Pulaski digital sign 2

Building a Digital Signage Solution for a High School Flex Mod Schedule

When the school district I was working at decided to switch to the Flex Mod schedule, they need a digital signage solution that included many different features.  The project started out with just a few features needed but soon the features list got very long.  Below is a list of the features needed:

  • School announcements to begin showing from 5:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
  • Have a 5 minute countdown timer – this would replace the bell for in-between classes
  • Once the 5 minute countdown gets to 30 seconds remaining, change the background of the monitor to the color red so that the students would notice that class was about to begin
  • Once the 5 minute countdown timer gets to 0:00, switch back to the school announcements
  • Once school is let out for the day, show the school announcements until 8:00 p.m.
  • On the weekends, just show school announcements
  • Have the countdown timer show the same time remaining on the 30+ monitors around the school, keeping the countdown timers in sync.

After searching online for various digital signage solutions and trying them out, I wasn’t able to do what was needed.  So I ended up building our own digital signage solution which would include the following:

  • Google Slides for the school announcements: they would get embedded into an HTML page
  • HTML + JavaScript: the HTML page would display the countdown timer and use JavaScript for the 5 minute countdown timer, switching the background color of the monitor from black to red and back to black, and keeping the countdown timer in sync with the others.
  • Google Sign Builder: this was the scheduling tool I used to schedule when the announcements would display and the countdown timer would displaypulaski-digital-sign
  • Google Chromeboxes
  • Acer 24″ monitors
  • Misc: mounts to hang monitors from the ceiling, mounts to hang monitors back-to-back, HDMI cables to connect the monitors to the Google Chromeboxes
  • Kiosk Mode: get the Google Chromeboxes to automatically display the announcements & countdown timer, I put the Google Chromeboxes that would be used for the digital signing into Kiosk Mode within the G Suite Admin console.

 

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