This particular bit of mental precipitation comes about as a result of combining three different tools. It’s one of those, “If I take something I made with THIS, put it here using THAT, then I can get one of THESE and THAT would be REALLY COOL” moments. If you’re confused already, please keep reading. All will be explained in due time, but first let me share the story that brought about THIS, THAT, and THE OTHER THING.
It started with our 6th grade Basic Computer Skills class. To teach the kids how to use Audacity (THIS #1 in this formula) they decided to promote Read Across America day by recording themselves reading popular primary grade books from our library. These recordings will be burned to CD to so our 1st and 2nd graders can listen to their 6th grade buddies read the book to them. Many the recordings these students created were quite good. Some used the “change pitch” feature in Audacity to create voices for the characters. (See my post on Interview an Elf) Others added sound effects to add to the drama of the story.
While this was going on I came across a post on twitter from @shaunaaltman wondering if there was a way to create audio files that would play when you scanned a QR Code. Do you think you know where I’m going with this?
If you take an mp3, way, aiff, or other type of audio file created in Audacity or any other audio editing program and post it online where it can be accessed via a URL (hyperlink), you can also take that link and convert it a QR code. When that QR code is scanned by a reader app, most smart phones and mobile devices will just play the sound automatically.
So, I’ve got an mp3 file. How do I post it online? Enter THAT #2. There are several different options for doing THAT.
Once the file is online, copy the link (URL) to that file and use an online QR Code Generator (THE OTHER THING). There are many different options out there for doing this as well.
One way to do THIS is to use goo.gl
NOTE: You must be signed in to your Google Account to do THIS.
Don’t have a Google Account? Or don’t want to login? There are countless other free online QR code generators out there. Here’s one that not only lets you generate QR codes, but it also lets you make them “cute”: Beautiful QR Codes
When you have one of THESE QR Codes on your screen, you can right-click, copy image, and paste the image in any word processing document for printing. Once the code is printed you can do all sorts of things with it. Here’s where my brain started storming.
For our book project, we could take the QR Codes linking to the student recordings and tape them to the inside covers of the books. Parents with smart phones could use their smart phones so their children could listen along to their sixth grade buddies read the story to them.
But there are so many other possiblities…
- Place QR Codes around your school to create an audio tour. That plaque on the gym wall dedicated to that guy could explain who he was and why he has a plaque there. The mural created by the class of 2012 could have the kids from that class telling how and why they made it. The drinking fountain could explain where the water you are drinking is comes from – if you really want to know?
- Does your school have student leadership elections? Imagine using QR codes to create talking campaign posters.
- Teachers could add sound to their bulletin boards – a weekly extra credit challenge or hints to last night’s homework.
I could go on, but instead I’d like you to ponder the possibilities instead. Got any other cool ideas? Add a comment and share your thoughts.
If you’d like more info on how to use Audacity to create creative recordings here’s a tutorial: How to Make a Podcast