Talking Business Cards
Each year I share a principal baseball card with families prior to school starting. It’s a great way to make an initial connection and help students see who their principal is prior to school starting; call it an initial investment in the relationship.
The cards typically portray me participating in a hobby I enjoy. Past cards have featured reading, football, soccer, writing, technology, basketball, and more. (When one of our students was ‘Principal for a Day’ we created principal baseball cards for her sitting at my desk.) The back of my card always shares some ‘stats’ too (i.e. favorite book and school lunch). However, if you read the back of the cards carefully you’ll notice a fun surprise.
The back of the card includes directions for accessing bonus video content powered by augmented reality technology. Augmented reality is simply supplemental digital content that is overlaid directly on top of the business card. This is comparable to watching an NFL football game on television and being able to see the digital first down lines and video replays on the television set. Those who are in attendance at the football game do not see the digital first down lines or video highlights on the actual football field, but technology allows users at home to enjoy an enhanced viewing experience.
Sometimes the bonus video I embed in the business cards via augmented reality includes a special message to students and other times it incorporates humor or special effects. One year I ended my video greeting on the baseball cards by telling students, “All we need for this to be a great school year is YOU!” I had parents of kindergarten students approaching me sharing that their children were super excited to come to school, in part, because “The principal said he needs me.” It was so cool!
Well…we still need our fantastic kids to make our school the special place that it is. However, this year I’m highlighting some of the amazing work of staff as well as pedagogy in the augmented reality videos. To access the bonus video content you need a tablet or smartphone and an augmented reality app. Simply download the Daqri app and scan the photo on the baseball card in the Daqri app’s viewfinder.
**Occasionally educators will inquire about how the cards are created. This year I designed the cards in MS Publisher and sent the file to a local printing press for production. The cards are printed on cheap cardboard (just like real baseball cards) and I’ll pass them out to families at Open House.