OIT’s Learning Technologies Team Set to Upgrade Digital Signage on the UTSA Campuses

January 12, 2017



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(A digital signage player in the Multidisciplinary Studies (MS) building.)

By the summer of 2017, digital signage players, which are used with monitors to display announcements, promotional material and other informational content to the UTSA community, will be upgraded on the Main, Downtown and Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC) Campuses. This upgrade is thanks to an initiative led by the Office of Information Technology's (OIT's) Learning Technologies team in an effort to enhance the viewing experience for the UTSA community.

To execute this project, the team will transition from the existing software used in the boards called Scala, to a more user-friendly and affordable cloud-based solution known as Screenly.

 "We are replacing old, more expensive and out of service video players," said Johnny Melendez, IT project manager. "The upgraded digital signage will have a user-friendly interface console and will allow us to better support our customers."

This upgraded platform will enable various UTSA departments to easily manage and display desired content for UTSA students, faculty and staff. Each department will be provided the necessary hardware at no cost during the initial deployment.

"We expect that this upgrade will encourage the departments to keep their information up-to-date," Melendez shared. "This in turn will keep the UTSA community better informed."

Once implemented, the Screenly software will run on a low-cost credit card-sized single-board computing device called Raspberry Pi. All digital signage monitors will then use the Raspberry Pi to display images, videos, and web pages.

Although the new software will have a simple user interface, the Learning Technologies team plans to offer FREE training to UTSA faculty and staff to ensure that it is accessible to all potential users. In addition, the team hopes the optional training will generate increased interest in and usage of the new system.

"This is a great communication medium and service for the UTSA community," Melendez added. "It is always exciting to work on any project that improves and enhances the services offered to our campus, especially when it will reduce the cost of operation for the departments and make it easier for the staff to use and maintain."

 

To learn more about Screenly, please visit https://www.screenly.io/.

To learn more about Raspberry Pi, please visit https://www.raspberrypi.org/

To report an issue with an existing digital board, contact OITConnect at 210-458-5555 or OITConnect@utsa.edu.