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Washington and Lee Tech Staff Welcome New Students with QR Codes

QR code-clad IT staffers greeted new Washington and Lee students this fall.
QR code-clad IT staffers greeted new Washington and Lee students this fall.

Recently, the tech staff at Washington and Lee University turned into walking QR billboards to welcome new students to its Lexington, VA campus. While staffing first-year check-in and orientation, members of the university's IT Services team wore custom t-shirts they'd had printed up with useful QR codes.

QR, short for quick response, is a two-dimensional barcode designed to be read by smart phones.

The t-shirts provided a quick way for students to scan the codes to load handy Web pages and create new contacts. On the front of the shirts were QR codes for services such as IT help, Sakai, password information, and the Information Desk contact details. On the back were codes for campus and area resources, including a local drive-in; the Blue Ridge Parkway, a nearby road system that connects multiple national parks; and the Campus Kitchen, a community food bank and meal service.

"Year by year we have seen a steady increase in the percentage of students who bring smart phones to campus and use them to do an increasing variety of tasks," said CTO David Saacke. "We expect that this year's entering class will be relying even more than usual on this technology, and the QR code T-shirts seemed an appropriate welcome for tech-savvy kids."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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