Education systems go paperless to enhance staff and student experience

May 15th, 2013 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document Management | Information Management

Continually advancing digital technologies are having a dramatic effect on the classroom, offering new opportunities to improve education. As schools look to enhance the accessibility of information to staff, students and parents alike, electronic document management solutions have played a critical role in these improvements.

According to the Manila Bulletin, countries around the world have come to depend more on computer screens in the classroom for an interactive learning experience. In some cases, schools even offer video streaming while teachers conduct lectures. Additionally, it has become more common for notes to come in electronic file formats via online learning sites so that students can easily download, save and share these documents for future reference or classmate collaboration. Meanwhile, paperless textbooks have allowed users to enter marginal notes directly onto a tablet. These notes can then be linked to multimedia content or other sources of information, boosting the student's studying capabilities.

"What educators of the 21st century must realize is that yesteryear's teaching methods should rapidly give way to the warp speed of new technologies for learning," said Bayan Foundation Chairman Dr. Eduardo Morato Jr., the Manila Bulletin reported. "They must completely change their paradigms about teacher-student dynamics."

More space and better communication
The Quad-City Times revealed that Iowa's Davenport Community School District has already leveraged the benefits of going paperless. Secretary Linda Zurborg told the source that 13 years ago she devised an initiative to convert all student records to an electronic format, and the project was completed within 12 years. She said that when she joined the district, there were approximately 85 file cabinets and 300 boxes of student records taking up space in the administrative office. Recently, the school system was able to getting rid of 16,500 student files by scanning files using document imaging technologies. Zurborg explained that the school system's secretaries are optimistic about the conveniences a digital system will offer. Not only did the transition free up a considerable amount of office space, but going paperless will also lead to savings on toner, paper and mailing costs.

Now that all student files can be accessed through the district's internal electronic portal, the Quad-City Times asserted that it is much easier for guidance counselors and administrators to send and receive records from transfer students, easing the enrollment process. Zurborg emphasized that this capability has provided a more seamless transition for transfer students, especially those with customized education plans.

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