readers for almost all popular mobile platforms.

The barcode and QR code reading software is made available in the hopes consumers will use it to research, compare and price products. But as designers and developers of mobile learning, we can use barcodes to aid students in finding information, and there are countless other uses for barcodes and QR codes.

  • You could place barcodes on items in the physical world, which would guide learners through an immersive simulation or guided tour
  • Libraries could provide QR codes on the cover of all books which could link to executive summaries or abstracts of learning material
  • Barcodes could link to museum information and launch a multimedia experience on the device
  • Employees or student name tags could contain QR codes which link to information about that person
  • Finally, my favorite, a person could annotate an experience based on the event identified by the QR code or bar code and that annotation could include pictures, audio and video from the event (all captured with the mobile device of course)

I’m sure you can think of plenty of uses for the QR/Barcode in mobile learning. Coding software is fairly simple and easy to implement. Below are links to some QRCode and Barcode applications for you to take a look at.

Note: this first link is extremely easy to use and you can start using QR codes today!

Here’s a QR Cod link to my blog and you can try it out on your device.


QR Code reader for Windows Mobile devices:

Free QR code generator:

Wikipedia entry on barcodes:

Wikipedia entry on QR codes:

Free online barcode generator:


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