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Digital Signage TPC15 Presentation

Presented at: http://www.tpcvt.com/

We see those signs all over the place, and they seem easy to do, but how much do they cost?  What is the software like?

There are quite a few applications out there, but after playing around with many of them, there are only 2 that I think are worth mentioning.

The software

What I looked for when choosing a display software

  • Free
  • Integrated with Google Apps
  • Easy to use
  • Webbased (can be built while on a Chromebook)

Chrome Si gn Builder App:
Used best when: You have a single TV, and want to just play a Google Slide Show

  • This is a very simple app, that allows you to schedule a webpage (which could be a calendar, or google slideshow), to show up at certain times.  Then you can use the built in Kiosk mode to display that site.
  • Once you are finished, you can export the settings, then upload them to the Google Dashboard.
  • Each TV would be managed individually.
  • Schedule changes require a new config file to be uploaded.

Used best when: You might have more than one TV eventually, and you want to display multiple pieces of content (Calendar, weather, bulletins, YouTube, slideshows), on the screen at once.

  • RiseVision is a full featured digital signage solution.  Their platform is free, but will charge for some Gadgets or file storage. 
  •  This can handle multiple TV's, schedules, and presentations under one interface.   You can have multiple users with different levels of rights.
  • It can be set up to pull data from Google Documents, and calendars so that the end-users don't even need to log in.
  • Gadgets can be added on to show weather, or highly customized displays that pull data directly from a Google Spreadsheet.
  • Fair Haven Union High School chose to go with RiseVision, after testing several other solutions. 

The Hardware
In both of the apps, the signage is a Chrome App, which can be set to run as a kiosk in ChromeOS.

What hardware you need:

  • TV display (with hdmi)
  • ChromeOS device, (Chromebox, or ChromeBit)

What you need to do:

  • Set up Kiosk mode on a Chromebook: https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/3134673?hl=en

How To: See New Google Form Results At The Top

Google Forms is great at adding data to a spreadsheet, but often all you want to see is the new results and that could be several hundred rows down.   Instead of scrolling down all the way down here is quick formula you can use to create a sheet that always shows the data at the top.

  1. In your form results create a new Sheet.
  2. In cell A1 enter this formula:
    1. =query('Form Responses 1'!1:100002, "Select * order by A desc",1)


  • =query() is a function built into google: more info
  • 'Form Responses 1'!1:100002 is the sheet name and range of the form data
  • Select * tells the query to select all the columns, This can be changed to Select A,B,C format also
  • order by A desc tells the query to reverse the order based on column A
  • ,1 tells the query to include the headings.

Also check out:
  • Also check out the EZ Query add-on.   This gives you a graphical interface to create simple queries.  At the time of this blog post "order by A desc" is not an option but it is on my road map to include in the future. 

Edu on Air: Creating a culture: Google Apps add-on slam

Edu On Air 2015 event page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c7cndlfsplecdcjfqgf5as1rj3c

My school went 1:1 this year which meant a whirlwind of change. Creating this new culture meant creating or adapting school workflows. I'll showcase the add-ons that have helped me like autoCrat for automated Mail Merges, Choice Eliminator for parent teacher conferences, CheckItOut and Lab Scheduler.  Also my newest add-on EZ Query.

This session is part of Education on Air, the free online conference from Google. Register for free at http://goo.gl/Gkww6N.

The journey of creating a culture.
  1. Get everybody on board, starting with the office staff and administration
  2. Change common workflows
  3. Give teachers time to start using it in the classroom. 

Workflows that I have changed and the tools I used to help me do it.

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