Last year my school invested in some Digital Signage. We bought our kit from Net Communications in Enniscorthy and took it for a test drive. In the article, I wanted to share some of the ways we’ve been using the Digital Signage and how it has added to our communication system in the school.
For those who haven’t head of Digital Signage, you will definitely have seen it! Look around many shopping centres and you’ll find signs with advertisements on large video screens and that’s digital signage. Many different shops use them to showcase their products. There are a few schools around the country who also use Digital Signage to share information.
I got the idea of using Digital Signage from a secondary school in Athy a few years ago. The school had simply hooked up PowerPoint to a flat screen TV and ran the slideshow on a loop. I found the simplicity of this idea highly engaging and thought that there were many ways we could use a system like this in the school.
Over the year, we’ve been using the digital signage with good success. I update the display once per week with the following items:
- Showcasing photographs from our recent school events
- Display the birthdays of any children in the school for the week
- Photograph of our students of the week
- A Diary of events for the week
- After school clubs that are running
- News from our blog
- News from RTE RSS Feed
Our digital signage is quite simple but allows us to split the screen into different sections so we can show photographs in one section, a video in another section and some text somewhere else.
Sometimes, we show a video that was created in school. One of the most successful ones was one we created using iMovie for Valentine’s Day. We asked children to tell us something they loved and we superimposed them onto a Valentine themed background. As Digital Signage doesn’t provide sound, (for obvious reasons), we will probably use subtitles in the future.
There are a few things I would love for my digital signage to do. I’d love to be able to show the web sites latest blog posts with images and media content. So far, with the software we’re using, it can only provide text from an RSS feed. I’d also love to have web enabled widgets, such as weather forecasts or upcoming festivals.
We have a number of parents who can’t make it into the school so we also stick the slides up on our CETNSNews Blogger account, which works nicely.
Overall, I’m glad we got the Digital Signage. It’s proving to be another way that parents can see what’s going on in the school.