New York high school enrolls digital signage
A high school in south-central New York state has enrolled a new digital signage system that engages students, staff and community members by also tying into students' and parents' smartphones and tablets and the school website.
In addition to displaying the day's announcements, special events and notifications 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 Binghamton School District was looking to incorporate TVs into its morning announcements, according to Lawrence Kassan, coordinator of special events for the district. Students don't always hear the announcements, or they may need to check back to get details about one of the announcements, he said. "And we thought digital signage would be the best way to go," Kassan told Digital Signage Today, noting that the system also links to the school's website and is smartphone accessible. "Kids can't say, 'Well we didn’t get a chance to hear it,' because there's so many different ways of finding the information."
Using digital signage technology from Tightrope Media Systems, the digital signage system has been branded as Patriot TV, after the school's mascot, Patrick the Patriot. The school deployed Patriot TV in the fall, and the system has evolved since then, according to Binghamton High School Principal Roxie Oberg. Two of the four in-school screens are located in the school's commons areas, with the other two split between the school's two cafeterias.
Oberg said it has been interesting to observe the growth in the system and the increase in the number of request to post content and announcements, from students, staff and community members.
"There's a greater buy-in now than there was then, and as we continue to become more familiar with the system to see how we can get the biggest bang for the buck, so to speak," Oberg said.
The school has a varied slate of programming to announce, much of it coming from the school's Rod Serling School of Fine Arts, named after the creator of "The Twilight Zone," who graduated from the school in 1943.
The school's graphic arts class already has started producing content for the system. Oberg said that ties in nicely with its curriculum and eventually they should take it over completely. That makes the system an educational tool as well as an informational one, as it allows student to have that career component to their class and to have their work broadcast across the digital signage system, she said.
"The other thing is it's timely; we can get information out immediately," Oberg told Digital Signage Today. "We 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, so that timeliness is also really important for us to be able to get information out."
Overall, the broad range of the digital signage system allows for a wider scope of communication, Oberg said, from students who see the digital signage screens to parents who check the feeds on their tablets or smartphones to find the times for school events.
"I think it does provide another opportunity for us to increase engagement and awareness," she said. "And I think we've been pretty successful with this approach and far more successful with our ability to have a smartphone-applicable approach to this so that it meets the current technology needs … So it's beyond just what's in the building … it serves a dual function, and it does increase our ability to have good communications with the community at large."
Christopher is the managing director of the Interactive Customer Experience Association and former editor of DigitalSignageToday.com. A longtime freelance writer and reporter, he's bringing a fresh perspective and critical take on the industry.www