Education providers have had to adapt massively over the last year with Covid-imposed lockdowns prompting new ways of teaching and accelerating the adoption of more advanced digital learning methods. This emergent transition towards blended learning demonstrates resilience within the sector, which is likely to flourish further as life starts to resemble normality.
By the start of the new academic year in September 2021, colleges and universities across the UK will have invested significantly in the edtech tools and platforms needed to provide hybrid learning experiences that best suit a modern generation of students. Learners will be equipped with technology to access and engage in their education, meaning a great number of smartphones, tablets and laptops will be circulating across campuses where storage and charging facilities may be limited.
So, what does this mean for students both now and in the future, and how can educational institutions ensure students receive an enhanced learning experience in the years ahead?
Responsible security measures
Hauling around valuable items like digital devices can often be a worry for students and for parents who are inevitably responsible for replacing a device if it gets lost, broken or stolen.
Whilst most colleges and universities are safe, it is not uncommon for students to regularly shift from one learning space to another and tablets or laptops can often get misplaced.
With all the distractions surrounding students on campus, it seems prudent for HE facilities to offer a central storage location where belongings can be stored for short periods when not required.
This lightens the load for students who can travel across campuses without being weighed down unnecessarily, but also for parents whose financial burden is lessened.
Powering up safely
Using digital devices for learning can present challenges as they need to be adequately charged, but constant use can see battery levels deplete rapidly.
Institutions have recognised the growing demand for charging provisions but many still fall short when it comes to plug point access. This sees students often unable to power up their devices as the limited sockets available in shared areas are in use by others, causing frustration to students as studies become disrupted.
For those who can access a power source it may mean charging cables are often trailing across floors in high traffic areas, posing a clear risk to the health and safety of staff, students and visitors.
Supplying facilities where devices can be charged up whilst being safely stowed away allows students to always have fully functioning learning tools available whilst removing the dangers of accidents occurring. This enables institutions to safeguard those on its grounds and students benefit from greater productivity, offering peace of mind to parents also.
Future workplace preparation
The convention for working within a single professional setting has been completely reimagined over the past year. Video-conferencing and collaborative technologies have shown companies that employees can work from home successfully whilst offering many other organisational benefits.
Long-held assumptions about how work should be done and the role of the office have been transformed. The result is that post-pandemic, the workplace is likely to see remote working and hot-desking weigh more heavily in the home/office-work balance.
This shift needs to be filtered through to colleges and universities, where students can get a real feel for what to expect once they complete their educational journey.
Providing the innovative tools and management systems used in all forward-thinking organisations allow students to gain more accurate insight into the workplace of the future, preparing them for the best possible start on their career path.
An advanced solution…
As educators continue laying the foundations for innovative learning methods, it is important that the fundamental concerns associated with an increase in tech use are not overlooked. This not only means ensuring students feel safe and free from distraction, it also involves putting in place practical solutions to protect those under their supervision whilst improving experiences.
One of the most affordable ways to achieve this is to implement an intelligent locker system for personal item storage. For use by students or staff, systems provide a self-service storage facility where valuables can be securely stowed away and retrieved using a simple, automated process. In-compartment charging facilities can ensure devices are always charged when not in use, boosting productivity.
Intelligent lockers can be installed as a standalone unit or easily integrated with an active directory, presenting no risk to data security whilst ensuring a seamless transition, offering a versatile solution that will optimise space and experiences throughout the future of higher education.
For more information about iLockerz intelligent locker systems, visit www.iLockerz.com