October 25, 2012
Article By: Brent Adams

For Jim Velco, chief technology officer at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, there was a communication problem with faculty, staff and students. E-mail just wasn't cutting it, he said.

After researching different technological solutions, he implemented a digital signage strategy, and found it was able to solve the problem, he said in this nearly 8½-minute video from the 2012 Digital Signage Expo.

But it was not without its complications. At first, students wondered why their tuition money was going towards "flat-screen TVs," Velco said. During the rollout, John Marshall installed 15 screens.

But with time, students grew to accept the screens. Now, the screens are so popular that the law school has to turn away content ideas. The school now has more than 40 screens.

Velco said some of the challenges have been the need to provide unique, relevant content to students, as well as do so in an interactive way.

For example, Velco said, "Static screens are just a billboard on the side of the road." So one way the law school has engaged its audience is by having a way for students swipe the screen with a card if there is a piece of content they are interested in, and the information is e-mailed to them.

He also said that there were complaints about missing a piece of content and having to stand in front of the screens, waiting for the content to cycle back through.

To fix this, the law school implemented strategies to let users touch and scroll through content events instead of just waiting.

As for the future, Velco said that the industry is dynamic. Digital signage evolves every year with different trends, he said.

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