Manzano High School Turns to Digital Signage for Student Communication

March 15, 2013

Manzano High School has opened a new parent and student communication channel with StrandVision digital signage on a Mac digital media player.

Manzano High School has installed a digital signage system using StrandVision digital signage software. The system reaches students in six public areas and is also available in several classrooms across the campus.

Like many schools, Manzano had a cable television network that was underutilized. Staff recognized the potential of the cable system to augment daily announcements, posters and other communications in order to let students know about upcoming events and build school spirit by recognizing student clubs, activities and achievements.

The electronic signage system also brings another dimension to student communications. Since it is a visual medium, it offers the opportunity to feature pictures of students at social and sporting events. It is also being used to promote signups for advanced placement classes and other electives such as photography, anthropology, art history and DECA, to name a few.

"If kids don't have a class at the time of the daily announcements or they're not paying attention, they could miss the audio announcements," said Ken Tuley, assistant principal and system administrator for the Albuquerque, N.M., high school. "With digital signage the news is on the screens throughout the day, including lunch, so they have the opportunity to see them several times throughout the day."

Using the existing cable system and a combination of old televisions and newer flat screens, several public areas including lobbies, the snack bar and offices have digital signage displays. Teachers in classrooms are encouraged to turn on their televisions to display the digital signage between classes and during breaks.

The system connects to StrandVision digital signage cloud servers over the Internet to display the announcements and access additional services, such as local weather. The Internet-based signage system eliminates the need for costly onsite servers and networking gear. Contributors, including the activities director and other administrators, log on to the StrandVision website to add daily announcements and to post pictures. The new announcements are sent to the MacBook within minutes to update all of the electronic signs.

"Manzano is an example of using old infrastructure to bring the latest technology to its students," said Mike Strand, founder and CEO of Menomonie, Wis.-based StrandVision. "They took existing assets, the cable network, televisions and an old MacBook, and coupled it with the latest in cloud-based digital signage technology to deliver a new student communication medium at minimal cost. Manzano is a very cost-effective model for other schools to emulate in communicating with students and parents during these tight budget times."

Comments

We've found that digital signage is also a pretty good candidate for the curriculum, aside from being good from a facilities standpoint. There are a couple of open source digital signage packages that run on platforms like the raspberry PI, and these make for great classroom labs. The kids really seem to be more engaged when the output of their work is showing on an LED display or large plasma monitor.

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