QR codes help school to publish mobile friendly yearbook

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The Northeast Magnet high school in Wichita is using quick response codes and augmented reality, this year.

Justin Bell, an educator and yearbook advisor from the Northeast Magnet high school in Wichita, Nebraska, has helped this year’s yearbook committee to be able to publish an edition that features QR codes and augmented reality features to ensure that it won’t simply become a dust collector.

According to Bell, the current generation isn’t satisfied with simply looking at printed photos.

He explained that “nowadays this generation doesn’t just speak in pictures,” and added that “they speak in short video clips, so the yearbook needs to change to fit that generation. So this yearbook having augmented reality and QR codes is about speaking to a generation, it’s about embedding technology it’s about bridging the gap between print and digital life.” The idea is to not only see the printed picture of a classmate on the yearbook page, but also be able to use mobile technology to enjoy additional media, such as audio clips, video recordings of their participation in an event, or a series of other types of memorable moments.

The idea behind the use of the QR codes and augmented reality is “about opening things up”, said Bell.

qr codes at school and libraryThe educator is aiming to make the yearbook a broader experience that is more interactive, instead of providing a publication that will essentially sit on a shelf until the rare occasion in the future when it needs to be consulted in order to remember the name of someone who had once been important to the person’s life.

The augmented reality features allow the images that have been enabled in the yearbook to play video or audio when a mobile device such as a smartphone is aimed at it with an AR app. The QRcode features were also added so that playing other features could be launched with the simple scan of a barcode with the same type of smartphone or tablet.

The example that Bell gave was that if one of the barcodes was scanned, a sample of that year’s “Shrek the Musical” would begin to play on the device screen. This type of feature provides the students with a great deal more to enhance their memories than a photograph of the performance. By using QR codes, it helps to ensure that the technology needed to take advantage of the features would be readily available to the students and staff members, alike.

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