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Craig Underwood

Director of AV Engineering
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Less is More: How One University Uses Digital Signage in Schools to Encourage Face-to-Face Interactions and Build Relationships

 

In today’s tech-driven world, schools and digital signage firms are partnering to launch digital signage in schools to assist with safety communications, advance social-emotional learning (SEL) initiatives, and foster community and engagement among their students.

Moravian University, a private liberal arts university in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is pioneering a unique approach when using digital signage in higher education. Adopting a “less is more” philosophy, their “just ask” campaign encourages genuine human interactions, urging students to momentarily disconnect from the digital world. This initiative encourages students to engage in face-to-face conversations, paradoxically using technology to prompt them to set it aside momentarily.

Additionally, by featuring student interviews and postgame wrap-ups, the university ensures the content is both relevant and captivating. Craig Underwood, Director of AV Engineering at Moravian University, offers his recommendations for how to effectively utilize digital signage in schools to enhance learning and student engagement.

Craig’s Thoughts:

“As a smaller institution, Moravian University really prides itself on having a tight-knit community so we use our digital signage system to really foster that. One of the methods is our ‘just ask’ campaign because, even though we’re a small institution and most of the people tend to know each other, we still recognize that the students are only going to be looking at these displays for a fraction of a second so just ask. Two words, that’s it. We keep it short, we keep it simple. So in the engagement part is we just ask them to speak with people, right? So, we’re not using the technology to have them use more technology, we’re actually asking them through technology to not use technology and to interact with people on a more personal level.

So, another thing that we do to help engagement with the signage content is to feature our students. So, we’ll feature interviews with our athletes have postgame wrap-ups or students will actually want to stop and look at the content as they’re walking by on their way to class on the way to the dining hall or wherever else they happen to be going. So, we always ask, “Is it short? Is it relevant? Are they going to take a look are they going to what’s going to make them stop and pay attention so those are the really key things that we take a look at whenever we deploy content on our signage system?”

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