High School Memories Go Digital

ByABC News
November 10, 2005, 12:21 PM

Nov. 11, 2005 &#151 -- In this week's "Cybershake," we note how some high school seniors are putting a high-tech twist to the traditional yearbook of memories. Plus, we take a look at a survey that proclaims instant messaging is taking over the online communications throne.

All over the country, high school students are busy putting together the yearbooks that'll be handed out in the spring before the senior class's graduation. But at some schools, the memories and pictures in the printed version are being made even more special -- by being put into digital form.

Jostens Inc., the Minneapolis-based producers of school-related memorabilia, has been helping high schools produce the high-tech yearbooks. In addition to accepting the images and texts used in a traditionally published book, the company takes digital videos and music clips from students and school officials and compiles it all on computer CD-ROMs.

Students at various high schools in Staten Island, N.Y., that have made the jump to the digitally enhanced yearbooks find them a much better way to keep and share those memories of youth.

"It's easier to see all your friends, it's got music It's really great," says Genevieve Sinnott.

"What impresses me about it [the digital yearbook] is you can put it [music, photos, video, etc.] all into one thing and give it out to a lot of people," says John Iskaros.

What's more, using digital publishing techniques means kids will have much more freedom to add even more photos than a traditional printed yearbook could affordably hold. And because a tight publishing deadline doesn't apply to a digital yearbook, kids can preserve more of their high school memories than just pictures and words.

"So the things we miss, like the prom, which no pictures get into the [traditional] yearbook ... can be on this [the CD-ROM]," says Lindsey Greenfield.

Students aren't the only ones that have become enraptured with the high-tech additions to the standard yearbook.

"We've been doing them [the digital yearbooks] for three years actively," says Bonnine Blackman, a representative of Jostens. "And once schools do one, they expect them next year."

Maybe someday, the iPod yearbook?