Going Places – Prioritizing interactive digital signage in Schools, Colleges and Universities

It’s no surprise that today’s generation expects instantaneous access to information. Finding answers to questions was once time-consuming and involved research methodologies. Maybe you had to go to the library or bookstore—maybe you even had to handwrite a letter. Now, finding information takes little effort. With a few simple clicks, results appear on the screen.

Educational institutions have a tremendous amount of information to convey, and an audience with little time to spend reading it. Students, whether they’re in elementary school or doing graduate work at university, share a commonality. They are used to using their fingers to search for information using touchscreens, whether it’s their smartphone, laptops, or iPads.

It makes sense that the digital experience also extends into schools. With printing and paper costs becoming an increasingly analyzed budget line, streamlining communications is a valuable cost-savings tool. Using digital signage in schools is an eco-sustainable, effective solution to the many informational needs of those on campus.

Digital info hub enclosures

Offering much more than a simple directory, youRhere’s interactive information hubs are limitless knowledge banks. Whether helping newcomers navigate their way to faculties and classes, or sharing photos of former alumni, digital interactive hubs have a past, present and future in education systems.

Identifying the multi-layered needs of communication within educational institutions, youRhere has developed software features that provide flexible and affordable signage solutions for schools, colleges, and universities. Rotating messaging is displayed in an engaging format—everything happens in one space. Years of school photos can be digitized and celebrated in interactive displays, encouraging present-day students to engage with the school’s history, and digital signage is a clever way for schools to increase their brand awareness.

“If the school has been around for 50 years, you haven’t got room for that amount of class pictures,” explains Scot Martin, President and CEO of youRhere. “You can put up a touch screen that would allow someone interested in looking at a past class to find them quickly and easily on a single screen.”

Honouring alumni through multimedia photo displays is fantastic for sharing the wealth of graduation photos and historical information, without cluttering walls with aging photos. Awareness of benefactors and their historical influence on the school can also be raised in an engaging, visually appealing format.

“When alumni come back to visit, they are tremendously disappointed if they can’t find anything that helps them reminisce about the old days,” Martin says. “They’re delighted if they can pull up pictures of their team, their classmates, or their favourite teacher. All those things can be searched for and found quickly with interactive digital signage.”

Wayfinding technology allows students to easily locate classrooms, lecture halls, the nearest elevator, and the cafeteria. Students can access maps for the full campus, rather than just for the building they are in, allowing them to better understand the campus layout, including parking facilities. QR codes offer students the opportunity to scan the directions to their phone, ensuring they have consistent guidance even after they leave the digital signage space.

Those with visual impairments can access text to voice options with headphones. Standalone units are virtually height-adjustable, ensuring accessibility is no barrier for anyone in a wheelchair. There are few limitations with digital signage.

After class, live transit information displayed on the interactive hubs makes it easy for students to get home safely without waiting around outside for the next bus, which could be 20 minutes away. Updates on potentially hazardous weather conditions can be clearly displayed on interactive digital signage. In the event of an emergency, displaying critical instructions to students can assist with evacuation efforts. Conveying important health and safety reminders is a valuable use of digital screens in education settings. When you need to inform people quickly, digital signage complements your communication tools.

Over in the student union building, interactive hubs can promote textbook sales, fundraising activities, happy hour and lunch specials. For sports fans, excitement and hype are generated through displays of future game schedules or last night’s game highlights.

youRhere’s digital screens are updated remotely through a simple content management system (CMS). The system is so easy to use, updates can even be completed from a smartphone. youRhere will also provide editable templates, making your latest communication a breeze to convey.

While youRhere’s digital signage offers mega messaging possibilities, the cost is surprisingly small. Screens can be purchased outright or leased and paid for over a contracted period. To offset costs, advertising space can be sold to local businesses, or to advertise local events.

Interactive digital hubs provide a green, sustainable solution to educational communication requirements. Scot Martin is the CEO of youRhere, a leading provider of digital signage solutions for commercial, retail, healthcare, and educational properties across Canada. To learn more, visit www.yourhere.ca

Get to Where You Need To Go: Why Your School Needs Campus Wayfinding Signage | youRhere.ca

School campus wayfinding signage:

Wayfinding is an important aspect of property management for all industries, including the educational sector. With the nature of school campuses being crowded, busy places, implementing methods to ensure visitors, potential and current students, and staff can safely find their way around is crucial.  

A well-thought-out wayfinding strategy provides school administrators with a way to keep visitors informed on their whereabouts, while communicating important news about current events, and safety practices. Seventy-three per cent of educational institutions deem digital signage to be crucial for the future of communication, cementing their place in the educational sector.  

Below, we explore the advantages utilizing effective wayfinding signage brings to college, university, or high school campuses and how it can create a more inviting and navigable environment for everyone. 

What is wayfinding? 

Wayfinding helps to guide people in a physical environment, increasing their understanding of the space while improving their experience. On school campuses, this helps to reduce the stress that often comes with navigating complex built environments, contributing to a sense of well-being, safety, and security. 

This form of navigational signage encourages a more confident self-orientation as students, staff, and guests manoeuvre the campus safely while familiarizing themselves with the environment.  

How wayfinding enhances the campus experience  

A comprehensive campus wayfinding system helps new and prospective students easily locate campus destinations, creating a less stressful and more enjoyable initial experience. It can be employed to: 

  • Promote inclusivity with directional signs and advantageously placed exterior signs guiding individuals with mobility challenges or visual impairments more efficiently throughout the campus. 
  • Foster a greater sense of safety and security on school sites with illuminating wayfinding signage to help guests locate safe pathways, parking lots, and buildings at all hours or during emergencies. 

Implementing an effective wayfinding strategy 

Establishing an effective management strategy with wayfinding requires careful planning and consideration of the various elements involved. Collaborating with facility managers, students, faculty, and staff helps to identify areas of needed improvement and discover potential solutions.  

For wayfinding signage to maintain its effectiveness and efficiency, it’s important to ensure these systems can easily adapt to changes on campus i.e., construction projects, new buildings, and campus expansions. Incorporating these practices creates a more enjoyable experience for the campus community while also improving safety and security. 

Creating a sense of community with wayfinding 

Wayfinding signage can create an engaging, welcoming environment that supports a sense of belonging and community on campus. Consistent and easily navigable wayfinding signage helps to create a unified campus identity that encourages students and visitors to explore all the school has to offer, from events to various facilities. 

These digital signage mediums have great influence in establishing a memorable experience for everyone that enters. With various ways to get creative and make the signage interactive, university administrators can develop a campus landscape that is instantly recognizable. This can be especially helpful for those new to the area or campus, providing an anchor point to identify their location. 

Wayfinding is the way 

A well-designed wayfinding sign and system is a great way to foster positive college experiences that benefit students, faculty, staff, and visitors alike. With these navigational and informative systems, colleges and universities can build a more welcoming and inclusive environment that helps everyone to feel united within the academic community.