I remember 10 years ago when Leep delivered training courses, we ran one on QR Codes. Developed in Japan in the 1990s for use in the car manufacturing industry, the QR code was gaining some traction in Australia and knowing what one was could raise one’s status to a tech guru (if only briefly in my case). To read more about its history and it’s rise in popularity check out this article from the ABC published on 2 December 2020 – QR codes skyrocket in popularity due to COVID-19. Here’s the history behind the 2020 technology of choice.
Whilst the training was attended by a few, the course was not exactly in demand as Australians were slow to embrace them, as Mathew Dickerson discovered when he added one to the back of his business card in 2015, thinking he was “very clever”. He explains in his article TECH TALK | QR codes: behind the matrix of those little black and white squares (November 12, 2020) “before March (2020), the total of people who actually used my QR code was approximately one. Me!”
Fast forward to January 2021 and QR codes are now mandatory in NSW. From my reckoning you would be hard pressed today to find anyone who hasn’t heard of one. However, knowing what it is and having the digital skills to download the Services NSW App and scan the code are quite different.
Like the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” so too is ensuring our friends, neighbours and even strangers have the skills to stay safe and register through the highly efficient and safe processes created by the NSW Government (for more information on this read Electronic check-in guidance and QR codes 15 January 2021).
Since QR Codes become mandatory I have been the receiver of much gratitude from neighbours and strangers in shopping centres when I’ve assisted them to download the App, register their details and ensure they have the digital skills to use it to scan the code.
If you would like to assist others in this way, you can join Leep’s growing movement of volunteer Tech Mates and experience the joy for yourself. Alternatively, if you or someone you know, needs this or other assistance to use a device confidently and safely call us on 1300 163 106.
Last year Leep delivered over 1,200 mentoring sessions (see Leep Annual Report 2020 Closing the Digital Divide) but much more is needed if we’re to realise our mission to reduce inequality for the millions of Australians who are yet to realise the power of technology.
Cecily Michaels, CEO, Leep NGO