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Quite Ridiculous code

Posted on: May 11, 2022

I love QR codes. I persisted with them when they were not cool [example] and now they are ubiquitous thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But there is an instance when Quick Response codes can be Quite Ridiculous. This is not the fault of the codes but of its implementation.

Have you received email asking you to RSVP to an event with a QR code embedded in that email? You need two machines* to respond to this: One to display the QR code and another to read it.

*You could use one computer if you rely on web-based email, use an extension-enabled browser, and have a QR code extension [example] installed.

This indicates that the sender of the message is not thinking about what you need to do. They might only be thinking about how common or cool it is to include a QR code because they see it everywhere. But they forget that QR codes are typically printed and pasted somewhere and you need only bring one device, your phone, up to it.

This reminds me of the mindset of teachers who are new (or stubborn) about integrating technology into their lessons. They fall into the cool tool trap or assume that commonality leads to transfer. They forget about user experience, context, and empathy for the learner. Without these, lesson design that attempts to use or integrate technology is likely to be Quite Ridiculous.

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