The importance of publicly displaying student work is well known. Students receive acknowledgment and take pride in what they have accomplished, teachers are recognized for their expert training and guidance and school visitors gain a deeper appreciation for the learning community.
“It is a chance for the students to measure their progress.” – Jamie Verab, Digital Art Teacher, Journalism & Media Academy, Hartford, Connecticut
“I think that making student work public is a great driver for school improvement.” – Ben Daley, Chief Operating Officer, High Tech High, San Diego, California
How to display student work in the digital age has been a challenge. Traditional signage systems are difficult to set-up, maintain and update, not to mention the equipment you will need to buy, along with the cost of an ongoing service contract.
None of those operational, equipment or cost issues are present in a new offering called Screen Cloud. Their motto, “You already have the content; you already own the screens. Shouldn’t connecting the two be easier?”
Set-up a computer and run the web-based program and you are ready to go. If your monitors are already wired to the computer, so they mimic the display, you are set. If the monitors aren’t, they will just need to go online to receive the signal, which is a snap for a smart television, with a free Screen Cloud app available for both Android and iOS.
If not, one option is to use an Amazon Fire Stick, plugged into the monitor’s HDMI port. Because the signal is cloud based, anyone you share login credentials with can upload student work, leaving whoever you have in charge to add the student work to a playlist and schedule it, which can also happen from any computer.
That is the part that many of you will love.
The content is divided into five categories; images, video, apps, web, and docs.
As you can see, YouTube is an app, as is Vimeo, so to display a video, all you need to do is to add the YouTube or Vimeo video’s url, save it and schedule it. Screen Cloud will play it live from the web. You do not need to upload the video file.
This is another thing you will love.
Playlists are drag and drop, with easy reordering once you have brought them into the playlist. At that point you set the duration of the individual items.
Websites are more live content that you can include. We have chosen our company pages, ctlearninglab.org, wnpr.org, thebeaker.org, cptvpbslearningmedia.org, and other great educational resources including solutionsjournalism.org, niemanlab.org, poynter.org, sciencefriday.com and storybench.org to all be part of the rotation.
Scheduling is user friendly, not the industry standard user hostile, making possible both instant and long-term adjustments.
At the time of this post, the education discount brings the normal price of $20.00 a month per screen to $15.00. If your monitors aren’t smart televisions, and they are not wired to your computer, each will need an device, like an Amazon Fire Stick, currently $39.99. You can scale up as needed with different playlists playing to different screens, which include tablets and phones.
Oh and if you haven’t guessed by now, we love Screen Cloud!
If you make the jump to Screen Cloud, tell me what you think.