Innovation Generation Ohio is an initiative that gives high school students in Central Ohio State the support they need to develop skills essential for today’s working environment. It links schools and colleges with local businesses and provides high school students with practical career credentials needed to enter the workforce. It also provides them with a head start on post secondary studies.
Innovation Generation Ohio forms part of the Pathways to Prosperity Network, a national scheme that has been launched across 25 states in the US to help address youth unemployment.
Innovation Generation Ohio joined the Pathways to Prosperity Network in November 2013 and both initiatives began investigating the most effective means to inform students and parents of the school districts involved in the initiative. Digital Signage was identified as the preferred communications method because of its visual and engaging appeal to young people.
A public tender was issued for the implementation of a centralised digital signage network for all the schools and districts involved. Coffman Media based in Dublin, Ohio, was selected as the preferred supplier and awarded a 5 year contract to implement and manage an end-to-end digital signage solution, powered by Signagelive.
Coffman Media is a leading supplier of digital signage and ICT systems in the US. The company has been working in partnership with Signagelive for the last four years to create all inclusive digital signage solutions for the healthcare, quick serve restaurants, education and corporate markets.
The multi-campus digital signage solution comprises in excess of 500 existing and new commercial-grade displays installed and utilized across 30 schools throughout Central Ohio State. All deployed media players have been preloaded with Signagelive’s cloud-based software, making implementation a straightforward process requiring no technical expertise.
A number of the school districts have even incorporated digital signage management processes into their computer graphics work-based experience programmes to give students firsthand experience of a real world digital signage application.
To ensure minimal inconvenience and a smooth implementation, the new digital signage solution is initially being rolled out to the following school districts:
- Reynoldsburg City Schools – 8 school buildings
- Westerville City Schools – 7 school buildings
- New Albany-Plain Local Schools – 1 school building
- Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools – 4 school buildings
- Grandview Heights City Schools – 3 school buildings
- Marysville Schools – 2 school buildings
- Pickerington Local Schools – 2 school buildings
- Upper Arlington Schools – 3 school buildings
- Licking Heights Local Schools – 1 school building
Signagelive’s “digital signage as a service” business model has enabled Coffman Media to cost effectively implement a centralised digital signage network that can be managed from a single point.
All uploaded content (developed by a third party for the purpose of the initiative) is stored on Signagelive’s cloud based platform, eliminating the need for onsite storage servers.
Using Signagelive’s intuitive CMS, Coffman Media has created a bespoke, three-zone template to display different content types and formats. The primary zone is dedicated to short videos and testimonials relating to the initiative to raise awareness, the second zone features relevant RSS and TV feeds and the third zone is used for promotional purposes by the different sponsors.
Coffman Media uses Signagelive’s scheduling tools to set up and manage content that is cross-district or location-specific, depending on requirements, as part of its managed service contract. Signagelive’s software automatically renders all uploaded content types and formats so it displays correctly on multiple screen sizes deployed in the different schools.
Signagelive’s cloud-based CMS supports static images, rolling video, IPTV, web pages and RSS feeds. In addition, it comprises a number of innovative features, such as drag and drop functionality and QR code support, to enhance consumer engagement.
Although Coffman Media is responsible for the overall management of the digital signage network and the content being displayed, major stake holders in the individual schools have received basic administration training so that they can amend or update content on-demand, in response to real-time situations
The Digital Signage network is scheduled to go live this fall. If the pilot is a success Coffman Media expects to rollout digital signage to other schools in the Central Ohio State and throughout the other Pathway to Prosperity/Innovation Generation regions and states.
Says Jason Ault, COO and Co-founder of Coffman Media;
“Using Signagelive we have been able to implement a centralised digital signage network for schools and colleges in Central Ohio that can be managed remotely. Signagelive’s cloud-based software delivers enterprise-grade functionality applicable to all scenarios without needing any major changes to the core technology, which increases usability for the customer.”