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Improving Literacy With QR Codes


Technology is amazing and I believe that we believe in that; it is also great that many more people are now READING more and more from our mobile devices than ever before. But reading the traditional way, i.e. with a book in your hand is a fab idea too. So, can we use technology to promote traditional reading? I am sure we can.

It is a well-known fact that traveling and time works against each other. For those who use privately owned vehicles, we would have to contend with snarling traffic conditions. For those who use public transportation, the trouble is the waiting, crowd and boredom. The Netherlands are countering the second problem with QR Codes.

What they are trying to do is to promote reading during the wait time through VertragingsApp which offers short stories based on the length of time that you are going to spend getting to your intended destination. Catalan Government Railways has placed QR Code links to popular novels, not the entire novel (which would have been AMAZING), but to the first chapter of the novel.

If you are a keen reader, you can usually tell if you will enjoy the book or not within the first few pages and in this case, the entire first chapter. As far as I know, the train station had gone ahead to place QR Codes on the interior of the trains so that when commuters walk in, they can scan the code to download the first chapter. I am unsure as to whether it is a complete download of the first chapter or they get to read it online via Wifi.

Basically, the government is working on the game plan of encouraging more people to read. If after reading the first chapter, they can get the book online or at the bookstore later on.

The train station is not working alone. This is part of an initiative by the government, the station and Random House, a book publisher. Random House is providing the station with images of the cover of the said promoted books. According to reports, many Spanish authors are being promoted by this campaign including names like Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

At the point of this article, Random House is the only publishing house in the campaign but news from the grapevine has us believing that other publishing houses will be roped in soon. It is for the benefit of the people that they have other options outside of what Random House can provide, although they ARE a huge publishing company but there are good ones out there too.

I think it’s an amazing way to improve literacy and help people spend their time while traveling in a more fruitful manner, don’t you think this should be happening in other parts of the world too? I definitely think so.

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