Friday, December 6, 2013

What on Earth is a QR Code?: "Following our Path: Regis College through its Art Collection"

 by: Sarah Vedrani

Now that we’ve had our last official class, it’s time to look ahead to some of the projects that we’ll be doing in the spring; the goal is to really bring the exhibit to life through programming, lectures, and anything else we can think of. The biggest of these projects, and probably the most innovative, will be the addition of supplemental material to the exhibit. This information can be accessed through a technology known as “QR codes.” I had no idea what those were or how they worked until very recently, so here’s a brief explanation. 

QR codes look something like this:

and can be read by smartphones; you just need to download a free QR code reader app. These codes can be found in many different locations, including advertisements, food containers, and now, museums. Many museums are using this technology to create a new kind of audio tour, or as a way to link visitors to more information that couldn’t be fit into an exhibit space. QR codes can link to supplemental material, audio and sound clips, or websites.

We’ve been able to pack quite a bit of information into our exhibit, but there’s still more that we couldn’t possibly have fit in because of time and space that we’d love to have available somehow, and that’s where the QR codes come in. Some of our ideas are:

  • recordings of the school and class songs
  • sound or audio clips of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston
  • link to HI 516’s Flickr account for photos of the dig

With the addition of this technology to our exhibit, we will become a part of the campus-wide technology initiative that began in the fall of 2012; students and faculty can use their iPads to scan the codes throughout the exhibit, and their visitors can make use of their smartphones. In our technology-driven society, it makes sense for us to make use of this new and very exciting tool to help make our exhibit more engaging for visitors.

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