Higher education is one sector that is approaching science-fiction levels of innovation thanks to digital libraries like Wikipedia, mobile devices, e-books, and technologies like 3-D printing. While we’ve yet to see holographic-based teaching methods or any straight out of “Ender’s Game,” today’s tech advancements have made it easier to absorb information, pay attention, and complete homework and other assignments.
Colleges and universities, of course, are no stranger to jumping feet first into the future, and in that regard, these educational institutes warmly welcome cloud services and digital platforms. After all, it doesn’t require a degree in rocket science to see that digital content distribution and online printing solutions provide higher education with an easy way to share documents, receive physical materials and inspire change in teaching methods. But, that’s not all these platforms have to offer in this sector.
Digital content distribution and online print services help colleges and universities do the following.
There is nothing wrong with personal laser or inkjet printers, especially for the typical college student who must print his or her term paper at 2 a.m. on a Tuesday. However, those individuals, their teachers and university administrators all know that printers can get expensive quickly – ink isn’t cheap and neither is paper, learn more about the True Cost of Printing. By turning to online print services and digital content distribution platforms, higher education can cut costs dramatically.
“NIU allocates around $750,000 annually to printing admissions brochures.”
The Northern Star recently reported on Northern Illinois University’s plan to save money on document printing. According to the source, Brett Coryell, chief information officer for the school, said that it is hard to calculate an exact dollar amount that the university spends every year on printing, ink, paper, and printer maintenance because there are too many machines, they’re all spread out around campus and some departments often manage their own printers. However, Coryell determined that the IT services group at NIU allocates around $750,000 annually to printing admissions brochures and other similar physical materials.
“So even just the waste, I would estimate it’s hundreds of thousands of pages per year of pure waste, not just paper that goes to useful purposes,” elaborated Coryell, the Northern Star noted.
Scale with Ease
If there is one thing for certain in the higher education sector, it’s that colleges and universities continuously grow as more students apply and are accepted year over year. This type of frequent scaling demands print and digital content distribution services that can support more users, more data and more connected devices on a consistent basis. So, schools opt for online print solutions and digital document sharing platforms that can easily scale in the cloud.
As Forbes contributor Tom Gillis explained, organizations adopt cloud services because instead of bulldozing fields and building data centers, they can sign up for platforms and deploy them in a fraction of the time.
The mobile device craze isn’t going to end anytime soon – and if Apple’s recent iPad Pro announcement is an indication of the future, traditional computers will fade into obscurity as tablets become primary devices. This is great news for higher education because a Mobile Future infographic pointed out that teaching with tablets can save educators $3 billion per year, and 81 percent of students use mobile devices for educational purposes such as studying.
Cloud-based digital content distribution platforms will become critical in this regard, as they enable administrators to share documents with teachers instantly over mobile devices. On top of that, educators can quickly print resources from anywhere and have them delivered the next day. That way, if supplemental teaching materials are required, they can be ordered instantly.
The environmental benefits of sharing content via Web-hosted platforms are quite obvious, but higher education should also realize that by ordering documents, brochures, posters and any other physical materials online, they ensure no paper is wasted. Additionally, teachers can always resort to sharing extra-long excerpts or supplemental curricula over the Internet, or vice versa – students can send their educators materials.
“A lot of the students do feel that professors or teachers require printing when it may not be necessary, so we’re gonna (sic) be getting that off the ground here soon,” Dillon Domke, student association senate speaker at NIU, said, according to Northern Star. “It’s also the fact that there’s a handful of people that’ll say, ‘You need to turn it in online and also you need to print something out as well,’ which is … why do one if you’re doing the other?”
Administrators will love digital content distribution platforms and printing services, as these solutions allow them to create and disseminate orientation handbooks, workbooks, learning ads, facilitator guides and course packs. This ensures that educators are always kept up to date on the latest best practices and regulations. As an added benefit, educational institutes can share those training materials online after printing them, so there will be no excuse not to follow protocol.
Higher education embraces technology, and that’s why so many colleges and universities take advantage of cloud-based content distribution and printing platforms. The benefits listed above are just a few of the many reasons why all schools should check out these services this year.
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