In our last blog post we talked about the high level benefits of digitisation to schools. This then raises the question of what happens to the document once it has been digitised? Making an electronic copy of a paper document has benefits but the true value is in being able to integrate that digital record into your schools processes.
A recent study of SME’s (including schools) by Fuji Xerox Australia shows that organisations are still struggling with paper. In addition, small businesses want to invest in digital solutions, cloud and mobility, and expect their processes to be integrated for more efficiency.
This marrying of digital documents with improved process supported by technology, such as eForms, mobile and cloud, is where schools can really derive value by improving the way they interact with students, parents, staff and the broader school community. This concept has been termed digitalisation.
What processes can benefit from digitalisation?
There are many school processes that can benefit from digitalisation. An example of one is a simple excursion permission form. Currently:
- All students must have a signed permission form in order to attend a school excursion
- The process can often be frustrating for parents with paper forms getting lost in school bags or overlooked
- It can also be a source of stress for teachers and administrators who have to create forms manually, chase students and parents for signed forms, then ensure that the forms are stored and recorded properly for compliance reasons
Imagine how much easier this process could be if it was digitalised. Through digitalisation the permission form could be:
- Created online as an eForm, cutting out the need to have to print the form
- Automatically populate information into the eForm utilising information from the school’s student management system
- The form can be distributed to the parents email address or pushed to their phone or tablet device therefore ensuring that the form reaches the intended recipient , is not lost or damaged
- It is then filled out and submitted online, meaning responses can be easily tracked and audited, whilst providing instant analytics if required
- Parents are automatically reminded when they do not submit the form
- An electronic excursion role can be automatically created based on the permission forms submitted
- Pertinent information can be passed through and updated in the student information system making it easy to track and find the record in the future ensuring compliance
The experience for the student, parent, teachers and administrators is improved by creating a more seamless and efficient process. It provides all parties with more control and helps to mitigate any risks involved.
Where to start?
Digitalisation may seem like an overwhelming concept for schools still working through how to digitise their existing paper documents. The good news is that it is something that can be done gradually, over time. Like in the example above, schools can start with one simple process which would benefit from digitalisation and then move on to other processes once all stakeholders feel comfortable with working in this way.
As a first step, Fuji Xerox is able to help schools move towards digitalisation by working with the school to do an internal assessment of their documents and processes. This will help the school to identify which processes will feel the most immediate benefits of digitalisation.
If you would like to learn more about digitalisation and how it could benefit your school, don’t hesitate to contact the Education Industry Team.