21st century technology on display at Smith-Zimmermann Museum
Chris Heinemann and Amber Eggebraatten, Dakota State University fall 2012 elementary education graduates, created a set of online websites this fall that are accessible directly from Quick Response Codes (QR codes) in the Smith-Zimmermann Museum located on the DSU campus.
A QR code is a square barcode made up of mostly small black squares. The code contains data that can be read by most smartphones equipped with software to download a QR Code reader. Once you download a reader, the phone's camera acts like a scanner, allowing it to read the barcode. The codes, once scanned by your phone, can provide you with a URL, like in the case of the museum’s codes, or contact information, SMS, or similar links to information right on your phone.
The websites were created as a partial requirement for the course, EDFN465, Multimedia and Web Development, taught by DSU’s associate professor, Dr. Mark Geary.
“QR codes represent a new way of sharing information that facilitates the useful capabilities of the smartphone to deliver just-in-time on-demand information. Chris and Amber have done an outstanding job in pioneering the use of QR codes for educational purposes, and reaffirm DSU's leadership in producing skilled educators who know how to enhance learning through the effective use of technology,” said Geary.
The Smith-Zimmermann exhibits using the QR codes include the covered wagon, the 1920 Oldsmobile car, the Albany cutter sleigh, the telephone exchange/switchboard, the square grand piano and the firefighting equipment. Each exhibit has an accompanying YouTube video explaining the history of the object, and some videos include interviews with local historians for a more in-depth view of the exhibit.
An added benefit for teachers are the online quizzes and games students can play based on the specific sites to help them review objects experienced during the museum tour.
Cynthia Mallery, coordinator for the Smith-Zimmerman museum states, "This represents an exciting step forward into the 21st century for the museum."