We’ve visited well over 1,000 schools on our travels as technology trainers and we have certainly seen our fair share of school reception areas. This is the entrance point to the school, the place where visitors, parents and occasionally Ofsted inspectors, get their first impression.
With the uptake of electronic signing in systems like Inventory, we are now more often than not greeted with a touch screen inviting us to sign in and get the obligatory photo taken. With sticky badge applied, we are directed to take a seat and wait.
The experience from here on is wildly varied. Some schools will have their staff photo board proudly on display, minus the two or three staff who have left leaving a few holes in the photo grid. A wall will be covered in certificates, proudly gained and mounted. You can imagine the assembly where they were presented and the whole school celebrates the achievement, but the applause is now long forgotten and the certificate frame now just getting a bit dusty.
In schools where there is a bit more room there may be a display of this term’s work or more often, work from the end of the previous term when a few finished pieces of work were selected from the many to be put out for visitors. If you’re lucky to be visiting around an inspection time or at the start of a term, the smell of fresh paint may still linger from the summer decoration and polishing works.
What is often lacking in this setup though is the presence of anything showing NOW. What’s happening TODAY. What is being learned, understood and processed by all the active minds in the building at this very moment. This is where a digital signage screen can instantly bring this reception area to life. We’re not talking about a dull display of weather, news ticker tape and the much requested onscreen clock. We’re talking about a screen full of colour, video, photos and even pumping out sound showing the best of what the school is doing.
Reception at Goresborook school with Inventory sign in system and TrilbyTV showing todays tweets.
You might think this takes time and effort to put in place, manage, maintain – but it needn’t be a headache when you consider using the right software which puts the content control in the classroom – getting teachers and students sharing and moderating the work they are producing on a daily basis. With the right tools, this screen is always going to be current and up-to-date, unlike the sun-bleached wall display.
So now you are back from the summer break, planning is sorted and we’re back in the swing of things; take some time to wander down to the reception area, look around and spot what could be changed to make it a more welcoming space. Get a trial of TrilbyTV and we’ll come and give you a little box and some of our time to show you just how exciting the screen in reception can be.
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Reception at Layton school with this weeks Layton News proudly playing on the screen.