Digital signage is not something new in the world today. This form of communication has been in use for quite some time, and its future looks brighter. Digital signage has found its way in various organizations, manufacturing plants, corporate offices, colleges and schools, hospitals and any other place where communication is crucial.
So, what exactly is digital signage? This is a form of communication or a platform where content is displayed to pass vital information to the audience. The content on this form can be in the form of videos, images or any other multimedia content of great interest.
This information or content is usually displayed on a screen to make communication effective and compelling. Unlike the images displayed on smart TVs, digital signage incorporates content management software. This gives it an edge over other forms of communication used today.
That also explains why digital signage for K12 schools has become a trending topic in various learning institutions all over. So, what are the benefits of digital signage in schools?
Benefits of Digital Signage in K-12 Schools
1.An Effective Tool Between Learners and Faculty
Be it in libraries, cafeterias, and lobbies, digital signage for K-12 schools has become useful in one way or the other. This cutting-edge technology has increasingly become an effective tool of communication between learners and faculty. That is the reason why many schools are embracing it.
2. Making Communication Available to the Target Audience
Their importance has gone beyond everyone’s expectations, making communication easy and available to the target audience. In fact, they are widely used for several applications within the schools. For instance, they play a crucial role in navigation, announcements and relaying vital emergency protocols. As a result, it makes it easier for everyone within the school to stay abreast of important information.
3. A Tool to Engage Digital Natives
This technology has found its way into classrooms. In this regard, it is used as a tool to engage the digital natives. Here the term “digital natives” refers to those students who were raised in a digital setup of instant gratification and constant stimulation. For them, the word “patience” does not exist in their day-to-day lifestyle.
4. A Link Between Educators and Students
Digital signage for K12 schools acts as a link or bridge between teachers and students. Therefore, it helps improve the learning experience for those involved. In a world where technology is evolving at an exponential rate, bridging the gap between different generations is not a walk in the park. This is because two generations in the same setup have contrasting ideologies of the world around them. But with platforms such as digital signage, it is easier to bridge this emerging gap between older educators and digital natives.
5. Makes Transition Effortless and Timeless
On the other hand, digital signage for K-12 schools makes transition effortless and timeless. This modern technology rolls projectors, computers and interactive whiteboards in a single entity or compact easy-to-use system. This means that anyone, regardless of their exposure to technology, can find it easy to use it. Most importantly, it also provides a certain level of versatility not found in older technologies.
For instance, digital signage is helpful in any of the following ways:
- Compare classroom assignments
- Act as a tool of engagement in virtual field assignments
- Displays educational programming in a classroom setup
- Source website content via content widgets and digital signage apps
- Provide important announcements regarding the upcoming activities in class
- Improves previously mundane presentations using state-of-the-art visual content like videos or animations
The K-12 digital signage helps learners and educators to make better use of auditory, visual and kinesthetic stimulation. In fact, the digital signage for K-12 schools enables teachers to interact with students in a language they understand better. Here, the language in question refers to the students’ digital world.
Components of a School Digital Signage System
The phrase “digital signage” does not refer to a single entity. Instead, it comprises five major components. Collectively, these components provide complete digital signage solutions.
Here are the components that make up a school digital signage system:
1. Digital Displays
Smart TV screens with HDMI ports can work as digital displays. Other screens can also serve the same purpose provided that they come fully equipped with HDMI ports. This is because nearly all digital signage solutions are readily compatible with all types of HDMI-equipped display. The display can range from HD to 4K or Ultra HD resolutions. Most of these digital displays come either as commercial or consumer depending on where they are to be used. In schools, consumer displays are a better choice than commercial displays.
2. Digital Signage Player
This is a device that connects to any form of digital display. It also delivers content to the same digital display for the audience to see. In most cases, one player delivers content to more than one digital display. But some only deliver content to one display and this can work best in a classroom environment.
Content is the information shown on a digital signage display. It can be in the form of images or dynamic real-time content such as RSS feeds, social media feeds, weather and more. Some of the content support videos, with or without audio.
4. Content Management System
Content management involves the “backend” which enables the user to manage the content easily. It is often cloud-based and can also be accessed online from any location via an internet-connected device.
5. The End-User
The final component of a school digital signage system is the end-user who is commonly referred to as “you”. Just like any other business, digital signage does not operate on its own. It needs someone to feed it with the relevant content, management, and customization.
How to Create a Digital Signage Strategy for your School
Undoubtedly, digital signage for K-12 schools needs a strategy to make it more effective. In fact, through the right strategy, the digital signage screens in school can go to a new level. Therefore, they will be in a better position to build up internal communities right within the school.
Below are great benefits for a school with a well documented digital signage strategy:
- A strong foundation for effective internal communication
- More engagement with the screens around the school
- Increases user-generated content on various social media platforms and feedback sites
- Increased traffic to the school’s website or other channels
- Digital signage for K-12 schools that’s easier to manage and update
- The ability to keep track of the results coming from the school’s digital signage
To build powerful digital signage for K-12 schools, the following strategy should be taken into account:
- Setting clear goals
- Setting the right measurables
- Positioning the screens at the strategic positions or places
- Defining the target audience
- Selecting the right content for the audience
- Segmenting the content times to create an optimal display for the audience
- Designing schedules and playlists
- Adopting the right campaign strategy to engage audiences
- Looking out for feedback
- Reviewing and also adjusting the content
Must-Have Features for a School Digital Signage System
Digital signage cannot be effective without the required software features. The features in the software will determine the type of applications the signage can display. For effortless deployment and affordable maintenance upkeep, users must choose digital signage software with the following features:
1. Dynamic Content Options
The best content should include applications native to their software for easy integration with most developer APIs. This type of content allows K-12 schools, businesses, and organizations to generate their content libraries in the hope that any application will be compatible.
2. Remote Management
This applies only if the digital display is unreachable for the manual update. Therefore, every top-quality digital signage software must have remote management features. In fact, with these features, the user can easily make a few important changes to their devices’ display without accessing them physically.
3. Programming and Content scheduling
Digital signage should be able to simplify content rotation to allow users to make schedules early enough. This gives users ample time to build more content and program it into what might look like an automated rotation.
4. Network Monitoring and Reporting
The school digital signage system should be able to monitor the connection status (for multiple devices) and also provide real-time overviews. These overviews and reports must indicate issues arising from periodic downtime.
5. User Access Control
Quality digital signage software should have user access controls. These features will help determine who can post or edit content.
Scalability offers the best solution in adding new content as well as adding screens. Therefore, the users should choose software solutions that provide upward mobility for the content on display.
7. Several Deployment Platforms
Good digital signage must also be able to connect every device into a single hub. From there, the devices will be controlled from a common point of contact. This information applies to even the small-scale digital signage systems.
Tips for Selecting the Best Digital Signage
When choosing the best digital signage for K-12 schools, some tips should be considered. They include:
- Settle for something easy to use
- Research the service provider
- Look for the reliable support
- The cost of the software should not be a deterrent
- Take security into account
In conclusion, digital signage for K-12 schools offers an insight into an engaging technology that can bring together students and educators. Undoubtedly, this interactive, multimedia technology plays a significant role in bridging the gap between different groups of learners in a school setup. This is because it informs, persuades and encourages students to incorporate older concepts with new ideas. So, any school out there can take advantage of digital signage to enhance communication in many different ways.