QR Codes in the Yearbook

We are very excited to announce that we will be including QR codes in the 2011 Patriot yearbook.

First, it is important to understand what these codes are and how they work. QR codes are simple two-dimensional barcodes that can be read by a phone with a camera and a reader application, or a desktop computer with a web camera and the appropriate software. There are a few readers that we recommend. I will put links to those at the end of this article.

By using your phone or web cam to scan a code, new information will be revealed. In our case, the codes are most often being used to add content to our yearbook in the form of videos or slideshows. However, some codes take you to webpages. They can also be used for many other things. We knew about them last year, but were uncertain how to implement them properly in the book.

In doing our research earlier this year, we partnered with a company by the name of Yearbook Unlimited. They have helped us not only understand the pitfalls of adding QR codes to this yearbook, but also helped us recognize the power of using them. Yearbook Unlimited has held our hand through the process, and that is how we were able to implement them in this year’s book.

As to why we chose to implement them, I think that will be evident once the book is in your hands. Imagine, for example, you’re thumbing through the book and you come to the Halloween Hoot page. Wouldn’t it be great not only to see the photos but also to watch the video of the event?

Before, you would have to get out the DVD, find a television with a DVD player, and find the video on the DVD. Now, all you have to do is scan the code on that page. Boom! You’re watching the Halloween Hoot video. It is the perfect complement to the material printed on the page. It brings you right into another dimension that we were never able to provide before.

As a result, we will be phasing out the use of DVDs in the yearbook. This year and next year, we will still produce a DVD, but we will not include one in every book. Anyone who would like a copy is welcome to come pick one up from room 109 after the book is distributed.

As smartphones become more ubiquitous, QR Codes are a technology you will begin to see everywhere. The Fort Dorchester Patriot yearbook staff, with the help of Yearbook Unlimited, is happy to be on the cutting edge of this new technology. We hope you will love it as much as we do.

Here are the readers we recommend:

Phones:

 

  •  i-nimga — probably the most widespread reader worldwide
  • Scanlife — comes pre-installed on many phones
  • Qrafter — a new one that has interesting features

Computers:

QRreader — only computer reader we’ve tried; works well
However, you have to have Adobe AIR installed (free): http://get.adobe.com/air/

Here is a page where Mr. Roller details his yearbook staff’s experience adding QR codes to the school yearbook:

Yearbook QR Codes