Students learn to explore the city with technology

The future: UClan students on the literary tour around Preston called Literary Footsteps using QR codes

The future: UClan students on the literary tour around Preston called Literary Footsteps using QR codes

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A university lecturer and student have come up with a novel way of introducing Preston’s latest batch of students to the city.

First year students from the School of Language, Literature and International Studies at the University of Central Lancashire took part in the first literary tour of Preston, using QR codes which have been placed around the city and campus.

The brain-child of Elsa Carron, a third year student of English Literature with Japanese, and Dr Helen Day, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, the tour celebrates the city’s links with famous writers such as Charles Dickens, Daniel Defoe, J R R Tolkien, Karl Marx and Anthony Burgess as well as lesser-known authors such as Angela Brazil, one of the first writers of school stories for girls, and poets Robert William Service and 
Francis Thompson.

Elsa, an international student from Switzerland, explained her thought process behind the tour, that she researched and set up in just 10 weeks while she was employed as Helen’s research intern over the summer.

She said: “We wanted to combine literature with technology, so we’ve linked each location to online content that is easily accessible via a QR code.

“The tour encourages people to take a closer look at the area around them and it’s a great way to introduce the city to students, whilst allowing them to discover authors and literary figures who have either written about Preston, lived there or were born there.”

Armed with a map of Preston and UCLan campus, a list of clues and a smart phone, students search for the QR codes that are similar to barcodes, which have been placed around the city and campus.

Each code is a link to a webpage that contains a mini biography of the author, an extract from their writing, related courses at UCLan and what’s nearby that might be of interest.

Helen Day added: “The aims of this tour are twofold – firstly to celebrate Preston’s proud literary heritage and secondly to introduce new students to the university 
campus and the wonderful 
city of Preston.

“Setting up the tour has been a revelation as I have learned so much and have discovered so many beautiful and interesting locations in Preston that I didn’t know about.”

For more information about the tour you can visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/uclanliteraturelive