See a snapshot of how these FCS students integrate Google Drive & Seesaw as Digital LearningPortfolios for reflection and for tracking their own learning progress.
Why are digital signage networks popping up on campuses across North America? Because they are one of the few media still being heeded by people 18 to 24 years of age.
While digital signage networks are novel enough to generate “oohs” and “aahs” among audiences of all ages, it is the university and college-aged crowd that is the most responsive. Conversant with technology from a very young age, they are highly receptive to messaging delivered via digital signs. And with the potential for interactivity, digital signage networks of the future hold even more promise as the ideal medium to engage students.
Why Digital Signs Have Such Strong Appeal
Retailers have discovered the value of digital signage networks for directing very specific advertising to a narrowly defined target audience. Hence the term “narrowcasting” which refers to messaging that reaches a particular audience in a particular place, as opposed to broadcasting which reaches a broad, widely-dispersed audience through traditional media like radio and TV.
Other sectors have begun using digital signage for more than advertising. Airports use it to provide information to passengers, banks use it to occupy waiting customers and hotels and conference centers use it to help visitors find their way.
All of these uses have met with positive response from their audiences. But the response at campuses has been even greater. As a recent guide from Digital Signage Today points out, digital signage networks are the “perfect marriage of ideal audience and ideal technology”. Today’s students welcome new technology and are keen to be the first adapters of new gadgets and gizmos. Knowing this, many university administrators have turned to digital signage networks to communicate with this iPod-wearing, Facebook-using, cellphone-and-Blackberry-addicted generation.
On-Campus Uses of Digital Signage Networks
How are digital signs being used in colleges and universities (and even some high schools)? Administrators use the signs to post important announcements and emergency information. Various departments use digital signs in their buildings to communicate messaging relevant to their students. Student councils, sports teams and clubs post information about upcoming events.
Digital signs have become virtual bulletin boards, placed at strategic locations -like libraries, student centers, bookstores and cafeterias – where they can reach the most students. Using RSS feeds, schools can provide up-to-the-minute, current and relevant information to their students much more quickly and efficiently than they could with the corkboards and paper messages of old.
Some universities sell advertising space on their digital signs to generate revenue. Knowing their media-savvy audience, most incorporate marketing and promotional material in small doses and are sure to display it alongside informational messaging so students do not come to view the signs as just another advertising platform.
What’s next for on-campus digital signage networks? Interactivity using wireless technologies like Bluetooth or SMS. In its guide on education and digital signage, Digital Signage Today discusses East Carolina University which is set to allow students to vote or respond to polls posted on digital signs using their cell phones. This is just one application of interactivity, but the potential for more is there.
Is this function useful? Maybe. Necessary? Probably not. Cool? Definitely. And it is this last trait that will keep students interested and engaged in digital signage networks while they are on campus and after they leave to join the workforce.
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