Driving Digital Education

May 31, 2016

We’ve seen the digital era begin to permeate industries of all kinds. Now many educational institutions are waking up to new opportunities that enhance learning, by embracing innovative technologies.

With this in mind, what are some of the key growth areas for schools and universities and how can they benefit from the advancing digital era?

Enhancing print practices
Wasteful practices continue to persist within schools, colleges and universities, which act as an unnecessary drain on IT budgets and time, and damage carbon reduction efforts. It’s not uncommon to find print estates that have been allowed to grow unmanaged over time; too many desktop and MFDs dotted around campuses; mixtures of contracts and suppliers, and, importantly, no cost allocation or control.

Managed print services can enable these institutions to take back control by capitalising on technology that allows them to streamline their estates and find significant cost efficiencies.

3D printing
A key growth area for the education sector is 3D printing. As this is already gaining traction across a number of industries, many UK schools are starting to create the classroom of the future by employing 3D technology to prepare the next generation of students for their future careers. Our partner Kyocera recently found that 77% of educational professionals could see the potential for 3D printing.

This technology presents an array of benefits, such as inspiring students to use their creativity and initiative as well as helping them attain additional marks in formal technical assessments, so it’s little surprise that it’s gaining ground on campus.

Mobile printing
Educational institutions are going mobile and we’ve seen demand for tablets, laptops, and mobile phones rocket over the past few years, as schools and universities look to facilitate more efficient ways of working. But many of these mobility drives are being hamstrung by a lack of mobile printing.
Students want to print from their tablets or mobile phones onto university or college printers/MFDs, but there’s been reluctance from IT directors to want to allow those devices on their network. That’s where the smart software solutions, such as uniFLOW, come in, allowing staff and students to print easily and securely from their mobile devices.

Reducing carbon footprint
Many universities and colleges have big carbon reduction targets and print is one way to help them achieve these goals. The carbon footprint of MFDs is dropping all the time. From the point of manufacture to ongoing usage and use of chemicals, we’re seeing improvements all the time but more could always be done.

The potential for the education sector to adopt new digital processes and technology is definitely there, but many institutions are still at the beginning of their digital journey and need the help of suppliers to help them unpick their IT and print estates and devise new strategies. The move to digital won’t happen overnight, but working with a partner that knows the education sector will get schools up and running on new technology a lot faster than they would otherwise.