At Fujitsu we believe that schools can achieve operational effectiveness by embracing technology and the digital environment, and have commissioned an eGuide with Naace (the national association for all those interested in technology in education) in order to explain how document scanners can help to improve childrens’ learning and the work-life balance for school staff and teachers.
The impact of digitisation
Through the digitisation of the classroom, the eGuide found that two main impacts can be achieved:
1. As information users can access what they need when they need it, there are savings on paper, copying and time compared to communications in a paper environment
2. It engages pupils by making the activities of the school much more visible, which can enhance learning achievements.
In order for digitisation to be successful, pupils, teachers and parents need to have access to the internet, and digital images, scans or copies of information and resources need to be captured, posted and shared in the online learning environment.
In addition, digitisation provides benefits across a number of key areas:
● Online learning support: By posting details of homework tasks online, a collaborative effort between pupils, parents and teachers can occur. In turn, pupils that share their work digitally with classmates are stimulated to make more effort with the task.
● Capturing evidence of pupils’ work and progress: work that is done digitally, or scanned and imaged, allows pupils’ to see their progress much more clearly.
● Professional development: paper copies of teachers’ professional development resources can be scanned and shared with others online.
● Parental support: as the costs of providing information on learning are removed, parents can better support their children to learn.
● Office systems: paper versions of pupil test papers, meeting notes and letters can be scanned and turned into word-processed or spreadsheet files.
Making the technology work
A fear of technology, unwillingness to learn how to use new technology, or a reluctance to take responsibility for finding and accessing information can result in a disinclination to move from paper systems to online systems. Therefore, school leaders need to effectively lead this change by ensuring there are no excuses for an inability to get online, for example by removing paper processes and making sure that teachers can get online from wherever they work. Following this, once teachers know that all pupils can access online learning support in and out of the classroom, better learning outcomes can be achieved a result.
By estimating the number of staff and pupil information sheets and letters to parents that are provided over a year, the eGuide found that:
● Savings of £8,000 could be achieved in a secondary school with 1,000 pupils and four lessons/day, where just one photocopied sheet is used in each lesson at a cost of 1p/sheet.
● 2,240 hours could be saved by 120 secondary school staff switching from photocopying to uploading.
● If each pupil saved 10 minutes a day by looking something up online which would otherwise cause hesitations in their work, this would amount to an extra week of learning over the year.
Advantages of scanners
Feed and flatbed scanners and visualiser-type devices have a number of advantages:
● They create high-quality images,
● Content is searchable and retrievable,
● Some can rapidly batch-scan, which allows the work of a whole class or a set of office papers to be digitised more quickly.