As children filter back to school to embark on another year, it presents a great opportunity for schools to evaluate their technology solutions. This is particularly relevant with newer technology, such as tablets, where the return on investment is still up for debate.
Tablets have been a popular consumer item for years now and this has filtered down to children, with these mobile devices heralded as a key learning tool, particularly at the early development stages. In fact, a recent Ofcom report highlighted that approximately 70 per cent of 5 to 15 year-olds had access to a tablet at home.
In the last few years tablets have also been recognised as an effective business tool so it makes sense to think that the apex of both learning and business has become a natural environment for tablet use. But just how well are these devices utilised within the classroom and the broader education institutions – especially when providing flexibility in print services?
A recent survey conducted by iGov for Lexmark, specifically looking at the use of printer applications, highlighted that whilst 60 percent of schools are currently using tablets or plan to use these in the near future within a schooling environment, only 3 percent currently have any kind of mobile print functionality in place. This is a huge disparity and highlights a missed opportunity for schools to provide a mobile print option for students.
In fact, the survey highlighted what many of us already know, cost efficiency in education institutions is paramount. However, while 82 percent believe cost allocation and print management is a high to medium priority, only 30 percent actually use print management software to monitor spend and allocate costs. Again a significant disparity but one that could be reduced quite quickly.
Unlike computers and laptops, tablets load up quickly, are portable, have an interactive touchscreen and the ability to print without the need for any messy cables. In turn, mobile printing technology and applications give staff and students the ability to print on-the-go convenience while also solving crucial challenges around document security. Additionally, these applications can support mobility, ensuring teachers are not tied to their desktops or stuck in one room, improve productivity and as already mentioned, control costs.
With the rest of the world beginning to embrace the benefits of mobile technology, schools need to keep pace with this change, and ensure that they are constantly adapting to their environment.
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