Carousel Digital Signage and Indiana School District Get into the School Spirit

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA  Carousel Digital Signage has provided Elkhart Community Schools with a seamless way to communicate timely, up-to-date messages to its diverse network of students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The K-12 public school district now uses Carousel Cloud to distribute department-specific messaging throughout its high school. The school district is also working with Carousel partner Jamf to securely convert Apple TV devices into media players, and providing access to meeting room schedules on mobile devices.

Based in Elkhart, Ind., Elkhart Community Schools serves approximately 12,000 students. The public school district is comprised of 14 elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school. Elkhart Community Schools also oversees the Elkhart Area Career Center, which offers programs for high school juniors and seniors seeking to make the transition into college or a career.   

Elkhart Community Schools has now successfully rolled out the new solution at Elkhart High School, explains Stephen DeCook, Technology Deployment Administrator at the district. The system is configured into separate zones to address the needs of different departments, such as arts, athletics, business, and food services. Each department can now contribute content and messages related to classes, special events, and programs, with food services updating menu options daily.   

DeCook’s technology department has also integrated Carousel Cloud with an RSS feed that displays internal-facing messaging about system status throughout the school, which helps to streamline troubleshooting and service calls for an IT and technology team with limited human resources. There is also a main zone for more generalized, school-wide announcements, which Carousel Cloud disseminates to all departments.  

“Contributors from different departments will display relevant themes depending on what day of the week it is, or if it’s a special day celebrating a certain event in history, to keep content fresh and engaging,” said DeCook. “We are using Carousel’s Education template, and right out of the box it was ready to go. We added a few pieces of our own content and were up and running.”  

One significant advantage of Carousel Digital Signage’s partnership with Jamf is Elkhart personnel can access conference room scheduling information using their iPads through the Jamf’s secure mobile device management (MDM) platform. DeCook says that the integration has streamlined the reservation process considerably.   

“It’s really helped folks who need to have impromptu meetings,” he explained. “They immediately know which rooms are in use and which are free without interrupting any meetings in progress.”   

Elkhart is also taking advantage of the system’s built-in weather and news feeds, and DeCook adds that his team is in the process of integrating Carousel Cloud with Singlewire’s InformaCast mass notification system for emergency messaging.   

DeCook notes that Carousel Cloud’s third-party integration capabilities help to optimize the school district’s return on investment. “We’re a Google shop, and it’s been easy to merge Carousel with Google. I don’t have to set up an additional account for the users that are         responsible for developing and distributing content,” he explained. “It’s easy to configure, and they offer a ton of information. And, whenever I’ve needed additional help and reached out to Carousel, their support has been excellent.”  

Five users are responsible for content development and delivery today, and this number will continue to expand as the district scales up its usage. DeCook, who estimates that the user count will grow to approximately 20 people, shares that Elkhart Community Schools will soon deploy Carousel Cloud at several of its elementary schools. “They’ve seen how the signage at the high school works and want to benefit from the same features,” he said.   

DeCook predicts that this continuing expansion will be relatively straightforward, thanks to Carousel’s intuitive user interface. “It’s a really robust system, but as soon as you understand the basics it’s really easy to navigate,” he said. “And through our Google integration we have full  control over who has access to which parts of the system, which enables us maintain our strict security standards.”  

Digital signage in general also helps to keep a diverse population of staff, students, and visitors engaged, DeCook adds. “We have a large community of English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) students, and the food services staff, for example, is excited about being able to display visuals alongside menu listings to help those individuals understand the content more easily,” he said. “We are also giving students up-to-date and sometimes real-time information on events and happenings, or opportunities to sign up for interesting programs. That helps us get everybody excited about what’s going on at our schools. It’s no secret that kids aren’t always thrilled about having to be at school, but when we can leverage this tool to show them some of the cool things that are going on, that helps to inspire more involvement.”  

