There is nothing that catches a child’s attention faster than a screen. I dare you to try this out. Children are simply fascinated by anything they see on a screen. From the phone to the computer to the television screen, if you want to effectively catch a child’s attention and communicate, get a screen.
Education stakeholders are quickly catching on and using this fascination to their advantage. Schools have started introducing digital signage in schools.
They are effective in communicating the following:
- Basic everyday communication
- Safety communications
- Digital menu boards
- Donor walls
- Club activities
- Educational tours
A TV menu board in the school cafeteria makes it so much easier and faster for the students to make their choices. Reading off a menu sometimes takes time, especially if the menus have to be shared. The menu boards have everything on them:
- Vegetarian choices
- International dishes
- Nutritional information
Many options are included to take care of everyone’s dietary needs. Owing to children’s seemingly inherent interest in screens and their awareness on technological matters, what better way to get them interested in what they eat that displaying it on a TV screen? All they have to do is look up and choose, then make their orders.
Make it interesting
There are quite a number of ways you can make school cafeteria menu boards interesting, including using splashes of colour and interesting bits of nutritional information.
Pictorial images of crispy salads and colourful fresh fruit might nudge a teenage boy in the right direction with regard to making healthy choices. Adding nutritional facts will provide information on what they are allowing inside their bodies and how it might be affecting them. Such information could include:
- Calory counts
- The various vitamins
Another way you could make the screen menu interesting is by use of animation. Children and teens alike have a certain fascination for cartoons and animation. If in doubt, think about why Disney World and cartoon shows are such huge successes.
With increasing developments in technology, animation and cartoons are easy to make at home.
If students have nutritional information and the effects, positive and negative, various foods have on their bodies, they might be more inclined to make healthier choices. Otherwise, many children and teens will happily eat dessert for breakfast, lunch and dinner and frown when broccoli is mentioned.
Advantages of digital menu boards in a school cafeteria
- They immediately captures attention
A TV screen captures anyone’s attention immediately. Even in regular eateries, you will find patrons looking up at the screen even if they have paper menus right in front of them. The same will happen in the school cafeteria and everyone can make their choices first.
- It is easier to load up new menus
Digital menu boards make it easier to update the menus. You can also set it up to run different menus during the different mealtimes. For instance, the breakfast menu can automaticallychange to the lunch menu at lunchtime.
- The queue seems to move faster
Almost everyone is captivated by the shifting images on the screen. No one takes note of the waiting time. Another reason the line moves faster is because choicesare made fast as information is in real time. You could try as much as you like, but I doubt you can think of one person who likes queues.
- Emergencies can be communicated in real time
If anything happens in school during the mealtimes, information can be relayed immediately and the children advised on the measures to take. If the situation is dangerous, information relayed immediately could go a long way in ensuring the safety of the children.
- Important information can be communicated immediately
Information to do with after-hours activities, impromptu visits by dignitaries, competitions, school dances and other social activities can be communicated during lunch hour. Students who have done well in various activities can have their names up in lights and enjoy some adulation.
Results of, say, writing competitions and names of winners can be displayed on the screen. Also, recruitments into various clubs and activities and elections can be displayed on the screen.
All this information would normally be relayed during assemblies or meetings, or during class hours.
- Creates a fun atmosphere in the cafeteria
There will be more buzz created around the content on the TV menu board than if it were not there. The menu board also makes the cafeteria look more animated and brighter.
Any school could benefit greatly from having the TV menu board in the school cafeteria, which would hold the young ones’ attention and probably drastically reduce the frequency of lunchtime brawls.
Karen is a Business Tech Analyst. She is very responsible towards her job. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with her friends and colleagues.