Jul 29 2022

Digital Signage Improves Real-Time District Communications

From morning announcements to emergency alerts, here’s how K–12 schools are using digital displays to get messages to staff and students.

As a concept, digital signage in K–12 school districts isn’t new. In the past, it might have been used in front of the school or in announcement areas, but it’s now being integrated into all spaces.

Today’s school staff can expect to find digital signage in hallways, classrooms and even gathering spaces such as gymnasiums, auditoriums and cafeterias. These displays are used to transmit important messages to teachers and students, from morning announcements to emergency alerts.

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

EXPLORE THE TIMELINE: See how classroom technology has evolved since 1659.

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

Digital Displays Are Easy for K–12 Districts to Install

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

It’s important that IT teams tap partners or resources to help them understand the management of the panels moving forward.

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Secure and Manage Displays with Strong Passwords and Internet

The management and security of the digital displays varies, but there are commonalities that can ensure signage functions smoothly.

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

For this reason, password security is key to keeping these displays from being hacked by students or threat actors. Strong passwords and multifactor authentication will ensure these devices remain protected.

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

K–12 IT Leaders Can Choose from a Range of Digital Display Solutions

School districts are primarily implementing digital displays with HDMI capabilities. This isn’t limiting them, however; in addition to standard TV screens, there are interactive touch displays, large-format displays like video wall matrices and even weatherproof outdoor displays.

DIVE DEEPER: K–12 schools are bringing classroom technology to outdoor learning.

Popular brands for digital signage communications include AirtameScreenBeamKramer and Vivi. User dashboards and cloud capabilities help IT teams and administrators manage the digital displays from anywhere at any time.

Digital displays give schools the option to convey messages visually and in real time. In a world of fast-moving information, improved communication ensures everyone is on the same page when the information is vital.

This article is part of the “ConnectIT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology” series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #ConnectIT hashtag.

[title]Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology

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