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, http://www.istartedsomething.com/20130618/work-hack-use-google-docs-to-create-an-automatically-updating-tv-kiosk-presentation/, 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!

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing information about Digital Signage. it is very helpful for informational and educational pursuits.

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  2. You should check out www.risevision.com - a digital signage platform built on GAE.

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  3. Most of the company used a digital signage for their successful achievement. I think Google now realize how this kind of advertising made a bigger accomplishment for their improvements.

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  4. managed to get as far as you did and then also realised that google changed the url of each slide instead of just a single url for the entire slideshow, have followed the above but cant get the slideshow to reload with the updates, not really sure on scripts either, if you have any further advice on how to auto refresh the google presentation would be much appreciated, regards

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    1. It took some manipulation and time to understand it, but it's not too complicated. You have to create a blank page within your site and copy the script from the link adding the necessary pieces including refresh time and the link to your Google Presentation. Once that is set, then create the link to the page where ever you need it as a "Go To" link.

      I have found that kiosk mode doesn't always allow it to automatically refresh. Therefore, I've simple opened the link, clicked full screen manually, and left it to run. At night, we just turn off the screen and let the computer continue to run.

      Hope this helps!

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  5. Very important tips for digital sign. Thanks for sharing.
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  6. Very important tips for digital sign. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Its really read something on Running Digital Signage through Google Apps EDU. Its unique kind of technology to reach people.

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    ReplyDelete