Latest Solutionz News
Jul 27, 2021
Many high school students are looking for an edge to prepare for college and careers after graduation. At Marietta High School in Marietta, Georgia, LG Business Solutions USA is helping students prepare for their next big step in life with more than 80 digital displays to enhance learning and engagement throughout the school. Marietta High School installed about 80 digital displays, provided by LG Business Solutions USA, to help engage students as they prepare for life after high school. Provided July 27, 2021 Many high school students are looking for an edge to prepare for college and careers after graduation. At Marietta High School in Marietta, Georgia, LG Business Solutions USA is helping students prepare for their next big step in life with more than 80 digital displays offering school-wide communications, classroom instruction and virtual collaboration to enhance learning and engagement throughout the school. The high school, part of the Georgia College and Career Academy, spent $614,000 to install and implement the screens during the 2020-21 school year. "We are preparing each of our 2,454 students for a meaningful career aligned with career aptitudes and interests," Keith L. Ball, principal of Marietta High School said in a press release. "We are purposefully aligning the Career Pathway offerings to opportunities in our community and region." After introducing the Career Pathways program, designed to provide students with education and training for careers in digital media production, construction trades, sciences, medicine, game design, engineering, and architecture, Marietta High School wanted technology to reach all students in almost every corner of campus. LG provided the solution. "One of the biggest advantages of implementing digital signage in schools is that it creates a more interactive, hands-on learning experience that prepares students for a future in which digital literacy is crucial," Victoria Sanville, education account lead, LG Business Solutions USA, said in an interview with Digital Signage Today. "By integrating new display technologies into learning spaces and common areas, K-12 schools can begin to create a more engaging, collaborative environment, while at the same time preparing students for the technologically enhanced, active-teamwork models that await them later in life." With virtual meetings becoming the "new normal" across various industries, schools are using displays to connect students and teachers remotely. Schools believe digital is the way Solutionz, GA., an AV systems provider based in Buford, Georgia, worked with Marietta City Schools to setup up the displays. Keith Taylor, a technician with Solutionz, GA, said the impressive digital signage rollout rivals some college campuses. "Georgia is focused on making its education system more workforce-oriented, and to do so, the schools need to reflect workplace realities," Taylor said in the release. "This centrally-controlled display network reflects what college campuses are currently doing, and the benefits include eliminating the need for ineffective paper signage, increasing energy efficiency by enabling school-wide automation for startup and shutdown each day, and delivering more dynamic learning environments that help increase student engagement." Providing display networks at schools is nothing new to LG. Sanville said the company has implemented digital signage at Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University, Caldwell University, Cicero School District 99 in Illinois and Foothills Education Charter High School in Athens, Georgia, among others. Sanville High school and college students are not the only students benefitting from digital signage. Kindergarten and elementary school programs are also jumping on board. "K-12 learning spaces are assuming new and different configurations to best accommodate emerging forms of digital learning and more recently social distancing guidelines," Sanville said. "Active learning, blended learning and project-based learning represent the latest trends in K-12 education. So-called maker spaces; flexible rooms with modular furniture and mobile displays; and non-traditional, purpose-built labs have been shown to better engage young people raised on digital technology, while also being able to maintain a proper distance between students." Schools that purchase LG business units can control the systems budgeting and maintenance, along with updating efficiencies across campus from solar power to HVAC systems. "(They) also have access to community commitment projects such as LG's Experience Happiness program that goes into our K-12 systems across the country," Sanville said. The nuts and bolts of the project The high school recently completed work on J-Hall, a 55,000-square-foot addition, which houses about 65 of the 80 displays throughout the building. Going digital decreases the school's reliance on posters and flyers and grabs students' attention unlike most paper-based signage. With most students using smart phones, i-Pads and laptops, the school believes the displays were a wise investment. Digital engagement doesn't seem to be a fad that will go away. Besides the hallways and classrooms, a "Board Room" in J-Hall features an open-style 25-seat meeting area with a 3x3 video wall. With a view of Marietta High School's football field, the room is a multi-use space where faculty and staff can host meetings, conduct virtual interviews with job candidates and as a classroom for smaller upper-level courses that encourage students to lead group discussion sessions. For graduations, ceremonies, and major announcements, the system can send a video feed to all displays and video walls in the school, giving everyone in the building a chance to see the events live. The J-Hall entrance atrium includes four LG displays on opposite sides of the room. In the Career Center, students can talk to college training experts and career counselors. Each section features a vertical video wall composed of 75-inch LG 4K displays, plus four smaller adjacent displays. The video walls and eight displays are operated via the Crestron control system which offers wireless content sharing, HDMI input through wall-mounted ports and screen sharing from mobile devices. In the Grand Entry Hall students can view eight 49-inch LG displays above doors and windows. The displays show the same digital signage content found on all the hallway displays, distributed from a third-party data distribution service, according to the release. "In classrooms, the displays command higher attention and allow teachers great flexibility in lesson presentations," Jason Meade, associate principal and Career Pathways supervisor said in the release. "The game design classroom is one of the most display-heavy areas in the school, giving instructors six 98-inch ultra HD canvases." By having multiple video walls, the school can offer more upper-level courses with fewer students. In addition, the extra video wall allows for more social distancing, increasing student safety through the pandemic. Additional interactive displays also help students become more comfortable with the technology and there's no doubt they will be using it most of their lives. "Whether it's digital menu boards in school cafeterias, wayfinding and informational touchscreens in lobbies, or video wall installations in media centers or public spaces, new display technology is used increasingly to extend the classroom footprint beyond four walls and communicate a school's vision," Sanville said. Marietta High School's digital signage expansion could serve as a roadmap for other schools across the U.S.