We’ve talked a bit in past blogs about digital signage in schools and universities, especially in common areas like hallways and lobbies or even outside. Those areas are great for general announcements, such as upcoming sports schedules, choir performances or even wayfinding. Have you given any thought to targeted messaging inside the classrooms? Or taken advantage of the ability we have today of tying into tablets and smartphones?
Most classrooms are already using projectors, computers, and interactive whiteboards. Why not put it all together in a digital sign? And for the most part, the Internet can provide a majority of your content.
It is simple to use the board like you would a standard TV, to show education programs. When the teacher isn’t using it, publish digital signage messages for students. The digital signage (DS) playlist content can be tailored for specific classes, so teachers can remind students of upcoming quizzes, activities and due dates.
The classroom experience can go even further with an interactive digital sign. A touchscreen and an Internet connection will give you access to the Web, allow you to control video playback for discussion breaks, and bring up teaching resources stored on your network to show to your students.
As more and more schools begin to use DS on their campuses, they are finding more creative uses for the medium. One parochial high school in Arizona has implemented a DS solution on its’ campus that allows the school to customize the environment for different events and audiences from a single web-based access point.
"We identified a need to present information to our students, families and visitors in a new, engaging manner," said Bryan Winfrey, the school's director of communications and student recruitment. "Digital Signage allows us to accomplish everything we wanted, and it's so flexible that we can use it in different applications."
The school recently launched a one-to-one technology program that it says ‘goes beyond simply providing students with an iPad’. “This program,” Winfrey says, “is revolutionizing the way their faculty instructs and the way students learn, collaborates and engages with their peers and faculty”. Now, DS plays an important part in this program.
An innovative high school in south-central New York state has begun using a new DS system that engages students, staff and community members by also tying into students' and parents' smartphones and tablets as well as the school website.
Not only does the system display the day's announcements, notifications and special events on four large-format digital signage screens around the school, the system also broadcasts optional feeds; allowing teachers to show it on SMART Boards in every classroom.
The School District wanted to incorporate TVs into its morning announcements, according to the coordinator of special events for the district. According to him, students don't always hear the announcements, or they may need to check back to get details about one of the announcements. They thought DS would be the best way to go. The system also links to the school's website and is smartphone accessible. This affords the students too many different ways of finding the information to be able to say they never heard the messages.
One excellent byproduct of the system is that the school's graphic arts class has already started producing the content. That allows it to tie in nicely with the class curriculum and eventually the class should take it over completely. That will make the system an educational tool, not just an informational one, as it allows students to add that career component to their class. Their work will be broadcast across the DS system.
Finally for this school, it's timely; the school can get information out immediately. They do not have to go through a news release cycle and have it pass through several hands before it either appears on a web page or is pushed out to some other media. Timeliness is also really important for them to be able to get that information out.
These days, digital signage is not confined to just one means of communication within a school, or a school district. There is a broader range for the digital signage system, allowing a wider scope of communication, from students who see the digital signage screens on campus- to parents who check the feeds on their tablets or smartphones to find information about school events. Today, there is more opportunity to increase engagement and awareness; not only with students and parents, but also within a community. The systems today are certainly more sustainable, with sources of appropriate content to be found almost everywhere you look.