Social isolation during Covid-19 didn’t stop a Rotorua tech company from connecting thousands of graduating students worldwide. In June, they took the world stage, launching an online signature book to accompany digital yearbooks.

SignMyBook is an application which gives students the chance to invite friends, near or far, to view and sign each other’s yearbooks digitally and commemorate their school experience.

Developed for international schools, SignMyBook was piloted in Singapore last month and is set to be launched throughout Asia, as well as Canada and America later this month.

Simon Bright, leading educational consultant of SignMyBook, first sought this solution when his young daughter became upset at the thought of the signature spaces in her yearbook being left blank and unpersonalised. A particularly upsetting realisation knowing their family would be leaving Singapore to repatriate back to Canada.

Finding no answer online, Bright contacted Matt Browning, director of Rotorua tech company, Salt and Tonic. He wanted to create a way for students to view the yearbook online, share handwritten messages while being completely secure and protecting student privacy. The result, SignMyBook.

“This online platform has ensured students who had completed the final weeks of school at home and in isolation, did not miss out on one of the most anticipated experiences of their high school lives,” says Browning.

“We just think it’s outstanding that a boutique tech firm in Rotorua was headhunted to make software on the global stage again. It’s great for Rotorua and for the New Zealand tech scene that our skills are in demand around the world.”

The feedback from Singapore American School yearbook advisor, Martin Williams, was positive.

“Mourning the loss of many year-end rituals with the effects of Covid-19, the SignMyBook application ensured that we were able to keep at least one tradition alive and well: the yearbook signing. Reflecting on the decision to offer this, I now recognise how much I had underestimated the importance and power of this ritual, for students and teachers alike.”

This software is available for all educational facilities to use, and has been scaled so schools of any size can pick it up. The company plans to diversify its use in years to come.

“There are a whole range of applications and possibilities beyond yearbooks, so we’ve made this software available to anyone who is willing to use this, to sign up and have their books annotated,” says Mr. Browning.


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