Chief Leschi Schools are operated as a Tribal Compact school by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians near Puget Sound, Washington, under rules that allow the tribe to structure its own schooling. Chief Leschi Schools, named for the famous 19th century Nisqually chief, have all of K-12 on the same campus, and age groups share hallways and campus facilities. The school explicitly values strong community partnerships and sees its work rooted in the life of the wider community.
Rise Vision in the Hallways of a K-12 Campus
When Chief Leschi students walk the halls, they see 17 digital signs intended to keep them up to date and informed. The digital signage is concentrated in public areas and in key locations like the school nurse’s office and the offices of some staff members.
In the past, static, locally-controlled digital signage relied on Smart TVs and some more up-to-date smartboards.
Now, those screens are all integrated into a Rise Vision implementation, centrally controlled by the school’s Director of Information Technology, David Bonds and powered by Intel NUCs.
The school also recently moved to Rise Vision’s unlimited license, after receiving new displays and seeing the advantages of expanding their use of Rise Vision.
News and Announcements
The most effective use to which Leschi Schools put their Rise Vision signage is keeping students up to date with school life — and, in keeping with the school’s community commitments, with life outside the school too.
Much of this is achieved by a combination of scheduling through Rise Vision and embedding the school’s Twitter feed in its signs. This is very quick and easy to do in Rise Vision which saves the school’s five person media team significant time each week.
Students’ response has been overwhelmingly positive, and one of the most common requests the media team receives from staff is to add more items to the Rise Vision schedule.
Snapshots of Life
One of Chief Leschi Schools’ biggest successes with their Rise Vision implementation is that students use it continuously. It’s common, says Tom Mearns, Chief Leschi Schools’ Network Analyst. Students remark, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that event was going on,’ such as when the school publicized the Daffodil Festival or Hispanic Heritage Month. But they also say, ‘I didn’t know that news story was a thing.’ Through the school’s Rise Vision signage, and often using the school’s Twitter feed embedded in a relevant template, the school can publicize news stories that students might not otherwise be exposed to.
On a more prosaic note, students often take out their phones in corridors to photograph Rise Vision signage showing upcoming events or school schedules: a simple and efficient way to transmit crucial information that helps keep the whole school on track.
Cost/Benefit: For Us, It Has to Pay Right Away
When Chief Leschi Schools came to choose a digital signage solution, cost was a big factor. The school wanted a tool that would integrate with the hardware they were already using, allowing them to build a digital signage system in stages as it became possible within budgetary, time and organizational constraints, rather than a selection involving major upfront costs and or disruption.
School management in particular are already busy and need a solution that delivers benefits immediately; the lengthy assessment process that precedes most education purchases, and the sometimes-equally lengthy adoption process that can follow it, were not options in these circumstances.
The other major decisive factor was ease of use, day to day. Rise Vision is easy to set up, easy to deploy, and requires minimal maintenance. The learning curve is small, and once set up, adding content is very simple and fast. (That’s good, because teachers consistently ask for more content to be added to the schedule!)
The Next Step: Rise Vision Everywhere Else
Currently, Chief Leschi doesn’t have Rise Vision implemented in classrooms, but after trialing the product in the school’s public spaces and meeting with an enthusiastic response from teachers and students alike, that’s the next step.
Moving digital signage into classrooms is a priority, but it will require the school to integrate its in-class digital display tools with Rise Vision; fortunately this is essentially a plug-and-play process that won’t require much of a learning curve.
The school is also working to resolve some of their streaming issues; because of its unique community role the school hosts, reports on or takes part in a lot of cultural events, and it’s one of the management’s aims to display these to students via digital signage. Currently, the plan is to stream some cultural events to classrooms through Rise Vision, as part of the school’s broad teaching curriculum.
I am a Network Analyst with Chief Leschi Schools, and have been for a year now. I work with a team of two other individuals to manage our digital signage content and devices. I’m a US Army veteran with two decades’ experience in Helpdesk Administration and Project Management, and I have now been working in the IT field for 21 years. My role at Chief Leschi Schools gives me the opportunity to enable students’ learning by providing them with a world-class administrative network and excellent technology support system. As our technologies evolve, I am happy to configure and enable those students’ devices to help them further their education and familiarization with computers and other devices. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family.
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Interested in seeing how other schools have used Rise Vision to inspire students? Here are a few more stories to check out:
- Bootstrapping a Dream Financial Literacy Lab (Montgomery Area School District)
- Small City School Lives Big with Digital Signage (Blue Earth Area School)
- Digital Signage That Inspires and Informs Students (Lincoln Christian School)