How digitising schools boosts their success
Just 47% of education institutions have a digital strategy in place to improve teaching and learning outcomes, according to a new study.
The survey by Konica Minolta suggests that 62% of education institutions are also looking to improve school profitability and cut costs, while 60% were looking for ways to deploy automation in education.
Understanding where next to invest in technology can be a challenging proposition for Australian education institutions. Already known for being technology early adopters, they needed to embrace technology solutions to an even greater extent during the COVID-19 disruptions as they sought to continue providing a high-quality education to students who were locked down. The next step for education institutions is to direct immediate investments to deliver operational efficiencies while delivering excellent teaching and learning outcomes, according to Konica Minolta.
“As new and emerging technology continues to provide opportunities for innovation in education, it’s essential for education providers to move with the times. This includes adopting modern technology for back-office and administrative functions as well as for student-facing applications. Organisations that fail to do this will find it challenging to compete in a landscape that is still under pressure. More importantly, they may struggle to adequately prepare students for the world of work,” said Mark Brown, General Manager of marketing and innovation, Konica Minolta.
Not every education institution will have ultimate freedom when it comes to investing in technology. Decisions always rest on available budgets, with well-resourced institutions better positioned to adopt newer, more cutting-edge solutions including augmented and virtual reality. These technologies can dramatically impact the teaching and learning experience in institutions that already have the education basics working well. By contrast, those in more economically challenged areas may need to focus on improving foundational elements like improving digital literacy.
Beyond teaching and learning, institutions can benefit significantly from investing in technology that improves back-end business processes. By digitalising and automating processes that were previously paper-based and manual, organisations can streamline workflows and processes and reduce administrative costs, letting these institutions reinvest the savings into student-facing activities and technologies.
Konica Minolta’s survey findings revealed that 60% of respondents had a half digital and half paper archive, while 22% shared that they hadn’t started a digital archive but wanted to do so.
“Digitisation and automation are crucial, especially for less well-resourced organisations. Letting education providers move away from paper-based processes can have a significant impact on organisational productivity, freeing up staff members to focus on more valuable tasks. Educators also have the potential to dramatically reduce waste and improve their environmental footprint through the development and implementation of a digital strategy,” Brown said.
The value of automation came to the fore during the coronavirus pandemic, when institutions had to shift quickly to home learning. Paper-based teaching and learning methods became impossible to manage effectively, while organisations that had already embraced online learning practices were much better equipped to handle the remote work situation, while also supporting their students’ concerns for the future.
“Organisations across all industries continue to grapple with the question of where to invest precious funds for maximum return. Educational institutions face the dual challenge of needing to improve back-office efficiencies while remaining steadfast in their commitment to delivering exceptional teaching and learning outcomes. Determining where to direct resources to benefit these twin areas of concern can be easier said than done. However, by embracing digital and automated tools, these organisations can free up time and funds, which can then be applied to add further value,” Brown said.
“Education institutions should look to work with a strategic partner to help identify the key areas for investment for the short and medium term. This will help ensure that every dollar invested delivers a tangible outcome and helps futureproof the institution.”
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