School Planning & Management

JAN 2013

School Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the K-12 education market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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IN THE KNOW EN H A NCI NG + ENGAGI NG + C ON N EC T I NG PLANNING & MANAGEMENT JA N UA RY 2 013 THIS MON TH 60 EMERGING TECHNOLOGY 61 TECH WATCH 62 TECH UPGRADE More Purpose for Your Buck Digital displays and signage have rapidly become a go-to multipurpose solution in schools. T PHOTO COURTESY OF RISE DISPLAY by CHRISTINE BEITENHAUS remendous changes have happened in the world of digital displays and signage over the past five years. And these changes, along with other innovations in software and our digital culture (like the ubiquity of touch screens) have made digital signage a viable option for schools looking to not only communicate to students, but to engage them, promote responsiveness and foster a technology-rich learning atmosphere. Costs are down According to Gene Ornstead, director of product marketing at ViewSonic, volume drives technology, and that has led to a serious price drop in good digital display hardware. Schools looking to invest in a display system, whether for one building or district wide, will be surprised to find that a basic set up is no longer cost-prohibitive or so spendy that they feel the need to wait it out for a few years. "If I flashback four or five years ago," Ornstead states, "these flat panel displays 58 that were used for public viewing, they were costing anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000." To handle the media of these displays, administrators had to use a highpowered PC. "In some cases, I remember customers strapping Dell computers to the backs of these displays that were SCHOOL PLANNING & MANAGEMENT / JANUARY 2013 costing upwards of $1,000 to $1,500, and then putting a software package on that would allow them to control the signage that would be another $1,000 to $2,000." The startup costs were an enormous inhibitor. "The volume of flat high-defi nition WWW.PLANNING 4EDUCATION.COM

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