• Digital Signage in Education

  • By Rick Wagner
    Over the course of the last five years or so, pricing of displays have dropped fairly significantly.  Here at ESCO, we see this affecting a number of areas, including the approach within the classroom – whether to continue to utilize a projector as the main display, or to switch back to displays in the classroom (or sometimes both in some scenarios!) Another area in which we have seen the effects of these more manageable costs are with digital signage.  With the lower cost of displays, schools are utilizing more spaces to communicate with the community – visitors, students, faculty, etc., and they are doing this through digital signage.

    My weekly schedule affords me the opportunity to see many approaches to “digital signage” while visiting within schools.  Below are the top methods I have seen to accomplish this:

    • “Computer on a Stick” approach – PC’s now come in “stick” form, by slapping up a display and hooking in a PC directly into the HDMI port, it allows for simple slideshow presentations
    • Roku – I have seen a number of schools utilize this type of media player to create a limited digital signage system
    • Formal digital signage system – within schools, this seems to be less prevalent compared to a business environment, mainly due to costs. However, this formal digital signage setup allows for easier manipulation of an entire network of displays. See below for more advantages of this approach

    ESCO has helped many schools, business, healthcare facilities and house of worship venues.  Whether we simply provide commercial (or “Prosumer”) grade displays throughout a facility, provide the digital signage system and setup, or the entire package, proper attention to the following factors is sought out:

    1. What content do you want to display?

    • RSS feeds
    • Simple slides
    • Video feed
    • Audio feed
    • Data feed from excel document or other source
    • And more

    2. How often will you be required to change the content?

    3. Are you seeking automation both in display control and scheduling of certain packets of content?

    Don’t worry, we will ask many more questions to find the right solution specific to you! Here at ESCO Communications, we have implemented three types of digital signage scenarios:

    1. Internal signage – These displays show content such as sales number, projects completed, project highlights, birthdays, special event notes/announcements, weather and more!
    2. External signage – As you enter our offices, you will be welcomed with a rotating video feed of major projects we have completed, interviews of employees on what makes ESCO special, the weather, a welcoming to our guests, new feeds and more!
    3. Digital Picture frame – These units are tied into a motion sensor in each room. These highlight large projects ESCO has been a partner of.  When entering a room, they turn on automatically and then turn off after a period of no motion for ten minutes

    Each of these digital signage scenarios can be controlled, edited, updated from any network PC.  We have these tied to specific schedules and utilize a formal digital signage package or internal capabilities (for the digital picture frame).  These three fit our needs and wants best, but a digital signage solution can be customized to best compliment your environment.  Interested in learning more or wanting to setup a walk through? Contact us online or call 317.298.2975. We look forward to helping you!

    Rick Wagner is currently an Account Executive covering the Commercial, Education and House of Worship markets in Central Indiana. Rick has been with ESCO Communications for almost 4 years and holds a CTS certificate through AVIXA.