Moving beyond the classroom: The importance of video and digital media communications in Higher Education

Going into higher education can be one of the most exciting and nerve-racking experiences in a person’s life. Stepping onto campus on that first day can feel extremely overwhelming and confusing, it is therefore essential that the technology the university adopts works effectively to engage and enhance students’ experience as they navigate this strange new world of adult-education.

Traditional digital signage for campus communications

Engaging students around campus is extremely vital and higher educational institutions need an effective way to deliver college communications, health and safety information and key messaging about upcoming events directly onto screens on relevant parts of the campus. Curated content can be delivered as a full-screen poster display, or as part of an L wrap around live video or VOD content. Delivering messages in this way is a great way for the university or college to promote activities, increase student involvement and create a community feel for everyone across campus.

Manage content easily across multiple departments

In an environment where you have a large number of different departments and faculties with a need to be able to quickly edit and change content, it is important that the CMS is easy to use. Prioritising the ability to have features that can lock down layouts and branding is essential in higher education, furthermore, enabling layouts, branding and colour palettes to be pre-set empowers users to create and distribute content without the need to always create original graphics and designs for digital signage.

Administrators can set access rights and permissions for users, which can be as granular as needed, only allowing the editing of specific layouts or blocks of content within layouts, making sure that the back-end solution is secure and can’t be affected, whilst also enabling non-technical users to effectively manage content. Also, being able to tag localised content and displays allows users to add relevant layouts within a master playlist that can be delivered, to multiple departments, without the need to create multiple playlists.

Utilise every study space across campus

Allow students to book study and meeting rooms across campus and then display, via digital signage screens, room information outside these rooms, easily allowing students and staff to know when the room is free, without needing to manually check. This saves everyone time and helps make the most of all the huddle and group spaces on campus.

Create an intelligent campus for every student 

Make your campus as smart as your students by integrating your digital signage solution with a building management system (BMS). This integration allows students to select where they want to study, picking either a quiet or warm area, check to see which computer desks are free and even locate where other students are logged in on campus. This information can be displayed in a very visible and clear way, including on interactive touchscreen panels, and it can also be a great way of easily displaying wheelchair and disabled friendly work spaces and areas around campus.

Video delivery to desktops and thin clients across campus

Universities, now more than ever, need to provide hot desking areas where students can easily log-in online and access course materials. Having a desktop video streaming app allows modern students to view lectures, pre-recorded content and stream live videos that enhance their learning.

Network considerations also need to be made when implementing a video streaming platform onto desktops across campus, choosing a solution which can utilise Citrix Thin Client VDI technology, allows the entire student body to access all content and have an enhanced learning experience on campus regardless of end device.

Furthermore, making sure that these platforms can also integrate into the university’s chosen VLE allows students to access all this content in one place, and allows lecturers and departments to easily distribute content to the right students at the right time.

Event live streaming: Give every student a seat

Having a powerful video distribution IPTV system allows students and staff to be involved and part of events on campus – even if they’re not in the lecture theatre.

Allow everyone to experience events or graduation ceremonies by creating huddle and overflow areas and live stream events to screens in these designated spaces across campus. Even deliver to bars or restaurants to encourage spend at on-site facilities and promote a social culture for everyone on campus.

Lectures and key events happening on campus can also be streamed to mobile devices, ensuring students can access lectures either live if they can’t attend themselves, or as a downloadable resource for studying later.

Having the ability to readily access video media is invaluable for higher education institutions. In an industry where, until recently, there wasn’t an easy and effective way to distribute video resources, especially to mobile devices and desktops, this need has finally started to be addressed. This highlights the untapped potential to exponentially enhance the learning experience of hundreds of thousands of students globally and truly create learning spaces of the future.