This university’s interactive lab is revolutionizing research

Our mission at the Health Sciences Library at the University of Washington is to advance the healthcare fields through scholarship, research, education and access to health information resources. We support not just university faculty, health researchers and students, but also a variety of other professionals and researchers in the Puget Sound and state of Washington.

With that in mind, when the university library decided to add a new space on campus to enhance research data analysis and allow multidisciplinary collaboration, we didn’t want just another conference room; we wanted to give researchers something they couldn’t get elsewhere on campus.

To create and fund a space on campus that would accelerate health research and innovation by supporting researchers and investigators in our community, our library formed a partnership with the Institute of Translational Health Sciences (ITHS), the University of Washington Medicine Research Information Technology, and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine-Pacific Northwest Region in the summer of 2015.…Read More

5 keys to successful visual communications on campus

Good digital signage engagement means a cohesive system and content strategy

visual-digital-communicationDigital signage screens are becoming a popular and integral part of the university campus visual communications. However most of the screens are not being utilized efficiently or effectively due to the lack of a cohesive campus-wide system and content strategy. The digital signage screens on campus are often being misunderstood and mistreated.

Screens on university campuses are not a new concept, since campus TV broadcasting has been implemented for decades. However, in just the past 10 years, new screens have been popping up on campus at a rapid pace fueled by the convenience of modern flat panel technology and reach of the network infrastructures. On a typical university campus, hundreds, if not thousands, of screens can be seen, in hallways, lobbies, library, cafeterias, classrooms, residential halls, sports facilities and even outdoor spaces.

An area of concern, however, is that while most campus TV management folks are not yet ready to actively engage in the daily content care of digital signage screens, digital signage screens on campus should be treated as a strategic extension of both campus TV programs and university website information.…Read More

Campus crises and digital signage

Most campus personnel responsible for emergency response are aware of the legal guidelines presented in the Clery Act, which requires institutions to provide timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students or employees.

Digital signage has become a common tool is campus crisis communication.

In addition to these requirements, campus safety staffs must be able to identify a crisis and execute strategies in compliance with state and federal statutes.

To meet this burden, you have to invest in careful planning, flexible systems and continuous testing to ensure all of your communication methods are optimized for emergency effectiveness. Campuses must be prepared to leverage a wide set of technologies to get the word out as fast as possible, in the most effective manner and across as many channels as possible.

Defining a crisis…Read More

Qatar university installs robotic receptionist

A Qatar university has installed a robotic receptionist, which talks in English and Arabic, and which will soon be able to read human facial expressions when new upgrades are installed, reports. The new roboceptionist, which is named HALA, has been installed at the reception of Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. “We are in the process of designing a new body that will make her more portable. If and when we do so, we will be able to take her into the community,” Majd Sakr, Associate Teaching Professor of Computer Science at CMU-Q said.

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College campuses face digital signage’s hidden costs

Digital signage adoption rates have skyrocketed on college campuses.

The cost of content for digital signage has been known to elicit a generous helping of expletives from campus technologists who, before making their signage purchases, didn’t peek at the price tag of the moving pictures that fill the screens on their shiny new signs.

Digital signs are strategically placed at the entrances of lecture halls and in the middle of student unions, screens ready to serve as the college’s next-generation bulletin board. But as many college and university IT decision makers have found out in recent years–as digital signs have become commonplace in higher education–filling the screen with more than the occasional announcement can be a pricey prospect.

The rights to an advertisement that can scroll across the screen between campus-related announcements can cost more than $5,000, signage industry experts said in interviews with eCampus News. Even tweaking an ad–shrinking it, or changing its color or sound–can cost $2,000.…Read More

Emergency notification in jeopardy if students tune out digital signage

Messages should be capable of being conveyed through digital signage in just seven seconds or less, or else students will tune them out.

If a digital sign can’t convey a message in seven seconds, the technology runs the risk of blending into the background, one expert says—and during campus emergencies, that could prove dangerous.

Schools and departments on college campuses are often competing with each other to see which building touts the most advanced digital signage, but in the arms race for fancy graphics on impressive screens, the potential for emergency messages is lost, said Sean Matthews, president of Visix, a developer of software that’s used in digital signage.

Read more about emergency notifications in higher education……Read More

Without improved content, digital signage could ‘ride off into the sunset’

Campus technology leaders are searching for ways to make digital signage more effective at their schools.

Smart phones and tablets shouldn’t be seen as competitors to a campus’s digital signs, but as companions, and colleges should make sure on-screen content grabs students’ attention, digital signage experts said March 7 at an industry tradeshow.

During a panel discussion at the Digital Signage Expo (DSE) in Las Vegas, campus technology leaders said digital signs run the risk of becoming irrelevant if decision makers don’t embrace new approaches to signage.

Higher education has seen a boom in digital signage usage. After 1,500 U.S. campuses added digital signs in 2010—displaying information such as course schedules, upcoming campus events, and weather reports—more than 8,400 digital screens were installed at colleges and universities in 2011, according to a report from Northern Sky Research, a market research firm.…Read More

How to engage a higher ed audience beyond the digital screen

Digital signs should point students to other campus resources.

In trying to create new and relevant content for digital signage screens, we sometimes forget that our audience is in motion and will not see everything they are intended to see.

As part of a comprehensive marketing strategy, digital signage can be an effective facilitator of information, but is not always treated as such.  With the wider availability of smart phones, laptops, and tablets, we need to be able to reach our audiences where they are  — namely, on the move.

In a workplace or school setting, most of the information being distributed on the screens is also being sent through other means.  Websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, eMail, text messages, RSS feeds and more are incorporated into a marketing strategy to make sure the message gets out.…Read More

Digital Signage Expo debuts “Digital Signage in a Connected World”

More than 180 exhibitors will be present at DSE 2012.

Digital Signage Expo (DSE), an international tradeshow and conference dedicated to digital signage, interactive technologies, and digital Out-of-Home Networks (DOOH), will present new educational opportunities for the first time March 6-9, 2012, at its annual event in Las Vegas, themed “Digital Signage in a Connected World.”

Both the Keynote speaker and Keynote thought-leadership panelists will expand upon the “Connected World” theme with forward-looking perspectives on the industry. The theme also will play a large role in almost every one of the eight DSE 2012 seminar tracks.

“Digital signage has emerged as a distinctly new industry, but it also is part of a larger fabric of connected digital devices, including computers, smartphones and tablets — all of which provide new ways of engaging consumers through digital signage technologies,” said Richard Lebovitz, Educational and Editorial Director for Exponation LLC, which produces DSE.…Read More

Digital signage adoption skyrockets in higher education

Digital signage is moving from commerce to education.

Paper flyers are out. Digital signage is in. College students have sent the message loud and clear to their campus IT officials: They want information broadcast on-screen—and recent statistics say decision makers are listening.

Digital signs—usually large, flat-screen TVs—were once used exclusively in common campus areas like the student union.

Today, even small colleges are installing digital signs in buildings across campus, and instead of controlling the messages scrolling across these signs from a central location, IT leaders are giving control to department chiefs who can customize each sign with announcements and news items.…Read More