Whether it’s simplifying teachers’ use of digital devices and software to improving Wi-Fi networks, navigating technology is a common challenge for schools everywhere.
As such, principals and school ICT managers are on the lookout for solutions to turn what is often a hair-pulling exercise into a seamless process that requires minimal effort – and delivers maximum efficiency.
Recognising this, a leading workplace technology provider took the step 18 months ago of rolling out a campaign to the education sector aimed at helping schools address their technology-related concerns, whatever they might be.
Adelaide’s Saint Ignatius’ College, Sydney’s Knox Grammar and Perth’s Servite College, are just a few of the schools that – with the help of Ricoh Australia – have resolved issues around document management, Wi-Fi connectivity and printing.
Marcin Wilinski from Ricoh Australia’s GM Services, said the company is working with schools to connect their classrooms, deliver distance education and offer activity-based learning environments that stimulate student development.
“These initiatives can involve upgrading a school’s network and infrastructure or shifting their workload to the cloud. In this way, students are able to access information anywhere, anytime, and from any device,” Wilinski told The Educator.
“Our connect and collaboration solutions are helping teachers communicate and engage with their students, offering a platform for them to interact in real-time.”
This kind of technology is particularly important when it comes to distance learning – a trend that has been growing across Australia with the advent of new technologies catering to students and teachers in rural and remote locations.
Recently, Ricoh has been helping schools like Queensland’s Browns English Language School reduce student and teacher travel times by delivering lessons using interactive whiteboards connected via a unified communication solution.
“In addition, we’re supporting the school's activity-based and immersive learning strategy. This follows the expansion of the school to a second campus in which more than 13 classrooms were added to its overall facilities,” Wilinski said.
“This approach facilitates improved student interaction and engagement through the digital platform regardless of their physical location.”
Cutting out the clutter with paperless solutions
Ricoh has also been helping principals streamline their workloads through paperless solutions, said Wilinski.
“As schools produce more paper, the challenge of storing and accessing information increases. As a result, growing numbers are embracing electronic document management strategies,” he said.
To assist school leaders in this way, Ricoh has been providing a number of solutions, which Wilinski said are making schools’ administrative tasks more coherent.
“Our student and parent portals assist the management of everything from the student application and enrolment process to permission forms and incident reporting,” Wilinski explained.
“We also help schools improve child protection and welfare through our document management solutions which allow principals to manage governance and compliance requirements around security and working with children checks.”
Wilinski added that Ricoh has a solution that can manage the end-to-end process of incident and risk management as it pertains to child protection within a school environment.
This means that a teacher, parent, student or witness is able to register the incident with the school.
“The action of completing a form documents the incident while also notifying the appropriate people within the school to take action and manage the incident through to resolution,” Wilinski said.