With Playlister deployed across five campuses, Northview Church has come to rely on Playlister for a majority of its content distribution. Each weekend, hundreds of kids come through Northview’s classrooms and experience a wide range of content on screen.
Brandon Johnson, Kids Pastor at Northview, has a great deal of experience planning out curriculum in Playlister and has provided some tips for staying organized as you scale up Playlister.
You can see the full recording of the interview and Northview's account walkthrough below. In case you're looking for a summary, we've pulled out some of the key recommendations below.
Collaborate on Curriculum (3:04)
"Northview plans [curriculum] two months in advance to give the ministry team and volunteers adequate time to prepare [...] We download all of the content that we get from Orange – the videos, the graphics, all that kind of stuff. And then we have one central person that takes all that content and puts it up on a playlist or in specific folders or tags that with a specific names."
Brandon suggests scheduling a regular meeting that is dedicated to curriculum planning. Make sure that you walk out of the meeting with a clear list of action items and ownership assigned to people who will be building out content playlists. Northview has one person build out the playlists in Playlister and then each of the pods reviews to make sure everything looks correct before the playlists are made available to volunteers.
What does this timeline look like? Let’s pretend that it's June and we’re planning content for August.
• June, Week 1 - Curriculum planning session
• July 15 - Content is uploaded and added to playlists in Playlister. Playlists are scheduled to go-live starting August 1.
• August 1 - Playlists are released to Playlister screens across all five campuses
• August 7 - August week 1 playlists expire and August week 2 playlists are made available
Device Naming (5:26)
"We have a Carmel campus that use different age groups and we have labeled all of our screens where the campus that they're at and what specific room that they are locally to. And that way just makes it easy for that one person that's going through and pushing out all the content there."
Northview made the decision to name each screen in Playlister in a similar fashion so the content planner knows exactly which screen content is being pushed out to and when.
Their naming convention is Campus Name, Age Group, Classroom Number
How does this help?
A volunteer might not know the room number they are in, but they do know which campus and what age group they’re working with for the day.
An IT director might have a better understanding of the building layout and the room numbers than the age group. This system helps to ensure that everyone can quickly understand which screens should receive content.
"You can see all of our different content for kids ministry, based on our age groups, from youngest kids to oldest elementary at these four areas here. So that way we can click on this [tag] and I see, okay, these are all the screens and the different campuses that are using our ECE one curriculum, which simply just means I'm under […] three years old."
Northview uses Tags to quickly assign content categories to a screen. This helps to ensure that the right content gets on the right screens at the right time. At any given time, Northview has ten or more playlists but not every screen needs to receive the playlists. Instead of manually assigning each of the playlists to each screen, they Tag a screen with the categories of content that are essential to the classroom experience.
No more scrolling, and scrolling, and scrolling some more to find the wrong playlist!
More Hands-on Engagement (17:00)
"We’re able to be anywhere in the room and control the playlists. We don't have to be tied down to a computer. We don't have to be tied down to a specific space in a room and be able to control it. So we don't necessarily need two people running our large group we could have only one person doing that, which frees up another person to then be with the kids and interacting with them. It's freeing us up to be able to do more things with less people."
Everyone wants to do more for less, right? Northview has been able to maximize their volunteers time through the introduction of Playlister in the classroom. Their last solution required that a volunteer operate the software on a computer and they had to manually change slides. This means that the volunteer was pretty much stuck to the computer the whole time while a second volunteer would present and engage with the kids. Now, a single volunteer can operate the presentation and also work the room with the Apple TV. Why use an Apple TV? Read about how using an Apple TV to present Kid's Ministry content is ideal.
So there you have it! Northview has been able to save time, streamline planning efforts, and improve their volunteer and classroom experiences through the adoption of Playlister in the classroom. Guess what, it doesn't end there! Northview uses Playlister in their Capstone bookstore and coffee shop for digital signage and small group sessions. They've found some really creative ways to use Playlister and we're excited to see the impact throughout the organization.
A big thank you to our friends at Northview for taking the time to show us the ropes! P.S. here a little more insight to why Northview made the switch from ProPresenter to Playlister: