TAG | Open Day

Bookmark Production Team

BGS Open Day was held on the weekend, and in a very busy 3 hours we had over 1400 people visit the Library! One of the most popular activities on offer was a QR code bookmark, with each one put together by a well-coordinated production team consisting of teacher librarian Ms Hunter, her husband and one of our Year 8 students.

Each bookmark’s journey began with Max taking a video of the visitor on an iPad, then sending this file to Ms Hunter. She attached it to a QR code and sent this file on to Mr Hunter who then dropped it and the visitor’s name into a prepared template. Once the bookmarks were printed the visitors could scan the QR code with an app on their phones and see themselves talking in our library.

Ms Hunter is keen to start up a lunchtime group to create and do things with different types of technology, so if you are interested please let her know.

Max videoing  Keen visitors

Checking the files  Creating the QR Codes




Floodlines for Open Day



The 2011 Brisbane floods had significant and long lasting effects on our city and, in an attempt to collate memories and memorabilia of this and previous floods, and to celebrate the resilience of Queenslanders, a Floodlines exhibition has been on display at the State Library for the past four months.  This exhibition used photos, film, news footage, sound and digital artworks ‘to help tell the rich and complex story of a summer we will never forget.’ To complement and enhance this, the SLQ commissioned the development of an augmented reality app, Floodlines, an exciting, interactive app which turns AR codes or markers into 3 dimensional images of buildings and roads, and which shows the inexorable spread of the flood waters through various riverside suburbs.

For Open Day last weekend, we downloaded this app onto our three Library iPads, and visitors were fascinated to find their suburbs and watch the flood waters advance and recede over 48 hours. Some of our students have also been captivated by this app, zooming in over buildings or trying to explore under the river. The codes, or markers, are merely a link to the app, telling it which part to ‘read’ and display as the code is scanned.  The students were particularly amazed by the way sections of the city seemed to float above the code.

Download this app from the iTunes App Store or from the Android Market.







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QR Codes on Open Day


On Open Day this year, as well as again making personalised bookmarks for visitors, we decided to also try a QR code treasure hunt in the Library.  QR codes are square barcodes which can be scanned with a QR code reader on a smart phone, and  this then links the user directly to a website, email address, telephone number or other information, without them needing to open a browser first and type in an address. We have used QR codes on books in the past, to link students directly to an author’s website or reviews about the books.

According to Tony Kuesgen, head of technology at Google Australia, “By 2013, more internet searches will be done on smart phones than desktop computers.”  Obviously, this has wide marketing potential for businesses, and many are now using QR codes to advertise their products. Ralph Laurent, Calvin Klein, Dunlop, Seiko, Swatch and Pepsi Max are all large companies taking advantage of this form of marketing (see 9 Real Life QR Code Examples and QR Codes in Advertising)

In order to complete the treasure hunt on Open Day, visitors needed to download a free QR code reader on their smart phones – either i-nigma or BeeTagg – and then use this to scan the barcodes. Each code gave them a question to answer, a word to collect and the location of the next clue.  So that those without smart phones didn’t feel left out, we also offered an alternative pen-and-paper version.

We found that some people knew what to do and had used QR code readers before, while others needed a little help in getting started. Many parents were quite interested, especially those who could see the potential for developing their own work environment! After Open Day our current students also had the opportunity to complete the treasure hunt.

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Brisbane Grammar School Open Day today was a very well-attended event, with hundreds of current and prospective parents and students visiting the Library and the Lilley Centre.

Our main display in the Library at the moment is a Shakespearean display (see the photos below) to tie in with what the boys are studying in English. William Shakespeare is arguably one of the most influential writers of all time, and his plays are studied in schools around the world. Our Year 12 boys have just completed a unit on Macbeth or King Lear, and next term the Year 10 boys will be studying Julius Caesar.  The period costumes used in our display have been very generously loaned to us by the Brisbane Arts Theatre, a theatre company located close to the School, which also has costumes and rehearsal rooms for hire.

As well as this display, each of the Library staff members has created a book display, featuring both fiction and non-fiction titles. Mr Howes, one of our teacher librarians, asked the boys for their suggestions, then created his display around ‘Books to Make You Laugh’, and ‘Books to Make You Cry.’  He was also kept very busy today taking photos of visitors holding a favourite book, then making these into free, laminated bookmarks for them to take home. This all tied in very nicely with the English Department display of coursework, which was also located in the Library.

Mr Hills’ blog – The Wyrm Turns

Ms Ragen, another of our teacher librarians and BGS Chess Master, ran very popular 2-minute Lightning Chess games all day, while Mr Hills, one of our library technicians and Strategic Games Club leader, enlisted the help of some of the boys to offer visitors the chance to try out the games they play every Tuesday afternoon. These include Magic the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer, and through these games the boys develop strategic and co-operative thinking. Mr Hills also has a blog,  The Wyrm Turns, where he sets up the game each week for the boys.

As well as all this, the boys on the Closing the Gap Committee sold new and pre-loved books all day to help raise money for The Indigenous Literacy Project, and we really appreciate their efforts.

Below are photos of some of the displays we have up in the Library at the moment.

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