A Yearbook EIC Shares Her Staff’s Experience Using Aurasma

A weekly coverage spread from the 2013-14 Excalibur yearbook from Francis Howell North that is using Aurasma.
A weekly coverage spread from the 2013-14 Excalibur yearbook from Francis Howell North that is using Aurasma.

Fionna Cruz, Editor-in-Chief of the Excalibur Yearbook from Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, MO, shares how her staff has worked to incorporate Aurasma into their book this year. 

Why you decided to do it?
To be honest, my generation is built on a foundation of pop music, celebrity worship, and the most important, Harry Potter. Naturally, we wanted to incorporate the most important one in our book. If you are a Harry Potter fan like our editorial board, you know that in the Wizard World, the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” is not just a saying. We wanted to bring our photos to life. We wanted to give our book more depth. Most of all, we wanted to give the students a chance to tell their story.

What were some things you had to consider in implementing it?
Before deciding to forge ahead with Aurasma, the editors and I had to think of a plan on how to get our staffers to be excited for this and ensure that the Aurasmas will be well used in the book. To get our staff excited, I created an example of an Aurasma. Like I said before, my generation is built on pop music, celebrity worship and Harry Potter. So for my example, I combined all three. The very first Aurasma that the staffers experienced was me lip synching to ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ by One Direction. Needless to say, my humiliation was worth it because it achieved its purpose. The staff was and is really excited about implementing Aurasma. In order for Aurasma to be well used in the book, we came up with the plan of using Aurasma on every fourth week in our week by week coverage section, in the Varsity level of our sports section, and on at least one spread of our student portrait section. However, the staffers are not limited by this. If they have an idea for an Aurasma but it does not fit into these, that is perfectly okay.

What is the workflow like on staff to get it done?
Since the staffers are following a calendar of deadlines, the workflow is pretty good. The staffers know that during their plan week is when they need to be thinking of what event they could use Aurasma on and come up with back up plans in case an Aurasma falls through.

What are some of the things you’ve been doing with it?
On our week six coverage, the dominant event for that spread was the Color Run that took place in St Louis this past September. We turned the background image into a video of the final throw of all of the different colors. Also, we are utilizing Aurasma on our cover and our dividers to give a more in depth look into what the students focus on during their time this school year. In addition to these, we are also spreading the word out about Aurasma to the student body. Don’t worry, we didn’t subject them to my version of a One Direction song.

How’s it going?
So far, it’s been going pretty well. Having a plan and being on the same page as the editors are the main reasons that it’s been so great. The staffers being excited and the student body receiving the idea of moving photos is an added bonus.

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