QR Codes: Popular Culture

So you’re not quite sold yet on QR codes.  They seem complicated and time consuming.  Let’s make this easier.  Let’s start with their role in society.  Today’s post will provide you some resources for analyzing the role of technology, specifically QR codes, within society.  Each “piece” offers a different opportunity to have students read or view, annotate and critically think.

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QR Codes as Art

Cnet, the tech website, offers a brief article about using the QR code as art.  They provide several photo and a cost range for QR codes framed and on canvass.  The article is great for:

  • Discussing the intersection of technology and art
  • Debating the idea of art
  • Discussing QR codes influence on popular culture

See Mashable’s list of QR codes that offer functionality as well as beauty for an extension.

QR Code as “Interactive Board Game”

In 2010, for Arbor Day weekend, Central Park instituted a series of QR codes to help people to interactively experience the park.  Each code allowed visitors to experience a different way the park had been used.  From orchestra concerts to “The Gates” QR codes transcended the normal Central Park experience.  They titled the event The World Park.  This piece is great for:

  • Discussing advertising with a “twist.”  Both video and website are “advertisements” for the event.  However, the event is free.  How does that change the nature of this advertisement?
  • Discussing the intersection of nature and technology.  How would Transcendentalists feel about this type of overlap?
  • Discussing the role of technology in the public sphere.

QR Code as Memorial

This story interests me the most.  NPR’s All Things Considered reported that a Seattle company is creating QR codes for headstones.  Scan them and your taken to a “living memorial” website.  This article is great for:

  • Discussing the intersection between memorials and technology.
  • Discussing how we memorialize the dead
  • Debating the ethics of QR coding gravestones


And on a final and somewhat stranger note:

Bill Cosby as QR Code

Checking on our twitter feed this week I noticed that Bill Cosby has a new book out.  I couldn’t help myself.  I clicked the link and I was taken to his twitter account and more importantly his picture.  If you scan the picture you are directly taken to his mobile app. Bill Cosby has a QR code.  Bill Cosby has a mobile app.  Enough said.

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