UTH session with Martin Willis from the Edinburgh Academy

A picture of shoes on Edinburgh Academy's Twitter feed which is being shared on a screen running TrilbyTVBack in October, we caught up with TrilbyTV users Anna Millar (Head of ICT) and Martin Willis (e-Learning Coordinator) at the Edinburgh Academy. It was fantastic to hear their insights into how easy and quickly TrilbyTV can be set up to create whole school communication. We also had time to ask Martin our Under the Hat questions and here are his answers;

What’s the best thing about your job?

I’ve been at the school for 13 years now and this was my first year managing e-Learning across all sites. Although I don’t regularly teach anymore, I really enjoy teaching digital skills classes. So I’m getting that oversight of e-Learning across the whole school, and I love the fact that I still get the opportunity to go into the classroom and work with children.

What was the key factor for choosing TrilbyTV?

It was the simplicity that attracted me initially, while I was a teacher, it was hard to get content on the screens. I had to go to our IT team, who were on a different site, and sometimes content would get lost along the way or didn’t look the same way on the screen as it did when I sent it over. So mainly simplicity, but also the fact that it looks consistent and professional.

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Did you have digital signage still installed before TrilbyTV?

Yes we did, but it was such a complex setup, and no one really knew how to use it! Because of this, teachers didn’t upload content, so it was never fresh, and screens were switched off a lot of the time.

How was your experience of the initial installation?

Getting started was really straightforward. I love the way that the setup was so simple. We used Firesticks, you just plug them in and go, it’s a really simple, really straightforward, intuitive system for our users. Within a day, we had five or six screens live, and I don’t have any technical network knowledge. I’m not a technician at all, I just walked straight through the setup.

What’s been the biggest benefits you’ve noticed since installing TrilbyTV?

It’s been very timely with our COVID-19 restrictions and sharing consistent messages out to staff and students. We’ve got slightly different versions of the same message going out to different age groups, so one of the biggest benefits is being able to target relevant content tailored to the right audience. We are always showing content that receives good engagement from our students very easily.

What are your future plans for growing your school’s digital signage?

We want to have the Library using QR codes to link to book reviews and video content. All of our students have mobile devices and can easily scan QR codes from screens. Once we’re in a situation where we can bring parents on-site, we’re looking at ways that we can engage our parent community with our content, which is something that we’ve struggled to do previously. We’ve got so much great digital content that our children have been creating over the years on their iPads, but we’ve never had the solution to share and showcase. So displaying this on the TrilbyTV screens will be a big thing for us going forward.

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Have you got any tips so far that you could leave for other TV users at all?

It’s quite important to start with a small team who know the message that you’re trying to share and the brands that you’re trying to present. Make sure all your content is uniformed and that you’re communicating the same message. Also, make sure you’ve got fresh, engaging content going out on an almost daily basis, Twitter feeds are really helpful for that. Lunch menus are also great, and if you make a mistake, you can edit the slides in about seven seconds.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of signing up for a free trial?

Sign up! Just to see how simple the user interface is, if people want to get in touch with us here in the academy, we’d be more than happy to showcase how quickly we’ve been able to adapt and adopt TrilbyTV as a service. In practice, the output is so professional.

A picture of the digital signage screen in reception at the Edinburgh Academy, with a welcome back message

Thanks for taking the time to answer our Under the Hat questions Martin, it’s great to have such a fantastic independent school utilising TrilbyTV and building whole-school communication!

If you’d like to learn a little bit more about how TrilbyTV can help your remote learning or school communication as a whole, you can book a free demo session here!

Where’s the hat? – Find out the story behind the name TrilbyTV here.

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