Thursday, 10 November 2011

QR tags for children

I am loving QR tags at the moment, I've been aware of the exsistence for some time, but dismissed them as a new advertising/marketing idea that will fizzle out. Oh how wrong I have been...

For those who don't know, a QR code is Quick Response Code that, when using a smart phone or webcam, you can scan the picture and get information such as websites instantly, here's my blog QR

Found this site today ( it is the safety Tat QR, which is a site where you can design QR codes to hold emergency contact information and then make a transfereable 'tattoo' to stick to your childs arm, then if that child goes missing on a day out and someone finds them, they can scan the code and contact the parents.

My housemate was outraged by this, saying 'just another thing thats turning us all into more step to becoming robots'

My gut reaction was that, 'well you've obviously never lost a child in an amusement park', even if only for 10 seconds, its quite possibly, for me at least, the worse feeling in the world but then it did get me thinking what about the abuse of this marvellous idea, would it encourage kidnappinbg/randoming or have I been watching too many thrillers recently??

What about the use of QR codes in other ways for children, T.G.I Fridays have QR codes on the back of their children's menus to link the children to the Facebook page:

'The menus provide marketers a way to target children and their parents' (

I know that marketers use children all the time to target their products as a way to nag parents into buying them something or taking them somewhere and I couldn't help but feel uneasy about this quote, especially with 'Facebook' in there, is it right? Or is this just going too far?

And what about the open use of QR tags and pushing them into the children's arena?? How safe are QR tags? By targeting children, we're saying that QR tags are fine for children to use, but are they? You have no idea what's behind a QR tag so should we be openly using them for anyone to abuse??


  1. Well worth a look at for other QR Code ideas

  2. Natasha thanks for the post. I have been using QR codes for a while in education too, I have been presenting on the use of them in classrooms at conferences. You might like to see how I have been using them: I like the idea of the QR code contact details, when I used to take my class into London loosing one was always a major stress point and having their names plastered for all to see was something I worried about a QR code is a perfect solution, providing the person helping has the software to read it of course! Good idea all the same.

  3. Hi Natasha. Great to hear that you have found blogging so motivating for your studies. As an experienced teacher (ICT/SEN), reading blogs has opened my eyes to the amazing work that many colleagues have been doing with web2.0 tech in their classrooms. Following their blogs and tweets has given me so many great ideas to use in my classroom. On QRcodes... have you read any of Tom Barrett's blog posts on this subject? He used them with his primary class and blogged about it at Loads more good posts there too!
    Best wishes

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  5. I don't see an unique safety issue with the QR codes, they're no more unsafe than and other shortened URLs, and like there are browser plug ins that will reveal the real URL for et al, there are QR apps that show you the URL and ask you to confirm that you want to go there.

    The children's menu having a QR code isn't an issue for me, but that it links to Facebook is, given that under 13s shouldn't be using Facebook. That same issue would apply if they just put the facebook address on in plain text.