Scanning for educational improvement

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How can scanning make a difference in your school?

For Wakefield Girls’ High School in West Yorkshire, technology had moved so fast that what was once an adequate arrangement for student use was beginning to turn into a bottleneck. The problem was scanners; the solution? Fujitsu.

Over the past few years, Wakefield Girls’ High School had installed a state-of-the-art laser cutter and 3D printer, and demand began to rocket as students queued up to use the new technology. They also began to realise the software would now let them incorporate scanned designs direct into their project work, creating a new need. Previous arrangements had allowed for pupils to scan in design & technology and IT ideas, so they could work on them before sending them to be laser-cut or 3D-printed – now, however, change was needed.

The school’s existing two flatbed scanners were difficult to access. They had long been set up in classrooms regularly used for teaching, thus forcing increasing numbers of students to use them outside lessons and squeeze all their scanning work into lunch hours or at specially arranged times. “Students being students don’t always think that far in advance,” IT manager, Gavin Townsend, pointed out – meaning the solution was no longer fit-for-purpose.

The impact on teaching and learning was described by teachers as “awkward”, “inconvenient”, even “hellish” despite the fact that the school had installed a photocopier in a public place to give students easier access to scan direct to their home folders on the school’s computer network. Unfortunately, it lacked the features of an optical scanner – so the school decided to evaluate two new Fujitsu scanners and their impact on teaching and learning.

The key challenge was providing students with easy access to scan their work directly into their home folders; the Fujitsu scanners certainly met that need. Students were now able not only to scan their work to email, direct to a printer or to a home folder but could also, thanks to the Fujitsu software, scan direct into a Microsoft Word document or scan and save work in jpeg or pdf format. Given past access problems, both scanners were placed in open areas where they would get maximum use. The overhead vertical scanner ScanSnap SV600 went to the science and technology centre; it scans up to A3 size, takes objects up to 30mm in height and will accept 3D items, documents, open books, in fact almost any object of the right size.

“It scans very fast,” says Gavin. “An A3-size page takes just seconds.” The other smaller model (a more conventionally-shaped ScanSnap iX500) was installed in the design and technology centre; again it operates fast at 25 A4 pages a minute, and wireless connectivity means students with the right app can scan a document into their smartphones. It can scan doubled-sided and can also scan batches of mixed documents at one go.

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Should every school have a scanner? “Absolutely,” says Gavin. “They may not have a 3D printer or laser cutter but they will be doing similar types of activity where they’ll have to manage document flow.”

Why else should schools be using scanners?

Impact on students’ document management skills. Wakefield’s open access has encouraged greater use of scanning by students who previously found lack of easy-access scanners “inconvenient” and preferred to write out project work on paper. Result: less work lost, more hours gained.

Document access. Digitalisation of data allows for sharing, editing and searching efficiently, thus boosting productivity, reducing storage costs and creating flexibility through remote access.

Speed of communication. With documents stored electronically, a school’s response to peers, parents and other businesses can be reduced dramatically.

Security. Schools hold a lot of sensitive information in their systems and their data storage and sharing must meet certain legal requirements. Managing documents electronically allows schools to their General Data Protection Regulation obligations more easily and effectively.

The best scanners for schools:

ScanSnap iX1500

  • Scan everyday documents such as forms and permission slips up to A4 & even A3
  • Scan colour, double sided and mixed batches of documents
  • Simple in its operation, connection via USB to PC or Mac
  • Intuitive, automated scanning and seamless distribution to a host of destinations such as email
  • Bundled with OCR software for creation of searchable and editable files

ScanSnap SV600

  • Overhead contactless scanner for scanning of loose documents up to A3, bound material and pupil produced material such as craft items
  • Simple one button approach, compatible with both PC and Mac
  • Continuous scanning possible with page turning detection and timed scanning
  • Automated image enhancement features
  • Bundled with OCR software for creation of searchable and editable files
  • Capture and document evidence of pupil progress

fi-7160

  • Smoothly scan mixed batches of documents quickly and accurately, impressive daily throughput
  • Pull specified data from forms to populate existing workflows and analysis tools
  • Innovative paper feeding and protection mechanisms, automated image enhancement tools
  • Version available with an attached flatbed device for scanning of bound or delicate documents (fi-7260)<box out>
Discover the brand new fi-800R

Last month, Fujitsu launched a new scanner which has a different concept to traditional flatbed scanners and is ideal for education environments where there’s a need to scan documents quickly and reliably. It will help deliver a seamless and secure student on-boarding experience in schools, colleges and universities. “It’s ideal for anywhere there’s a need to capture ID off people – it’s a very exciting product with a remarkably small footprint and will open up a number of opportunities and conversations with dealers existing and new customer bases,” says Andrew Cowling, senior channel marketing specialist.

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