Digital Signage for a high school
April 27, 2009 8:41 AM   Subscribe

How can I cheaply create a dynamic and easy-to-update information display (digital signage) for my secondary school?

I want an easy to update display for information (homework assignments, announcements, graphs w/ grades, recent pics w/ captions, calendars) for a classroom.

I have a 19" monitor and a number of PCs with Windows XP. I also have a webhost (GoDaddy).

It may be that I actually just want to save a powerpoint presentation to a place that dynamically updates a monitor or maybe a PHP page that refreshes every minute or so. I'd prefer a ready-made solution, but I'm willing to do an hour of light coding to make things work.

I like the idea of eventually expanding to ~3 screens around the school that are context-sensitive - so events information that pertains directly to my students will appear in my classroom, and events that pertain to everybody will appear on a different monitor in the main office.

The install can be a little bit of work, but content updates should be extremely simple for most anybody to do.

Thoughts?
posted by jander03 to Technology (10 answers total)
 
Can you not just write a couple of webpages and run the browser n kiosk/fullscreen mode?
posted by zeoslap at 8:54 AM on April 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seems like this is something you could do pretty easily with a big digital picture frame. Those don't cost a whole lot.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:11 AM on April 27, 2009


>>Can you not just write a couple of webpages and run the browser n kiosk/fullscreen mode?

I could, but I'd like a way to easily add new artifacts (graphs, text). Although, maybe I could do something with a tumblelog like tumblr...??

Are there ways to make a browser slowly scroll through a page then refresh?

>>Seems like this is something you could do pretty easily with a big digital picture frame. Those don't cost a whole lot.

I agree, but I have an LCD monitor already.

---
Thanks for the ideas so far!
posted by jander03 at 9:27 AM on April 27, 2009


I've always only seen PowerPoint used for this, presumably with a dedicated box lying around somewhere, and it seems well-suited for the purpose. Bonus: when someone inherits it, they will almost certainly have the skills to maintain it.

Lame, I know.
posted by McBearclaw at 9:38 AM on April 27, 2009


I had a similar question for a device to use in a public library and someone suggested and we purchased one of those digital picture frames. It sits on the reference desk and people will watch it flip through our programming announcements and pictures from recent programs. I bought our at New Egg.
posted by zzazazz at 10:29 AM on April 27, 2009


What if you combined the kiosk-mode browser with a Blogger (or other such media) account? Blogger would allow you to keep recurring things of most kinds in the sidebars while updating just the daily/weekly/whenever dynamic content in the center.
posted by Picklegnome at 10:51 AM on April 27, 2009


I have done this (and more) before using Keynote. Not necessarily an ideal solution for you, but, you could consider making a hackintosh and running keynote on it ? Keynote does all this out of the box, really.
posted by vrdx at 11:35 AM on April 27, 2009


How about a screensaver that does a slideshow of photos? Then share the photo folder on the network and you can update the images remotely.
posted by moonmilk at 1:36 PM on April 27, 2009


I really like the idea of a blog, but it's just to much to tweak for a sign to stay current (unless I find a working PHP script for scrolling down the page at a slow rate).
I'm going with powerpoint... for now.

Thanks for all the help!
posted by jander03 at 8:56 PM on April 29, 2009


Actually, I found a great solution in Xibo. I'm still working with it, but you install some files on a webserver and use a Windows XP machine with internet access to support each monitor.
posted by jander03 at 4:15 AM on May 5, 2009


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