Helping Communication With Students

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

A recent multi-million dollar project to renew campus facilities at Mohawk College Student Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, had the Student Association looking at innovative ways to improve student communications.

As part of this initiative, the association has deployed a student centre-wide digital signage network using Scala software to update students on news and services, and also provide instant emergency alerts should the need arise.

Gorrie Marketing Services, a Scala Certified Partner, delivered the turn-key solution that included Scala 5 and Designer software, Samsung LCD displays, network installation, content design consultation and operational training on Scala for managing the network and its content.

Mohawk Students’ Association was looking for content management software that delivered:

  • Relevant up-to-date content;
  • Interactive and dynamic messages which leverage social media such as Twitter feeds;
  • Ability to make display changes at a moment’s notice;
  • Content which can be scheduled in advance;
  • Multiple channels to deliver unique messages to specific audiences.

“The combination of GMS and Scala software has helped us create a digital signage network to communicate and wow the students,” says Steve Kosh, marketing and communications manager, Mohawk Students’ Association.

“Our new system makes the messages standout and be fun so they stick with busy students, covering campus activities, social events like upcoming concerts and movie nights, community news and administrative facts.”

The project includes 12 independent channels of content and 26 LCD displays ranging in size from 32” to 60”. The network uses an independent infrastructure to deliver video, audio and device control signals to run the screens found throughout the school’s high traffic areas such as the main entrance, reception area and key hallways.

The digital network also engages students at essential on-campus services such as the coffee shop, two quick service restaurants and a variety store.

The most impressive display can be found at The Arnie – part restaurant, part pub, part entertainment venue. As students enter The Arnie, they are greeted by a giant video wall consisting of nine 46” displays. Once inside, there are an additional four 46” screens pumping-out the latest scoop via the dedicated Arnie media channel.
“With the amount of information bombarding students on a daily basis, it can be very difficult for colleges and universities to engage with students and deliver effective messages,” says Andy McRae, general manager, Scala Canada.

“The Mohawk Students’ Association has been very creative in how they use digital signage with multiple channels and locations – and incorporating social media. Their approach delivers communications in a way that really grabs people’s attention.”

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