As UK education starts to think about emerging from lockdown the importance of staff, and pupil health and safety will be paramount.
Government advice suggests that to stop the spread of infection a number of approaches and actions will need to be employed. Such as:
- Cleaning hands often and thoroughly for 20 seconds
- Ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
- Cleaning frequently touched surfaces often
- Keeping 2 metres apart where possible
Cleaning your hands more often is definitely not a bad thing for any of us. We will need to be reminded of these approaches and actions as often as possible.
The perfect medium for education
Digital signage and interactive whiteboards are a perfect medium for promoting and reinforcing such messaging. A good percentage of schools in the UK already have digital signage screens installed. These are in areas such as the reception, staff room, dining hall and in corridors. Interactive whiteboards have been the teaching tool of choice for a number of years now, with companies such as Promethean and Ctouch leading the way. Having a digital signage platform which works with multiple screens means content can be dynamically changed. It can also be easily kept up to date as approaches and actions change.
Widescreen not portrait
During the coronavirus lockdown, I’ve spent some time looking at what promotional material is available to help reinforce said messaging, but it’s been very hit and miss. It’s mostly presented in the traditional format of a portrait poster which I always find a bit crazy. We live in a world full of widescreen TV’s, desktop monitors and interactive boards and yet there’s still a focus on creating portrait posters ready for printing. Of course, there is a place for printed posters but in a world where we should be teaching young people to print less paper and be more environmentally responsible, then surely we should be utilising digital widescreen content?
Simplicity is key
The content shown on digital signage in schools needs to be clear, concise and easy to understand. The problem with those who make portrait posters designed for print, is they add too much information. Here at TrilbyTV, we would suggest having one main message per slide and definitely no more than two. If the message is to focus on ‘Washing your hands’ then let it do just that. Don’t mix that message with keeping two metres apart, disinfecting surfaces and ‘catch it, bin it, kill it!’ That’s just too much for the average person to take in. Focus on one action, use eye-catching imagery where appropriate and make your text stand out. Overall make your design clear and effective and for a wide range of ages.
Making content for education
There are a plethora of apps out there that will create very polished and professional-looking content. Applications such as Microsoft Powerpoint, Apple Keynote and Google Slides all contain stylish templates. With a little bit of imagination, editing and the use of pre-made and searchable icons, content can easily be created.
One of our favourite apps to use is Adobe ‘Spark Post. It’s part of a suite of apps from Adobe that we used extensively when delivering iPad training. Super simple to use when showing teachers how creativity can enhance the learning experience. There is a free version containing lots of templates that can easily be edited. If you have a paid Adobe subscription for an application such as Photoshop then all templates are available. There’s also no Adobe Spark watermark when you export your finished work.
A number of our schools have already told us that a key part of their return strategy will be the use of digital signage to reinforce important messaging. With this in mind we’ve used one of the Adobe Spark Post templates to create 8 slides focused on ‘Keeping Safe at School’.
For TrilbyTV users these slides are now available within the Content Catalogue and ready for adding directly to your digital signage screens.
For those of you not yet using TrilbyTV, we’ve also made them available to download and use as you wish. Click here to download the Zip file.
Cadw’n Ddiogel yn yr Ysgol
Our 30-day free trial gives you the chance to try out TrilbyTV in your own school and get access to the Content Catalogue containing other useful slides. If you’d like to get the number one digital signage platform made for education in your school, just click here for a Free Trial.