Today’s students, young and old, have new learning styles and preferences. Educators can use digital signage to communicate ideas and skills more effectively, accelerating the pace of learning and improving educational experiences for students.
Whether online or offline, the classroom is where a large portion of educational instruction and learning takes place. Several emerging practices are taking advantage of digital signage to drive better student outcomes. One, in particular, is gamification – using creativity, visualization, digital technology and challenges to inspire student learning. Having grown up in a world of video games, mobile apps and other technology, students are already familiar with gaming and competition. Educators can take advantage of this familiarity and “gamify” learning of educational content. Teachers can also use desktop monitors, mobile devices and interactive screens (wall, tabletop, other) to present information in gaming formats. This approach is particularly useful for strengthening problem-solving skills and imparting complex ideas through a more visual presentation.
Gamification and the use of video and image-centric communication on interactive digital signage are also being used effectively in corporate training, religious education and museums/art galleries/zoos/aquaria. For example, large and small companies are finding that interactive digital instruction is highly efficient for onboarding and training new employees. A few other examples of digital signage uses include:
- Digital storytelling – combining text, motion and imagery – is effective, particularly with younger students, because it combines a familiar digital environment with the proven, age-old effectiveness of educational narrative.
- Private, secure social networks allow students and teachers to collaborate online on projects, as well as share ideas.
- Digital networks are effective for progress reporting, both to students and parents. By accessing grades and assignment progress online (potentially in real time) students become more engaged and focused.
Digital signage also offers significant benefits when deployed in public areas around a campus. Here are several examples:
Steve Chang is familiar with how digital signage is shaping education as the Senior Vice-President of Strategy and Solutions at RMG Networks. Steve oversees the strategic direction and expansion of RMG’s intelligent visual communications.
- Wayfinding: Interactive screens in high-traffic areas can help visitors and new students get where they need to go more quickly, and with less anxiety.
- Classroom/meeting room entrances: Digital signage at doorways can provide real-time information about class schedules throughout the day/week, helping students to easily confirm appropriate locations and class times.
- Organizational information sharing: Digital screens are far more engaging and attention-getting than static bulletin boards. A school can use them to convey information about upcoming events, awards, teacher/student recognition, schedule changes, etc. Increased visibility of organizational messages builds a spirit of community that enhances teaching efforts in the classroom.
- Emergency response: Real-time digital networks are extraordinarily valuable when a weather event or other emergency situation occurs. By informing faculty, students and guests of the current situation status, along with response instructions, the opportunity for catastrophic outcomes can be reduced. Digital networks give organizations the ability to centrally control communication and deliver it to personal digital devices and public screens, allowing people to get important messages whether they are on or off campus.
- Reduce paper waste: Digital signage offers educators an opportunity to go green by reducing or eliminating the need for paper handouts and other forms of paper-based learning. Teachers can demonstrate “green” behavior while setting an example for the students they teach, in addition to saving the expense and time associated with printing and distributing paper handouts.