Systems Man’s new tech babies – five of them to be exact, have finally started to crawl. Originally conceived by him and a previous Head; it was an eventful pregnancy but a none too complicated labour and delivery.
It has been entirely Systems Man’s labour of love and I can take little credit for our new digital signage, apart from having opinions on what might work best with our teachers. The finer points were put on by himself, FROG and our SLT whose requirement was that it would alleviate bits of paper being thrust into hands at the last minute for reading out at various assemblies. Its purpose would also serve to deliver last minute global messages such as cancelled sports meetings and to create cover notices – to name a few.
It was vital that notices went into one main software platform in order that students and staff had access to exactly the same notices on the VLE and the digital signage. It therefore made sense that notices had to be delivered through our VLE software – FROG.
A proprietary system of Samsung screens with digital overlays, video software and FROG, the displays are touch sensitive and interactive. They cover five main areas: “What’s happening today”, with events pulled directly through from the underlying main school calendar, “Today’s notices”, which cover all the last minute non published calendar items, ”Reminders”, being items which need a longer mention than just those on the day, and an RSS or video feed.
Apologies, the quality of the pictures are not good because I struggled to capture anything decent as the backlighting from the screens created strange patterns in my photos. As a result you can only just see that there are several separate calendars which will allow users to post notices with specific relevance to either: Sport, Speech & Drama, Music, Special Events and so on. Each of these will pull through to the “What’s happening today” display.
Selecting an item in the “Reminders” list will expand the detail in the box below. At this stage Systems Man is working on creating these to display as a list and not in a group as they are here.
The same box will enlarge on and display content from the items in the “Today’s Notices” list when these are selected.
Reactions have been good. Staff have initially been a little wary of touching them, but not so the students “Can we Bluetooth our videos to the displays?” is a frequent request. Well, not without prior approval at the moment. The last thing we want when prospective parents come to visit is to be showing, “Josh’s revenge on the dumpster” in full colour.