The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium are the first to use WQED Multimedia’s iQZoo, a QR (quick response) code project that provides visitors with audio clips, PBS videos and information about animals via a free smartphone app. It becomes available to all pubcasting stations in September, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times. WQED Multimedia developed iQZoo in-house, funded by a grant from PBS Interactive, said Jennifer Stancil, who heads up educational partnerships at the station. “We wanted to create something that could be relevant to kids in the moment when they’re asking questions and studying elephants and orangutans and polar bears, and provide the answers through PBS videos in a way never done before,” Stancil said. Carlow University in Pittsburgh is studying how families incorporate the technology during zoo visits.
“We’re equipping other PBS stations and zoos around the nation to do this for free,” Stancil said. “All 360 stations know about the opportunity — they’ll have different capabilities and relationships. We’re talking about building other programming. This could extend to other types of public learning, and there are various uses of the QR code we haven’t yet explored.”