AV & Presentation
Georgia College Cuts through Broadcast Clutter with Digital Signage
- By Dian Schaffhauser
At the encouragement of its student government association, Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville launched digital signage to help community announcements stand out. The institution worked with Capital Signs to install "Bobcat Vision," which consists of 16 32-inch and three 42-inch high-definition displays powered by Scala software. Displays are mounted in high-traffic administrative and student areas, including the student activities center, student union, and Arts & Sciences building.
To run the network, Georgia College bought 12 licenses for Scala products, including Players, Designer, Content Manager, and Template Composer EX module. Capital Signs designed all of the graphics and templates stored in Scala Content Manager. The players and servers went into network closets. Scala Designer, available in the student activities center, is used by the designated system administrator to build new templates and graphics for all users of the digital signage network. Scala Content Manager allows student groups and campus members to add their own messaging to the templates, and it is available to all authorized students with Internet access through a Web application. Once content is added to content manager, it remains in a queue until an administrator reviews it and sends it to the Scale Players.
"Once we really played with the software and functionality, we realized that it is extremely flexible and can be pushed as far as we want," said Billy Grace, a senator in the Student Government Association. "We're consistently finding new features and opportunities, and we know that as Bobcat Vision grows, we will continue learning how to improve the way we use it."
A current project is integrating campus RSS feeds--the same ones that appear on the GCSU Web site--into Bobcat Vision. Capital Signs has also installed a Scala Player that will push announcements from Bobcat Vision to the campus cable network to have messages show up on TVs.
To promote the presence of the notification system, the campus ran a game similar to "Wheel of Fortune." Each day, a new letter appeared on monitors. Whoever completed the puzzle was entered into a drawing for homecoming concert tickets.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.