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Getting into a growth mindset can be tough at the best of times, let alone during one of the worst pandemics the world has ever seen. The same goes for building a school community, but it’s not about looking back, it’s about looking forward. In the last year or so we have learned that we need to look out for one another because when we are together we are stronger.
Mental health is just as important as going to the doctors or the dentist, it shouldn’t be ignored and (pardon the cliche) – ‘It’s OK to not be OK’. We need to support one another, work to create a positive vibe and acknowledge the feeling that we’re all in this together.
Over the past year, at TrilbyTV we’ve noticed more and more customers relaying this important messaging through their digital signage. Our platform has a fantastic resource called the Content Catalogue, with key messaging from the likes of 1decision and their Are you feeling worried? content and NetSupport, In a world that you can be anything be kind – both great resources.
Beyond this, we’ve found that many of our customers have been a lot more resourceful in creating their own positive affirmations for the digital signage screens around their schools and organisations.
One of the first examples that we noticed was from the Chris Wood, the digital lead at Portsmouth College. He showed a fantastic example of how digital signage can be used to communicate positive messages to keep staff motivated,
‘The staffroom screens are very much about well-being and positive messages, which have proved really, really lovely. It was a moment of genius [when we added] a huge picture of the college with the sunrise coming behind. Overlaid was some text saying: “We are amazing teachers, we’ve got this!”
‘This single item sent a really powerful message saying, ‘OK, we’re in this together and it really has helped to boost staff morale. We needed something that was going to create a real impact.’
Chris made use of Adobe Spark to create the image and text overlay. If you’ve not tried Spark then it’s well worth checking out as a quick and simple way to generate great-looking signage content.
Building a strong community through effective messaging doesn’t have to be planned in detail. In fact, the beauty of digital signage is that messages can be brief, executed easily and even produced on the fly. Dan Oakes, who is the headteacher at St Bartholomew’s Primary Academy in Royal Wootton Bassett told us: ‘TrilbyTV’s inspirational quotes are a quick win as the content is already there and it updates automatically. Messages can be varied and resonate at different times, which I love as viewers don’t know what’s coming next.’
For St Bartholomew’s, it doesn’t just need to be positive messages to help build the school community, as Dan told us,
‘The birthdays tool in the Content Catalogue is brilliant, we only use this for staff but by far, we’ve never seen so much cake in the staffroom before. The Notices app works really well in the staffroom too, with simple positive notes like, Don’t stay at work too late tonight, Party tomorrow, or Thanks for your hard work this week. Sharing a note in the staff room means everyone has the chance to see it and it creates a real buzz.’
These short and sweet messages help to remind those watching to take a moment – pause for a brief while – and bring your attention to the here and now. It creates a focus on well-being and starts conversations even if those are only in our heads until we are ready to share with others.
Content aimed at staff and the wider school community can be more than a straightforward, ‘We’re here to help’ mental health message. It’s about creating a sense of belonging, togetherness, and most importantly spreading the love.
Tim Jones is the CEO of BeerYeti.
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