Several years ago, a company called Channel One installed TVs in all the classrooms in the school. All we had to do was watch Channel One for the first ten minutes of class (it was some school based news show). Either our contract was up or they went defunct, I don't know which (this was before I got to this school), either way the TVs are still in the room, but not being used.
Then someone had the great idea of using cable for these TVs. Since the devices were all connected together, we would have to request that the TV be set to a particular channel in the library (we could only watch what the library was watching). This worked out great for anyone who was teaching history in the making when something big was happening in the news and for a few other things. Then cable decided that they wanted to charge the school for every TV in each classroom, so we dropped cable.
Now there is a useless TV in every classroom. So I decided to turn it into advertisement. Ads for my class, that is.
What This Is
I used a Google Slides Presentation to pull this off. On each slide I put something I wanted them to see. There is a list of Achieve 3000 articles they need to complete, the schedule (especially during the early days when the schedule keeps changing to accommodate homeroom), where we go for fire drill, a grammar lesson, a word of the week, a literary term of the week, homework assignments, and ad for a book we have available for check out in class, ads for upcoming assignments, something weird about an author we will read, etc. I also put in a meme and an image just to keep it from seeming too educational.
The slides change up every week. If I were more on the ball, I would pick a day to switch out different slides instead of changing them all at once.
How I Did This
There is no option in Google presentation to have it automatically run, but if you choose PUBLISH TO WEB, you will be able to set up the time for each slide and have it loop. So each morning I publish it to the web and put it on my TV, which is now my third display.
To get the TV to be the third display, I did have to spend a little money. I paid $30 to get a 75' HDMI cable. I ran that from the TV, across the ceiling, and down behind my computer. The only problems I've had with doing this is that sometimes my SmartBoard gets confused on which monitor it should work with. That's an easy fix.
Now that I have this third display, I can post notes on it while students are watching a movie, put other images or web pages on it that I want them to look at while I'm giving a presentation, stream news on it if something big is happening in the world while we keep class going, and I'm sure there will be other things I'll experiment with as I continue this.
Look - kids are going to get distracted by something. I would rather it be something I want them to learn. And it works, too! The other day, I opened the door for a female teacher who was leaving my room. When I did, one of my students yelled out, "Chivalrous!" which is our word of the week. So they are seeing these words, terms, and grammar lessons. One more way to teach!