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Tech Students Pioneer QR Codes in Yearbook
Jun 07, 2011 (04:06 PM EDT)


PHOENIXVILLE, Pa., June 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for the Arts & Technology (CAT) Pickering Campus has seen the future of yearbooks and it is small black-and-white squares.

Reminiscent of a Rorschach inkblot or a supermarket barcode, QR (Quick Response) codes have popped up everywhere, on a Calvin Klein billboard in Times Square, on packages of Sun-Maid Raisins and now within the pages of The Shield. Opening the door toward endless multimedia possibilities, CAT Pickering has become one of the first high schools in the nation to harness the interactive QR code technology in its yearbook.

The phrase "timeless memories" takes on a whole new meaning in this tech-savvy yearbook. Senior Joseph Hudson, with the guidance of yearbook moderator Al Tucker, created an interactive media page that spotlights four events taking place after the yearbook's March 30 publication deadline, including: the 2011 junior/senior prom, the senior awards banquet, the yearbook dedication ceremony and the Class of 2011 graduation ceremony.

"In the past, students created DVDs sold as an addendum to the yearbook that contained media from these events," said Tucker. "But just like VHS tapes and 8-track cassettes, those technologies will eventually be outdated and the memories would be lost. On the other hand, the Internet is not going anywhere."

In simple terms, QR codes are hyperlinks that have moved from cyberspace out into the world. Aim a smartphone at the square black-and-white code and it launches a website, video or multi-media presentation hosted on the web.

Hudson uploaded content to the Internet, created a QR code using the free generator Snap Vu and printed the code on the Interactive Media page. With the click of a smartphone, users can access the pomp and circumstance of graduation or the glamour of prom without the hassle of a mile-long URL or technology that might not be around by the 10-year reunion.

The result is a richer and more interactive yearbook, enhanced by multimedia capabilities.

"There are lots of different ways we can apply QR codes in the yearbook next year without overdoing it," said Tucker. In visually comparing the codes to a "bad jigsaw puzzle," he cautioned against overuse.

"A few pages in the yearbook absolutely should have QR codes that take you to extra photos or video," Hudson added. "But not every page."

Contact:
Mary Jeanne Curley
Director, Public Relations
Chester County Intermediate Unit
484-237-5171 | maryc@cciu.org

SOURCE Chester County Intermediate Unit