Image credit: TrouDigital
After spending the better part of a year learning through screens, many students from kindergarten through college have been happy to be back in the classroom. The accelerated technology push resulting from the pandemic has been impressive, but it also has shifted the way students learn and interact. For a generation that grew up with laptops, tablets, and smartphones, one-dimensional posters and signs often don’t hold students’ attention. To be timely, they need to be changed frequently, a laborious task on a large campus.
As schools continue to adapt to COVID-19 regulations and personal hygiene requirements, digital signs can help. They can welcome students, and remind them to wash their hands, remain six feet apart, and wear a mask as they enter a building. Once students are in the building, the signs can be used to display activities, post announcements, and highlight upcoming events. Perhaps best of all, they can be managed and updated from a single location.
TrouDigital has developed a plug-and-play digital signage solution that makes it easy for schools to get started. The cloud-based solution comes with a media player and mini wireless keyboard and mouse. The media player connects to the customer’s chosen display screen and to the Internet to access the content management software. Each screen needs a media player, which is about the size of a slice of Texas Toast and uses less power than a mini PC.
Once connected, educators can create and program their own content. Administrators can post an individual item, such as a video or welcome message, but they can also group content together to create a playlist. The administrator can program each item or playlist to run randomly or at specific dates and times.
System integrators or administrators can set up the initial solution and grant permissions to school staff, so both parties can access the system. TrouDigital will confirm and link the user accounts to protect against unauthorized access. Multiple screens can be added and grouped based on location or department, for example. The cloud-based solution enables admins to view, change, and manage content across the network from a single dashboard.
Image credit: TrouDigital
TrouDigital’s content management system provides a series of templates that administrators can use to create customized content. Administrators can use drag-and-drop widgets to display the time, date, weather, scrolling tickers, social media links. The software supports live calendars, RSS, and news feeds, along with customizable colors, logos, photos, and video. The TrouDigital system also supports images from Canva, a third-party tool that offers users thousands of free templates and designs.
What to Display
In one U.K. survey, more than half the students at the University of Southampton reported that the school’s existing digital signs were underutilized, and one-third of students were unaware they existed at all. About 80 percent wanted the signs to display information about job opportunities, and nearly two-thirds of the students wanted the digital signs to provide information about sports clubs, university services and news, and local restaurant deals.
Those numbers indicate that the university can improve the usefulness of its content, while drawing more attention from students. Interspersing collegiate and work information with advertisements from local businesses will provide the university with an additional source of revenue.
TrouDigital’s solution isn’t limited to educational environments. Retail stores, restaurants, and corporate offices are using TrouDigital signage to provide up-to-date information to customers and employees. The company also offers touch screens, digital posters, and freestanding kiosks for information and wayfinding, video walls for student and employee engagement, and hand sanitizing stations with integrated digital screens.