Consortium of College and University Media Centers


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Sign of the Times: DIY Digital Signage
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About this session:


The past few years have witnessed an explosion of small form-factor computers, hardware that has found an audience among hackers, hobbyists and educators. Herbert Coleman, Anthony Helm, Kevin Huffaker and Darrell Lutey will present four creative approaches to delivering digital signage via inexpensive, small form-factor computers: Chromeboxes, Raspberry Pi’s, and Intel Compute Sticks. We will discuss what influenced our decisions to use these devices, the software employed, the types of content we are presenting and our experiences with the solutions to date.

What We Expect Attendees to Learn

We expect attendees to learn about some of the small form-factor computers available today, what opportunities they open up for inexpensive experimentation, and how they can be put into service to deliver digital content in our facilities. Attendees should leave the session inspired to experiment with small form-factor computers on their own and in their own institutions.

Value of the Topic

Commercial digital signage solutions can be quite expensive to install and maintain. The wide availability of small form-factor computers opens up new opportunities for those with constrained budgets. In addition, the rise of “maker culture” is encouraging many of us to explore creative new solutions that take advantage of these new technologies.

Additional Resources:


About the presenter:

Anthony Helm, Dartmouth University

Anthony Helm is Head of Digital Media and Library Technologies in the
Dartmouth College Library, where he oversees the Jones Media Center and the Digital Library Technologies Group. Prior to this position, he served as Director of the Arts & Humanities Resource Center at Dartmouth, and before that was an Academic Technology Coordinator at Clark University and at Minnesota State University – Akita (Japan). His interests include copyright and fair use, teaching and learning, and digital cultural preservation. Anthony holds an M.A. in Japanese from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Television/Radio from Southern Methodist University.



Herb Coleman, Austin Community College

Dr. Herb Coleman is an adjunct professor of psychology and the Director of Campus Technology Services at Austin Community College in Austin, Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Texas College of Education, Instructional Technology program. In his role as the Director CTS he assists faculty in obtaining, learning and using technology to enhance instruction. As part of his duties, he’s been involved in new facilities construction. Since 2010 ACC has built 4 new campuses and installed monitors for digital signage in all of them. However, there was no plan for digital signage service or support. His department originally supported “sign flipping” through Dell Small Form Factor PC’s and PowerPoint slideshows. Newer campuses supported their own slideshows with USB drives and “sneaker net”. After the opening of their Highland Campus, he and his team began investigating digital signage in earnest. After researching and testing several systems they settled on Rise Vision and Chromeboxes. They now have 30 boxes installed serving 30 screens on 6 of their 11 campuses.


Kevin Huffaker, Texas State University, San Marcos

Kevin Huffaker serves as Director of Learning Technology Research in the IT Division at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. His direct involvement over the past 10 years in designing, planning, and implementation of technology projects have resulted in new campus initiatives such as digital signage, classroom response systems, A/V control systems/support, centralized IT support, and professional A/V design/install service. Kevin spends an equal amount of time scuba-diving shooting underwater photography, directing/writing short films, and produced an award winning experimental documentary called Yakona, available on iTunes & Vimeo.


Darrell Lutey, University of Nevada Las Vegas

Darrell Lutey is the Assistant Director of Information Technology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). UNLV was the Host Institution for the 2012 CCUMC Annual Conference in which Darrell was responsible for overall planning. Darrell currently serves as an Institutional Director for CCUMC and also Chairs the Emerging
Technologies Interest group.

Darrell leads the Instructional Technology Services group at UNLV, which is responsible for all things Classrooms and Computer Labs. Recently, Darrell was named Service Owner for Digital Signage, and is responsible for supporting and enhancing the enterprise service. Darrell has been an employee at UNLV since 1988 and has worked for many departments
including Public Affairs, Human Resources, Sociology, Biology and Hotel. Darrell was a graduate of UNLV and majored in Management Information Systems, and received his degree in 1990.

Darrell currently holds ITIL and CNE certifications and enjoys golf, college basketball and long walks with his wife (Nicole) and Gold Retriever (Jazzy).