More and more colleges and universities are embracing technology as a means to effectively
communicate with their students, faculty, staff and visitors. Today’s students, raised in a tech-driven, connected world, expect real-time communication. And savvy universities not only know how to connect with their students, but also want to prepare them for the even more technologically advanced and interconnected world they’ll enter by the time they leave campus.
At University of Kentucky, with over four (4) million square feet of new facilities on campus since 2013, they had a tremendous opportunity to build a digital signage network within a state-of-the art campus footprint. They saw the opportunity to create a connected digital signage network as a key step in building a “smart campus” environment that could serve as an extension of UK’s commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, economic development and human well-being by creating a hub of communication that infuses collaboration. A “first” focus to creating this future was building connectivity that would lead to:
- Improved communication and messaging – both within the campus business, across the campus landscape, and at the campus borders
- Improved UK campus appearance – by reducing the footprint of waste and disorganized messaging
- The cultivation of opportunities for University partners to disseminate messages and strengthen the delivery of valuable services to students, faculty, and staff
The University partnered with Korbyt to help lay the foundation for Digital Signage as a state-of-the art communication tool, using KORBYT® as the software platform of choice to power the campus digital signage. The strategy was to use Digital Signage an integral part of the University of Kentucky experience, to communicate more effectively and better connect students and other stakeholders to University messaging.
The University focused its efforts first on the recently renovated Gatton Student Center. The $200 million, 378,000-square-foot facility, built as a gathering space for students and departments to host meetings and events, opened in August 2018 featuring 40-plus digital screens.
Innovation and Technology
Targeted content, strategic deployment, collaborative workflow and analytical tools – the advent of centralized digital content – would serve to engage, inform, motivate, and entertain campus students and visitors. The Korbyt® platform would be a key component to bringing this vision to life, powering technology to connect students and faculty.
University of Kentucky demanded a platform that communicators could use to build meaningful and engaging experiences – one centralized platform that could handle the creation, storage and distribution of their messages, promoting standardization and uniformity of their voice across their campus. They also wanted to engage a variety of creators and content contributors and reach a variety of audience recipients with custom messaging. Some of the critical must-haves were:
• Convenient integration with other UK systems
Korbyt integrated with and ingested data from other systems such as emergency alert systems, event management systems, University social feeds, and other approved RSS feeds, and then visually incorporated that content for real-time distribution to the University’s digital displays.
• Unique, built-in content creation options
KORBYT accommodated both the advanced content creators on the core UK communications team and the additional content contributors (departments, students) who needed a simple way to contribute. It also allowed for a permission hierarchy which opened the door for more content contributors, supporting the University’s collaboration efforts.
Interactive kiosks in the Gatton Center delivered a modern experience with digital maps and concierge-type live activity and event schedules, to engage students with a variety of information.
• Delivery of fresh, relevant content
The University leveraged Korbyt’s signature Relevant Refresh Technology allowing for a “set-it and-forget-it” type of scheduling. With vast content scheduling scenarios and smart technology, communicators were able to reach more people with relevant content in less time.
Elevating the Campus Experience:
Since deploying KORBYT, we’ve impacted thousands of students, faculty, staff and visitors at the Gatton Student Center with interactive and real-time communication. Students are able to use interactive kiosks to access maps, activities, and current events.
They also receive relevant and timely information from the University such as the distribution of an iPad Air to all new incoming freshman, an exciting new Smart Campus initiative, designed to use technology to maximize learning and support for students.” Whitney Siddiqi, Digital Content Manager, University of Kentucky.
Modernizing this space with technology and creating a buzz of active communication brings the University a step closer to preparing their students for our interconnected world. Korbyt is proud to be a part of the University of Kentucky’s strategy to use technology in improving the student experience, delivering a unique technology platform that communicators could use to build meaningful and engaging experiences.