College Planning & Management

JAN 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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IN THE KNOW EN H A NCI NG + ENGAGI NG + C ON N EC T I NG PLANNING & MANAGEMENT JA N UA RY 2 013 THIS MON TH 63 EMERGING TECHNOLOGY 64 TECH WATCH 65 TECH UPGRADE A Contemporary Information Center Digital signage provides a slick platform for communication. Here's how it's done at one school, along with answers to commonly asked questions. "H ere at the John D. MacArthur campus in Jupiter, we began installing digital signage in the fall of 2011," says Terry Gearing, director of University Relations at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). "The Davie campus in Broward County installed it at least a year before we did, so bringing it to Jupiter was the next logical step. Our initial sites were the Wilkes Honors College (1), the Student Resources/Classrooms building (2), and the Administration/Classroom building." Digital signage — digital content in terms of information (i.e., events, safety) displayed on a screen for public viewing — is rapidly becoming ubiquitous to the campus environment. Its advantages are tremendous: strategically placed in student centers and other facility entryways, it replaces bulletin boards full of colorful notices, which often makes for an unappealing information delivery system. And it makes sense, with its low point of entry cost, ease of use, and wow factor, that digital signage is gaining in popularity. In fact, administrators at FAU's Jupiter campus are so pleased with it that they have added it to the Elinor Bernon Rosenthal Lifelong Learning Complex and are working to add it to the Dining Hall Commons, two residence halls, and the library. Gearing has her signage set up to show date, time, and temperature. It also has an RSS news feed at the bottom. There are some signs that rotate regularly, including the FAU mobile app with a QR code and cyber-safety messages. While each sign can be individually created, she has developed several templates to ensure consistency. Types of signs she may post include last day to drop/add, last day to apply for graduation, and notices of new scholarships. "But most of the signs promote events," she indicates, "including special presentations, art exhibits, student government programs, and coffee-with-theprofessor lectures." PHOTO COURTESY OF RISE DISPLAY by ELLEN KOLLIE With digital signage working so well at the Jupiter campus, perhaps it's something you're interested in purchasing for your campus. If so, here are some commonly asked questions and answers. Why Should I Purchase Digital Signage? While there are a lot of reasons to invest in digital signage, the primary two are to deliver emergency communications and for the wow factor. "Administrators want to speak to their audience — the students — in JANUARY 2013 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 61

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