When it comes to implementing digital signage effectively, it’s important to have a plan, while offering some guidance to staff on how to maintain and keep your screens in tip-top order. This can be a challenge, which is why we’ve talked to five leading education professionals, who have given us their top tips on how to best achieve success with signage.
1. Give staff ownership using Google Slides
TrilbyTV works wonderfully with Google Slides and creates the perfect gateway for staff who are less tech-savvy to update what’s on digital signage. All the staff member needs is a link to the Google slide document to update and because it’s a live document screens update quickly. To use a Google Slide doc simply paste the URL into TrilbyTV and with a few taps it’s on your screens. This is perfect for the Catering Manager to update a menu for instance. ICT Systems Manager, Dan Sapseid from The Academy Selsey explains how this worked for them and gave staff ownership through Google Slides,
“Having something that’s easily configurable from an admin point of view where you can link it to a Google Slides document and just delegate the access down to the staff is great. They edit the Google Slides and it instantly updates on the digital signage screens. From a management point of view and from my point of view, it’s brilliant. You just set it and forget it, I haven’t even got to touch it! Get into Google Slides as it takes a lot of work from the ICT team.”
2. Ask your Audience
As good as your digital signage platform is, content will always be king. A good starting point to build effective signage is planning out where your screen locations are, who the viewers are and the time they spend in those locations.
An even better idea is to speak to your viewer and ask what content they would like to be viewing. This is precisely what Alex Lynch from the Alpha Academies Trust did with some fantastic results,
“After learning why the old system failed, we asked a number of different stakeholders what they wanted to see on the new displays. Staff told us they wanted to display upcoming events and educational videos reinforcing and evidencing the curriculum. Governors wanted to see the trust values and purpose behind this messaging. For the students, it really was a range of content including video game releases, technology news, social media content, latest books, positive mental health quotes, random facts and riddles. Their suggestion we really liked was the ‘Sign Language of the day’ idea, how to sign a new word every day.”
3. Set up auto deleting content
Some content has a time frame associated with how long it needs to be playing on a screen before it should be deleted. ‘Evergreen’ content is less dependent on a specific date and time as the content is relevant for a longer period. It’s really important to understand when ‘evergreen’ and other content with a definite shelf life should be purged. Andrew Jones, Head of Digital Communications at the University of Worcester tells us,
“At the University of Worcester we utilise the ‘Auto Delete’ feature in TrilbyTV to make sure that our content is kept fresh and up to date. That ensures that students and staff only see what is relevant to them at the current time, maximising their attention and enhancing the effectiveness of our promotions.”
4. Let Social Media take the strain
Social media feeds are the perfect medium for promoting daily school activities and success. Most schools will already have an active Instagram or social media feed with amazing photos and captions to share with the wider community. So don’t make more work for yourself, instead use these social media feeds on your signage to keep screens looking fresh and on message. This is a thought certainly echoed by Strategic ICT Manager at Alston Primary School Niall Mullen,
“We already make use of social media such as Instagram to celebrate daily school activities and success. Our social media feeds are emphasised by leadership so it’s well populated and therefore why wouldn’t we look to reuse this content for our digital signage. Anything that saves time on duplication in school is a lifesaver.”
5. Save energy with timer plugs
Another careful consideration when using any technology is the environment. Screens don’t need to be left on overnight if no one is going to be viewing them. Being eco-minded can be a struggle, having to switch on screens in the morning and if someone forgets, it can mean that some blank screens are scattered about. Smart timer plugs completely solve this issue as Director of Innovation at RGS Worcester, John Jones told us during a webinar recently,
“We got smart plugs to attach to the screen for the sustainability agenda and just so we don’t waste the electricity generally. We had a few issues [before] with televisions getting the time wrong, going into hotel mode and coming on at midnight. With the smart plugs the screens turn on and off at the times we set and it works perfectly.”
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So there you have it – five top tips from education professionals across the UK. If you want to learn more about TrilbyTV, then book a demo session. We also offer a fully functioning 30-day free trial complete with support and enough time to see how it works.