By Salley Thornton
It’s no secret that schools face many challenges, and in a continuously evolving world of technology it can be hard to keep up with these challenges. From increasingly tight budgets to security measures there is much to be carefully considered.
We could sit here and list all the ways we think Toshiba helps schools with these challenges. Instead, we thought it best to share a client perspective from a chief information officer at a school district that uses Toshiba devices.
Dr. Jeff Cimmerer is the CIO at Pittsford Central School District, one of the highest performing districts in New York State. As a Toshiba client for the past decade he recently shared with us how Toshiba has helped the district control costs, maintain security, and streamline document processes; and, more importantly, what areas he believes are the most important for schools to focus on right now.
Dr. Cimmerer On Touchless Printing
Even with CDC research showing that COVID does not spread from surface touching, staff are demanding touchless systems.
Overall, sickness is down in schools, most likely due to the care and attention given to cleaning, health screenings, and of course the addition of touchless printing capabilities, like Toshiba’s eConnect Touchfree app which allows users to print to a device from their mobile device.
Staff need to be able to release print jobs from multiple points for convenience and uptime. This app helps them do that while also eliminating the need to touch shared surfaces.
These “release as needed” features also diminish the propensity of line forming/ congregating around copiers or printers, or abandoned prints that someone forget to pick up.
Dr. Cimmerer On Security
In this day and age, with hackers taking over data and systems and holding it for ransom, security is definitely something we districts think about on a daily basis.
Credential integration is key. School employees wear badges for safety and identification. Whether chip technology, scanning technology or QR codes – the credential integration with all copiers, printers and all fax machines is important for a K-12 environment.
Physical security for the release of print jobs is a must to protect student and staff data. Hard drive wiping, encryption and ultimate storage destruction is also essential. Toshiba devices and solutions allow us to implement this.
In addition to protecting data, we also save money by being able to monitor the usage of devices.
Dr. Cimmerer On Digital Archiving
Districts often have thousands of staff and students, which means there are a lot of files that need archiving. Whether existing paper files or incoming files, districts need a structured digital archiving system.
With Toshiba’s products in a K-12 environment we can scan right into a student information system. Toshiba’s document management software helps us do that.
Dr. Cimmerer On Printing, Scanning and Communication
We still require reliable printing and copying to a large extent, especially, for primary grades and for the community. One-to-one mobile devices have diminished this need a bit, but not for all activities.
We still need competitive printing pricing and quality copying. Toshiba gives us both.
In schools, the need for digital document signing, encrypted messaging, and data protected forms are quickly becoming a need. Toshiba being able to offer an affordable way to do this is huge for a school.
Digital signage displays and email integrations are becoming a preferred way to communicate and to alert stakeholders of emergencies. Email integration with Toshiba devices and digital signage capabilities have been important tools, especially during the pandemic.
Dr. Cimmerer On Supplies
I also think a lot about supplies for printing and copying. Two years back we had automatic ordering with Toshiba set up. I know school districts are often reluctant to do that because of cooperative bidding and some of the buying practices, but if you can work with municipalities to get them on board with automatic ordering supplies it’s worth the time and money saved.
I like to think of it as Toshiba Prime – shipping supplies in real-time as soon as a need is detected. This has been a real benefit. And it helps us track usage, which is especially important during times where it’s important to watch every penny we spend.
To hear more from Dr. Jeff Cimmerer check out this video.