Digital signage in schools at every level is not new, but Grand Rapids, Michigan-based solutions provider Freshwater Digital has developed a very different spin built around e-paper displays and school safety messaging.
The company says it has been inundated with requests to find solutions to bolster school safety with tools inside classrooms. The need, unfortunately, has much to do with the tragic prevalence of shootings on school campuses across the U.S. But it also ties in to things like weather alerts – particularly in the U.S. midwest, which is now in tornado season.
Freshwater has started marketing a solution aimed at putting relatively low-cost, energy-sipping e-paper displays inside classrooms and married to alert systems and more conventional messaging, like basic school announcements.
“Schools have been specifically asking for solutions that are inside the classroom but are not disruptive,” says Freshwater’s Jon Dodge. “Many schools are now required to close and lock their doors while teaching as an additional security protocol. In addition to fire and tornado drills, schools now conduct ‘Duck and Cover’ drills. I had the chance to watch one at a school, and the Principal goes as far as shouting and knocking on the door of each classroom. Very sad this has become commonplace. “
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.