Digital natives — that’s what students are today. Growing up in a state of constant digital contact, learners are used to fast-paced routines, and spend most of their free time using technology. In fact, a student will spend nearly 30,000 hours between kindergarten and college graduation interacting with digital content. The constant desire to be connected and the fear of being left out drive most high school and college students to rely on collaboration tools.
A study conducted by PEW Research Center found that 78% of K-12 children use social networking sites, while 58% use their phones to access them. These digital natives have technology perfectly weaved throughout their lives: 93% of them own a laptop, 87% have access to a desktop and 39% have tablets.
Because these tools are readily available to children, most educators struggle to reach their students in a way that makes sense to them. Dubbed as digital immigrants, or people who are exposed to technology later in life, many teachers fail to use technology to its full advantage. Rather, they push old-school tools and techniques that no longer speak to today’s kids.
Various attempts to bridge this gap are constantly being made in the academic world. Digital signage for schools is one of the most effective ways to bring excitement and engagement back into the classroom. And the use of digital signage in education has been effective. In 2011 alone, more than 13,000 digital signage solutions were deployed in campuses across the United States.
Install wayfinding maps and information kiosks
Wayfinding is a solution for digital signage in schools that is beneficial for students of all ages. It allows students to easily navigate the campus with turn-by- turn instructions that are relative to their current location. Functioning much like Google Maps, mobile wayfinding solutions like the one provided by Four Winds Interactive (FWI) are a seamless marriage of digital signage and SMS. Additionally, utilizing digital signage for schools is so successful that West Virginia University contracted FWI to install 140 electronic sign boards for their Morgantown campus. These signs drive a variety of information across the college, informing and educating the school’s students, faculty and staff.
Drive participation and collaboration through interactive boards
Students love to fiddle with their phones, tablets and laptops. Now, electronic sign boards can be added to the list. Digital signage in schools can be used to push information such as upcoming events, visitors or announcements, and can also function as a virtual concierge, enabling students to navigate and search for relevant information with the touch of a button.
Electronic sign boards for schools allow digital natives to gain access to events in the near future, but also to those that are booked a few months, a quarter or even a year out. Plus, with digital signage, students can have access to important school information, including class schedules, availability and cancellations, class overview and professor profiles. With digital signage, schools can keep students updated on school events, plays and relevant groups and organizations.
Stress important habits and values through electronic signs
Displaying menu options, such as how many calories a cheeseburger has compared to a salad, can help K-12 and college students make healthy eating choices. Since more than one- third of the U.S. population is obese, the importance of eating a balanced diet and fiber rich food cannot be stressed enough. FWI’s menu board application makes it easy to display menu items alongside health information.
Digital signage in schools is instrumental in bridging the gap between students, teachers and management. If you’re curious about how you can successfully use electronic sign boards in your school, check out our success stories.