For families, capturing school memories is as easy as the click of a button. But that’s just one step in making them last. One of the biggest challenges school staff are faced with is centralizing these moments in order to make them usable and searchable through the years. Whether they’re photos, artwork or video clips, if they’re not lost in the deep vortices of hard drives or school servers, they’re locked into devices; floating in between dozens of photo apps, SD cards, or forgotten smartphone reels.
Imagine a winning goal from the Home Game or a candid exchange between a group of students. Some moments just can’t be recaptured, and when they’re spread out by the thousands across departments, families, and individuals, it’s no secret that recovering what we need is tricky business, particularly for IT, marketing, and faculty.
Over the past few years, Vidigami has formed partnerships with various school website and student information system providers, with one goal: bringing scores of school memories down to the fingertips of each and every member of the community.
As a Marketplace Partner, Vidigami’s media resource platform allows Finalsite schools an easier way to crowdsource photos captured, organized and securely shared within the community. Through single sign-on (SSO) access and the ability to embed slideshows onto the school website, Vidigami and Finalsite are continuously working together to enhance the photo management experience and streamline workflow for school staff and families.
With FinalsiteU 2017 only a few days away, we got in touch with Liz Gouldman, Director of Digital Media & Databases at Holton-Arms School, to get a closer look at how the Vidigami-Finalsite integration made a difference for their community; opening doors that were, for so long, firmly shut.
“In the past, it was difficult to find photographs of specific people from specific time periods,” Liz shared. “With network storage taking up so much space, we needed a more cloud-based solution that was simple and secure. But aside from storage, we needed a way for our community to easily access the system, upload and download photos, and search for specific people or events. Above all, we wanted to streamline the workflow internally, building galleries that can be published to the web. Vidigami offered a platform that’s tailored specifically for schools, such that photos are automatically organized by school year, categories, and groups upon upload. It’s customizable, controllable, and makes searching a breeze for a school environment. Face and context tags that can be applied at so many levels so that managing photos is easier than ever. We love tagging!”
Of all the roadblocks that Liz encountered when it came to photo management, she raised some key needs:
1. The more photos collected, the better.
“We didn’t have the manpower to cover all of the amazing things happening at school. We wanted to allow community members who attend events, field trips and other activities, to share their photos with the communications team and the community. However, there was no inclusive way to crowdsource photos.”
2. Integration is key for our community, and we try hard to keep everything simple.
“We were looking for a system that would work with our website and not necessitate another username & password for community members to have to remember every login.” Through the SSO integration, members of the school can log into Vidigami simply using their school’s credentials and a password.
3. Sharing: too private or too public.
“We wanted to share both public and private content across different platforms, but there was no clear middle ground. On one hand, we would build separate albums for Facebook, and then take another step at an administrative level. On the other hand, we’d also use SmugMug and Finalsite galleries. These were not ideal for sharing photos publicly; we couldn’t embed SmugMug galleries and Finalsite galleries were private. This created extra work for our staff as they needed to build albums in both places.”
4. Past, present, and future.
“We wanted to preserve access to photos from year to year. This is valuable for alumni and plays such a crucial role in building our school’s legacy.”
How Holton-Arms School is using embed links and Slideshows
Vidigami’s share and embed link features are versatile tools that offer the best of private and private sharing, and provides schools so many opportunities for featuring meaningful content online.
“The ability to create highlight sets with photos from multiple albums is great. These can then be embedded to our community portal pages of the Holton-Arms website. We can also use public sets to share slideshows with people outside of our community, like photos from events with our “brother” school.
When we asked Liz what her top 3 greatest benefits were from using Vidigami, her answer was simple:
- “Anybody in our community can upload photos.”
- “We can tag people, events, places and more, allowing us to find photos easily.”
- “The user interface for admins and end users is intuitive.”
How has Vidigami impacted involvement in the Holton-Arms community?
“Vidigami has increased parent and faculty participation, and we now have access to photos that we didn’t in the past. For example, our crew team competes off campus and often out of state and we rarely had photos from those competitions. With vidigami, coaches and parents have been able to easily upload fabulous photos for our Communications team to use and market the program. In the future, we would like to have our high school students involved as well.”
To learn more about how Vidigami has helped Holton-Arms School better manage their photos, meet Liz Gouldman at FinalsiteU (Baltimore), from June 20 – 22, 2017.