MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – The Metropolitan School District (MSD) of Washington Township in Indianapolis is midway through a district-wide Carousel Cloud digital signage network deployment that will eventually reach more than 11,500 students and staff in eight elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school plus a career and technical center. The district reports 70 screens are live today with Carousel digital signage content coming from multiple contributors per school, with approximately 150 screens expected upon completion.
The Carousel Cloud deployment coincides with a district-wide remodeling project that includes the school district’s Central Campus, home to North Central High School, Northview Middle School and the J Everett Light Career Center. The district has adopted a “one school at a time” rollout strategy that helps its technology specialists effectively train staff before using the system.
“We wanted to implement a digital signage network that invites many contributors, and that means the system has to be easy to learn and easy to use,” said Matthew Whitt, Audio Video Specialist – Technology, MSD of Washington Township. “We also wanted software that could be flexible for the needs of different education levels. With Carousel, each grade has a unique channel with its own voice.”
Whitt points to the differences between how the J Everett Light Career Center and elementary schools use the system. The former has more creative reign, often uploading content that aligns with curriculum and projects that students are working on. In the elementary schools, where most of the district’s screens are live today, Whitt and his colleague Matthew Skaggs, the district’s Technology Curriculum Coordinator, train teachers and administrators to keep content fresh and relevant.
“One or two administrators will have access to the building’s entire Carousel network, and then teachers are provided access to their grade levels,” said Whitt. “They may be contributing photos of classrooms and activities, showcasing students or teachers, or promoting upcoming events, but what is important to instill is that the content remains timely. That only happens when the digital signage system is easy for the pool of contributors to use. Carousel is essentially a drag-and-drop system that anyone with computer skills can quickly learn. Teachers and administrators new to the system are off running by the end of our training sessions.”
Skaggs can relate, having spent seven years as a high school biology teacher before joining MSD of Washington Township in November. “Something is always catching my eye on the Carousel network,” said Skaggs. “Digital signage has proven to be a far more effective platform for communications within our hallways. I spent seven years walking past stapled posters on the walls that go largely unnoticed. Carousel engages our students and colleagues with timely visual content, and it’s also a far gentler way to keep staff appraised of news than email and the web.”
Whitt and his small team manage the installations throughout the district, from hanging displays to planning network drops for Apple TV players, which Carousel Cloud converts to digital signage media players upon connection. Whitt creates unique channel designs for each grade level and then customizes the zones depending on where the screen is located, estimating that work for each new channel takes 90 minutes or less.
“We evaluated 16 digital signage systems at the outset, and in fact we committed to another vendor before switching to Carousel,” said Whitt. “It goes beyond ease of use – the software is easy to scale, the technical support is responsive, and the interoperability with Apple TV just makes sense for a school district with staff that largely favors Apple products in their classrooms. Carousel Cloud’s price point put it over the top. They checked all the important boxes.”
About Carousel Digital Signage
Carousel is Digital Signage Content Management Software that is easy to use, scalable, and reliable. With a deep feature set and strong technology partnerships Carousel gives you the most value in digital signage. Carousel Digital Signage is a division of Tightrope Media Systems. You can reach the Carousel team at (866) 866-4118, or visit www.carouselsignage.com.