Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Girl with the QR Code Tattoo

QR Code for my Twitter Feed
I've been on a bit of a QR Code binge lately. I've added them to business cards, put them on my ISTE poster and created a scavenger hunt for orientation (all of which I hope to blog about soon). But to top it all off I decided to make a QR Code Tattoo. Now I love to create funky things (You can see my so not edtech Flickr feed) and I like them even more if they are a tad but geeky (heck my other blog is called craftygeeks!) So I knew I wanted to make something with QR codes, but what? One day on Twitter I noticed Allanah King's Twitter avatar and asked her about it. She had earrings custom made with her QR code  how cool is that?!??! I thought of making my own earrings or necklace, but I wasn't sure I would have time to make something before ISTE

So I started looking at Etsy for QR code items - and I hit the jackpot - I found someone making QR Code Tattoos. They looked good and were reasonably priced, but then my friend Jonathan (@jelkimantis )stopped by in my office and said,

"You know you can buy your own Tattoo paper and make your own."

Well I just HAD to make my own now! On I found 5 sheets of tattoo paper for laser printers. It is some pretty cool stuff. So here are my steps for making a QR code tattoo:
  1. Get a QR code for your website! I used but plan on using in the future. It will shorten your URL (which makes a cleaner looking QR) as well as giving you a hit count. Plus I had some issues with getting my QR code read by non-iOS devices - not sure if it was a code or device issue.
  2. Save the image to your computer and place it in a document program. Personally I use Adobe InDesign, but I believe word would work just as well. 
  3. Duplicate this image as many times as will fit onto an 8x11 sheet of paper. I added my twitter name under my QR code as well.
  4. FLIP your image horizontally so that it is backwards. The way the Tattoo paper transfers the image - it is important it is reversed.
  5. Print a test page and test your qr code. If you hold the paper up to the light you can test the qr code through the back. (Or print before you flip your image and test)
  6. Follow the directions in your package - basically print on the special paper and then apply adhesive. 
  7. I then cut out all of my tattoos to apply when in Philly. They lasted a good 3 days!
I got some weird looks for my QR Tattoos, but more often than not I got the geek high-five and it worked as a great ice-breaker to meet people.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I read...for fun

I have a confession to make, I read a lot. For as long as I can remember I've been an avid reader. I still have fond memories of my local librarian in Winston-Salem (Ms. Orange) whom we would visit on a weekly basis. I met my husband because he was reading a book I didn't like (and subsequently told him so). I have read through the night, just to finish a good book. But my confession is this, I don't read academic books, or non-fiction books, I read fiction! The horror! Ever since I graduated with My Masters in 2009 I just haven't been able to get back into academic reading. I want to read The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch and Disrupting Class by Clay Christensen or even Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell . These are books I should be reading. But instead I get sucked into the Hunger Games Trilogy or the Sookie Stackhouse Books, or Neil Gaiman's American Gods. I enjoy these books and would rather do nothing more than spend an afternoon reading some new found story. But the books I should be reading, I just can't bring myself to. I don't know if I got burned out in grad school, need a break from the constant depression of what is wrong with education in America, or a little of both. So while most people are reading so-called "Beach Reads" - I pledge to read one "academic, non-fiction" book, but which one? Any ideas?