Getting Started With QR Codes

What is a QR Code?

QR stands for Quick Response. A QR code is a two-dimensional bar
code, in a standard digital format that gives you a quick link to

What can a QR Code do for me?

A QR code takes you right to the website page you need – using your
smart phone. You scan the QR code and then hit the button to go to the
destination website!  QR codes can also contain a simple text message or information in formats which can work
with other apps, such as contact details (an electronic business card), a phone number (for
quick dialing), event details (to add to the calendar).

A little history

QR codes were developed by Denso, an automotive parts supplier subsidiary of Toyota. Denso
needed a way to store detailed information on automotive components, and standard
barcodes were not able to store enough information. The use of Japanese Kanji characters
exacerbated the problem as characters are data intensive.

Why are QR codes becoming so popular?

Browsing the web with a mobile phone is now commonplace and there are many occasions
where it is useful to obtain information on the go. QR codes provide one of the simplest ways
to get information when using a mobile phone.

How do I use my phone to read a QR code?

It’s easy. Just download a phone app, for example from the list below.

Android  – Google Googles, Red Laser – Android Market

Blackberry – Blackberry App, World App, Messenger, QR Code Scanner – Blackberry App World

iPhone – Qrafter, Red Laser  – Use iTunes to access the iTunes

There are many other types of bar codes, designed for specialist purposes, such as for airline
tickets and for postal mailing addresses. These codes often use dedicated readers.
Microsoft TAG is similar to a QR code and used in some advertizing. The TAG has a triangular
grid and uses color. A dedicated app is available from Microsoft for reading Tag codes.

Thank you Simon Fermor for pulling this summary together.

Techbook Project

Would you like to be part of the TEDxManhattanBeach ‘techbook’?  Hall Davidson will show how digital textbooks can be more community relevant—instantly.  If you would like to be part of a techbook that will be assembled during his talk on October 22, 2011, follow the instructions below.  You will need a mobile phone that shoots video and can send emails or messages.

Do this:

Identify a topic or area of expertise—for example, “Non-Indigenous Plants”

Write “Non-Indigenous Plants” boldly on a piece of paper.

Begin the video by shooting the title. (This will help us sort your video). Then keep shooting your video. For example, you might move from the paper to show a non-indigenous plant like an ice plant.  You might add narration  “The ice plant is not native to California.  It comes from New Zealand.  Many people think it is beautiful but it can be destructive to local hillsides.”  It does not have to be fancy.  Simple is best, and short—less than 30 seconds.

When you finish shooting on your phone, your phone may ask you if you want to send the video in a message. You do! Send the video to this address. (That is an “L” after the 69 and it doesn’t have to be capitalized.) Your phone may prompt you how to do this. If so, follow the instructions.  If  you are not prompted, look for an icon or other indicator on the phone screen for email.  On a BlackBerry, the icon looks like an envelope.   You can send the video as an email or as an MMS (multimedia message).  The video make take a minute or so to upload (that’s why short is important!).  When you are successful you will get a confirmation message from YouTube.  Yes, you can send videos from your phone directly to your YouTube account. Please do this by late Friday night (October 21, 2011) before the TEDxManhattanBeach Conference.  

Thank you in advance!

Top 10 Reasons You Want To Attend

Top 10 Reasons You Want To Attend The TEDxManhattanBeach Conference: Transforming Learning

1. It’s like a massage for your brain. Thinking out of the box takes work. Here’s a chance to grow some new connections in your brain!

2. It’s a great way to network with some fantastic, diverse people from all walks of life.

3. You’ll be blown away by the breakout activities.

4. You’ll be inspired to reach further. Look up and you’ll see where these speakers are aiming; they’ll inspire you to do the same.

5. This is a chance to participate in a worldwide event on a local level.

6. You have bragging rights that you attended the most amazing event.

7. You’ll have some great things to post in your Twitter feed, Facebook wall, etc. People will be jealous you’re there!

8. You’ll never see the world the same again.

9. The conversations during networking take on a new life when people start talking about the topics.

10. You may just learn how to teach maths by playing games. You have to attend to see what that means!

Seriously, you may never think the same way again.

Purchase a ticket here.

“High-level innovative thinking” at pilot school

Karen Quartz of UCLA

Karen Hunter Quartz is Director of Research and Development of the UCLA Community School in Los Angeles. She’s a dynamic and accomplished educator with scores of awards and several books to her name. You can read more about her impressive accomplishments in Karen’s profile.

The UCLA Community School is unusual. It’s a pilot school, a partnership between UCLA, LAUSD Local District 4 and several community-based organizations, and situated in the mid-Wilshire (Pico Union/Koreatown) area. The school offers a unique perspective on education:

  • Educators have automony and bring personal expertise to the curriculum.
  • Many of the teachers and staff are bi- or trilingual.
  • Teachers stay with learning groups for 2 years to build community.
  • Youngsters are grouped into small classes, not by age but by learning level.
  • Math and science emphasize real-world problem-solving, tailored to kids’ interests.
  • In the older grades, UCLA students provide outreach about majors and careers.

The UCLA Community School

The teachers radiate understanding of their students’ cultural backgrounds and family situations and they instill passion for learning. Karen feels that creating this school has been a dream job for her. “The common vision is very distinct knowledge of culturally-relevant instruction. We engage students in high-level thinking – and innovative curriculum,” says Quartz.

Right-brain stimulation accelerates learning

Melanie West, M.A., educational psychologist

Melanie West is an educational psychologist, the author of The Right Side of Learning and the founder of The Right Side of Learning program. “I started my career as a school psychologist for public schools, testing and diagnosing students for learning disabilities. But as I accumulated experiences, I discovered that we have a very real obstacle in our approach to children who experience a problem with learning,” she says.

West left her position in the public schools and embarked on a journey. She sought to discover a solution for learners whose brains work differently.

Many parents have experienced frustration as children race through work, work at a snail’s pace, or suddenly do something unrelated to the task at hand. “If you ask a child like this what he or she is thinking about, he might not know!” says West. She understands these children, and has developed a different way of looking at how kids learn — and has had great success in improving kids’ learning rate, long term memory skills and strengthen their ability to conceptualize new ideas.

This has implications for how kids learn in schools. “Schools must design an education that fully engages the right hemisphere during the learning process. Right-brain stimulation not only accelerates learning, it engages creative thinking and develops the problem-solving skills our children need for future success – not just their personal success but the success of our country as a whole.”

Come hear Melanie West talk about her innovative approach to teaching right-brained learners at our TEDxManhattanBeach conference on education on Oct. 22, 2011.

Read more about Melanie West