Digital signage improves real-time district communications

As a concept, digital signage in K-12 school districts is not new. In the past, it could be used in front of the school or in announcement areas, but now it is integrated into all spaces.

School staff today can expect to find digital signage in hallways, classrooms, and even gathering spaces such as gymnasiums, auditoriums, and cafeterias. These screens are used to deliver important messages to teachers and students, from morning announcements to emergency alerts.

Educators can also use them in classrooms or lab spaces to more easily share content with groups of students, and many districts are transitioning from projectors in the classroom to digital displays.

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Here’s what K-12 IT leaders need to know about implementing their own digital signage as an enhanced, modern form of communication.

Digital displays are easy to install for K-12 districts

One possible explanation for the digital signage trend in K-12 districts is that implementing and installing this technology is simple. IT teams with limited bandwidth can install many panels with the help of partners, and the process is not technically complex.

It’s important for IT teams to engage partners or resources to help them understand panel management in the future.

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Secure and manage screens with strong passwords and internet

Digital signage management and security vary, but there are commonalities that can keep signage running smoothly.

Generally, the users posting the messages will have different permissions to access the signage throughout the school depending on their needs and positions. Administrators will have the broadest access, while educators will only be able to access devices in a particular classroom.

For this reason, password security is essential to prevent these screens from being hacked by students or malicious actors. Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication will ensure these devices are protected.

Schools may also consider segmenting devices into a separate virtual LAN for security and speed. Ultimately, the strength of a school’s network will determine how quickly messages can be delivered to staff and students. This is an especially important consideration for districts that want the ability to use signage for real-time emergency alerts.

K-12 IT managers can choose from a range of digital signage solutions

School districts are primarily implementing digital displays with HDMI capabilities. This does not limit them, however; in addition to standard TV screens, there are interactive touch screens, large format screens like video wall arrays, and even outdoor weatherproof screens.

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Popular brands for digital signage communications include Airtame, ScreenBeam, Kramer, and Vivi. User dashboards and cloud features help IT teams and administrators manage digital displays from anywhere, anytime.

Digital screens give schools the ability to convey messages visually and in real time. In a world where information is changing rapidly, better communication ensures that everyone is on the same page when information is vital.

This article is part of the “ConnectIT: Bridging the gap between education and technology” series. Please join the discussion on Twitter using the #ConnectIT hashtag.

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