The concept of Digital Asset Management may still be fairly alien to many schools and Universities, but the benefits are enormous. If those benefits can be made clear, then it follows that more schools will see that investing in a good file management solution, or digital media library, is well worth the investment.
Digital Asset Management in education: the answer to an ever-growing problem
The first part is understanding the key issues surrounding file management faced by educational organisations today.
File Management: Key issues for Education
Broadly, the issues facing school and Universities are:
- The growing number of files including:
- marketing media and collateral
- school galleries
- pupil's work
- departmental publications
- curriculum content
- Uncoordinated file storage across systems, networks and personal folders
- The need to share content with pupils, staff, parents and marketing agencies
- The need to organise, tag and retrieve files quickly and easily
- The increasing need and rising cost of storage and back-up
- System security, reliability and integration with other software
- Adhering to data protection issues
Russ Baum, Director of Studies at King's School, Worcester says:
“Image storage in schools is problematic. There is a better way of archiving all of the rich material we generate so it can be mined easily, and on a platform that allows for outreach exposure.”
Centralising image archives and digital files
Third Light’s software can overcome the issue of uncoordinated file storage by providing a platform on which to archive, manage and centralise all digital files. Many schools and Universities have extensive image archives as well as their growing library of current visual content, and increasingly have the need to provide further functionality so they can distribute, re-purpose and re-use those files.
Rebecca Bowerman from the Marketing Department at Anglia Ruskin University reports: “The Third Light software saves us hours of searching and sorting through pictures. The system is intuitive to use, it works from all our campuses, and gives us excellent control over how images are used. The platform is easy to interact with, very immediate, functional and innovative. The time saved and ease of access makes it great value for money.”
Like many large marketing departments, Anglia Ruskin had accumulated image stocks on CD-ROMs, in collections that were managed by hand. The collections had a tendency to become fragmented, and finding images relied on memory – or a lengthy manual search. Moving to an electronic library allowed the pictures to be key-worded, searched and shared much more simply, and retaining central control over the library became far simpler. Third Light software can store, manage and retrieve photographic assets, PDFs and videos conveniently.
Tagging files with metadata for easy search and find
Content creators like photographers and videographers can upload files from anywhere and easily tag files and folders with metadata, so they can be found later, with a simple keyword search. A lot of their media tagging can be automated to save time. There are usually no file size limitations to wrestle with, raw formats are supported and they can upload their media directly or via an FTP. Third Light’s platform not only stores and manages those files, but also provides access for parents, so they can view school galleries and for pupils so they can showcase their work.
Sarah Gowens, Marketing Manager at Bishop’s Stortford College, says: “The software interface is user-friendly, so staff find it easy to navigate around the system and search for relevant images. It enables us to provide quickly an excellent view of school life to the parents as well as fellow teachers and pupils.”
Further to archives and media files, teachers can also use the software to host and share educational materials, curriculum content, teaching resources, and online learning packages. Files can be uploaded, tagged, indexed and accessed from anywhere, and remain secure and backed-up as long as they’re in the system, which addresses the need for system security and reliability.
Giving users the ability to edit, share, collaborate and chat
Marketing teams are often key users of digital media libraries, as the functionality enables them to manage marketing campaigns and promotional materials, including advertising, website content, social media, email campaigns, PR and brand management. Users can share and compare media in the system and use the real-time chat to collaborate and work with colleagues. They can publish and share links to media internally and externally which provides an excellent way of working with third party designers and printers. Version control prevents unnecessary confusion, ensures users are using the same logo and corporate templates, and offers the ability to control who can make changes. Overall, it gives media managers added control and peace of mind.
The software supports a wide range of file types, and comes with built-in manual and automatic editing tools for users with no creative experience. There’s no need to install any desktop software. The image editing function allows you to resize images easily and download in different formats, and set pre-defined download sizes and formats for specific uses, like website thumbnails. You can recolour graphics for print, and even edit video.
Enabling live coverage of events for parents around the world
A growing, and perhaps more exciting application of Third Light’s software, is to enable live coverage of events, where images and video are captured, shared and published in real-time. This has given schools the opportunity to share live coverage of sports games, plays, concerts, school trips and awards with parents and families all over the world.
Any company still struggling on without a centralised asset management system should really consider how much extra time and money they could save from using third Light’s integrated media library tools for management, storage, editing, sharing and collaborating.
If you think your school, college or University would benefit from using a centralised storage system for images, video and other digital media, please don't hesitate to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also sign up for a 30-day free trial by visiting www.thirdlight.com
Based in Cambridge, Third Light has nearly 20 years' experience in digital asset management software. Our solutions are used by the marketing and creative teams of more than 300 organizations in fields including education, sport, not-for-profit and global business.