About Carousel Digital Signage

Carousel is Digital Signage Content Management Software that is easy to use, scalable, and  reliable. With a deep feature set and strong technology partnerships Carousel gives you the most value in digital signage. Carousel Digital Signage is a division of Tightrope Media Systems. You can reach the Carousel team at (866) 866-4118, or visit www.carouselsignage.com.  

How to educate in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Just for a moment, think about your physical environment. Perhaps you’re taking your lunch break in your car that has satellite radio and reading this article on a mobile device. Maybe you’re at home on your computer where you’ve got another browser tab open, creating a meeting agenda in Google Drive to share with your colleagues. 

Evidence that we’re in the middle of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is all around us. From the mobile device that can connect you via FaceTime or Slack with co-workers worldwide to cloud computing, we operate in a time and space marked by its reliance on artificial intelligence, blockchain, big data, the Internet of Things, and automation.

As individuals interested in empowering the next generation of young people to succeed, it is time to ensure that the field of education is appropriately responding to the 4IR, which has impacted nearly every industry in recent years. The question, then, is how can we ensure that we educate students to succeed in a world dominated by the 4IR?…Read More

Clearlake Capital-Backed Discovery Education Acquires Pivot Interactives

Charlotte, NC Discovery Education, a global edtech company backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. (together with its affiliates, “Clearlake”), announced it has acquired Minneapolis, MN-based Pivot Interactives SBC. Led by a team of science teachers, practitioners, and students, Pivot Interactives develops dynamic cloud-based activities and labs that actively engage students in the authentic exploration of real scientific phenomena. Terms were not disclosed.  

The acquisition of Pivot Interactives supports Discovery Education’s mission to prepare learners for tomorrow by creating innovative classrooms connected to today’s world. Pivot Interactives will complement Discovery Education’s other successful digital services supporting science education, which include  Discovery Education’s K-12 platformMystery Science, the  Science Techbook series, and  STEM Connect

Pivot Interactives is Discovery Education’s second acquisition this month, having also acquired  DoodleLearning…Read More

How to ensure both security and accessibility in your district’s IT strategy

Keeping student and educator information safe and protected is a top priority, particularly now in the wake of skyrocketing cyberattacks. When it comes to fighting cyberattacks, schools need versatile solutions that update, adapt, and scale to support everyone, in and out of the classroom.

In an eSchool News webinar, cybersecurity and school district IT experts share tips on how to implement the Microsoft tools and systems to ensure your IT is safe, accessible, and easy to manage.

Experts dive into the following tips:…Read More

PowerSchool to Launch Connected Intelligence, First Fully Managed Data-as-a-Service Platform for K-12 Schools

FOLSOM, Calif — PowerSchool (NYSE: PWSC), the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America, today announced it has launched Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool®. Partnering with  Snowflake via the  Powered by Snowflake program, Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool is the first fully managed K-12 Education focused Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform. It provides school districts and education agencies with a unified, global, fully managed, and secure platform. With Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool, school districts retain sole ownership of the data and have the ability to collaborate with internal stakeholders and external partners efficiently and securely.

By unifying all data under one comprehensive platform, segregated by school district, with built-in, stringent data security and governance controls, educators and school district or state-wide leaders will be able to take advantage of many benefits, including the following:

  • Increase equitable opportunities for all students. Connecting data from early childhood to adulthood can help improve a wide variety of initiatives aimed at supporting student outcomes and can even be leveraged within post-secondary support and workforce development.
  • Spend fewer resources managing data access and storage. Instead, educators can spend their time actually using data thanks to machine learning and analytics that create alerts if a student is exhibiting warning signs (e.g., an increased chance of not graduating on time).
  • Store education data securely and in one place. Access to all data in one place empowers educators and stakeholders with key insights to improve student outcomes.
  • Expand access to all data, including historic, current, future and any third-party data sources. This includes labor and workforce development data and secure inter-agency data sharing and collaboration, such as with juvenile justice, foster care, and other social services agencies, which aims to position all students for life-long success and their communities for positive social and economic futures.

“Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool gives state departments of education and school systems the ability to transform the economic and social outlook of their communities by bringing all their data together and giving them unprecedented ease of access, unparalleled performance, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing their data is safely secured,” said Shivani Stumpf, Group Vice President, New Solutions of PowerSchool. “This innovative, all-inclusive data ecosystem that we’ve developed, and built on Snowflake’s Data Cloud, aims to help education leaders make the most effective and efficient use of data with greater agility, and to inform their investments so that they can focus on what matters most — improving student outcomes and preparing all learners for success.”…Read More

District IT can be secure and still be accessible

Cyberattacks against educational institutions have skyrocketed–and keeping student and educator information safe and protected is a top priority. When it comes to fighting cyberattacks, schools need versatile solutions that update, adapt, and scale to support everyone, in and out of the classroom.

In an eSchool News webinar, cybersecurity and school district IT experts share tips on how to implement the Microsoft tools and systems to ensure your IT is safe, accessible, and easy to manage.

Experts dive into the following tips:…Read More

How to keep your district’s IT safe, yet accessible

When it comes to fighting cyberattacks, schools need versatile solutions that update, adapt, and scale to support everyone, in and out of the classroom.

Cyberattacks against educational institutions have skyrocketed–and keeping student and educator information safe and protected is a top priority.

In an eSchool News webinar, cybersecurity and school district IT experts share tips on how to implement the Microsoft tools and systems to ensure your IT is safe, accessible, and easy to manage.…Read More

ASU course encourages high schoolers to get their heads in the cloud

It’s an early morning wake up call for Trinity Smith, lead teaching fellow and student studying business data analytics at Arizona State University (ASU). During the Spring 2022 semester, Smith started most mornings with 30 high school students who were enrolled in CIS 194 Cloud Foundations, a course delivered by ASU.

The online course was co-developed by ASU’s University Technology Office and W.P. Carey School of Business, along with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the National Education Equity Lab. The class offers an opportunity for high school students — targeting those who attend Title I or disadvantaged schools — to earn high school and college credit, as well as an industry certificate, in cloud computing.

Students nationwide participate in the ASU course  …Read More

Kajeet to Bring Next-Gen Private 5G to Schools & Students Across America in Partnership with Google Cloud

MCLEAN, Va.–( BUSINESS WIRE)– Kajeet, a world-class provider of private wireless and managed IoT connectivity, today announced a collaboration with Google to deploy its Private 5G Platform on Google Distributed Cloud Edge. The goal of the partnership is to help transform the future of education by:

  • Connecting the unconnected students and communities with high-quality wireless Internet and Close the Digital Divide once and for all.
  • Empowering Learning Anywhere by combining Kajeet’s public & private wireless networks with Google’s Chromebook and Classroom EDU solutions.
  • Creating Smart Schools, powered by the Kajeet Private 5G Platform & Google Cloud, to enhance classroom activities and enable a next-gen immersive learning experience for students and teachers.

Many school districts aspire to provide adequate off-campus broadband access to their staff and students. According to the White House, more than 30 million Americans live in areas where broadband infrastructure is unable to provide minimally acceptable speeds. Kajeet, in step with Google, strives to end the connectivity gap with Smart, Simple, and Secure Private 5G networks for schools, neighboring communities, library systems, community colleges, and universities to easily connect all of their people, places, and things.

Kajeet is a trusted wireless partner to educational institutions, with over two decades of experience providing managed IoT and public internet connectivity to over 3,000 school districts. There is a great need to provide safe, secure, and reliable private wireless service for students and communities in underserved markets. Kajeet is in the process of planning and designing several Private 5G networks using Google Distributed Cloud Edge for school districts across the country that will launch later this year.…Read More

Is your district’s IT safe and accessible?

Cyberattacks against educational institutions have skyrocketed–and keeping student and educator information safe and protected is a top priority.

Schools need versatile solutions that update, adapt, and scale to support everyone, in and out of the classroom.

In an eSchool News webinar, cybersecurity and school district IT experts share tips on how to implement the Microsoft tools and systems to ensure your IT is safe, accessible, and easy to manage.…Read More