Schools, like other businesses, are constantly looking for ways to do things better and be more efficient in their operations. Faced with the challenge of being time and resource poor, schools are looking for the most effective ways to:
- Handle information throughout the student lifecycle
- Adapt to changing information technology practices such as BYOD, cloud computing and internet accessibility
- Provide students with access to learning materials both inside and outside the classroom
Digitisation is one of the many options schools are looking at to make the life of teachers, administrators and students easier when it comes to handling information.
Digitisation is the transfer of analog information into a digital format, for example, the scanning of a paper document into an electronic format.
Benefits of Digitisation
Schools can realise many benefits from digitisation that address their challenges of being both time and resource poor.
- Save valuable space – by reducing the amount of paper records that the school needs to keep onsite by digitising them, schools can free-up space that they can use for other purposes, such as learning or administration.
- Integration of documents into internal systems – through digitisation schools can integrate important documents into their learning or student management systems to allow all information to be available in one place.
- Compliance – digitisation can help create an audit trail and provides visibility on which documents the school has and does not have, allowing any gaps to be filled.
- Improve knowledge sharing – through digitisation it is easier for schools to share information, not only within the school, but also with parents and students. There is less risk of digital documents going missing or getting destroyed. Information can either be shared through other internal systems or via email.
- Save time – efficiency and productivity can be improved by saving on time that would be spent trying to locate documents.
- Sustainability – through reducing the reliance on paper, schools can promote more sustainable practices and use this as part of their value proposition to the community.
For more detailed information on the benefits of digitisation, we would recommend viewing State Records NSW list of digitisation benefits.
Where to start?
While many schools can see the benefits of digitisation, most are at a loss of where to start, with masses of paper documents held in archives it seems daunting. As a first step, Fuji Xerox is able to help schools move towards digitisation by working with the school to do an internal assessment of their documents. This will help the school to break down their digitisation projects into manageable chunks, starting with document types that will deliver the most benefit from being digitised and then moving on to other document types.
When implementing digitisation schools need to ensure they have appropriate change management processes in place to make sure that all relevant members of the school community buy in to digitisation. Fuji Xerox is able to provide guidance on this. Without buy-in from the school community, the school may not achieve the full benefits of digitisation.