Friday, September 27, 2013

Running Digital Signage through Google Apps EDU - UPDATE

In the world of technology everything changes and changes quickly. What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. And in our case, what worked for our digital signage last school year doesn't work any longer this school year or so we thought.

Originally, we had been using Auto Refresh Plus to automatically refresh our Chrome browser at set intervals. Then Google changed the way Google Presentation operates and each slide became its own URL which reset Auto Refresh Plus every time the slide changed!

After a bit of aggravation and brainstorming, we figured out a new solution. My band teacher and fellow tech enthusiast came across the following blog,, that had the same issues we were having. Their solution was to embed the presentation in a website and using the script provided it would update the frame at set intervals.

We thought this would work for us as well UNTIL we realized that our school website does not allow us to remove the header or column. Therefore, we had had to figure out a Plan B.

After some brainstorming, the idea hit us. Why not write the code in Notepad, save the file as a HTML file, upload it to the district website as the HTML file, and then create a GOTO link to the file. It'll automatically open it in full screen through kiosk mode and read the file like an HTML page. The code will allow us to embed the Google Presentation and run the reload script.

It sounds way more complicated than it actually was and it works as good as ever. I now have my clerical staff in the office updating the Google Presentation for me throughout the day and the script refreshes the presentation every 10 minutes.

So after several days of confusion and frustration, everything is right with the world again and our digital signage is working like a pro.

The next step is to get another setup installed in our cafeteria!