2020 K-12 school technology buyers guide

by Ricoh Australia 28 Jan 2020

Keep up with collaborative classrooms and seamless back offices with 7 tech trends to kick off your school year.

Make a difference with your tech budget

Schools have complex budgets and a big responsibility to get children ready for the born-digital world. Here’s our pick of 7 technology trends you can invest in to make the school day better for students, teachers and administrators — and balance education and business needs.

1. Safety first with cybersecurity protection

Schools are seen as easy targets for cyber threats; they collect and store a treasure trove of data and personal information. Traditionally their systems aren’t as well protected as commercial organisations, but every network is now fair game.

Increasing and evolving privacy and compliance legislation make it a challenge to keep up to date. It’s worth the investment in initial and ongoing consultations with security experts.

Look for:

  • proven expertise in K-12 digital transformation projects — so you know their systems work
  • an understanding of complex compliance regulations — so you’re covered
  • ongoing, proactive management of malicious threats, complex cyber-attacks and scams — so your defence is always up

Ask Ricoh’s security services about testing your current systems for gaps.

2. Stay compliant and save time with secure forms and automated workflows

Paperwork is a thorn in the side of most school offices. Compliance and archiving requirements are expensive, time-consuming and put privacy at risk. Not to mention those paper forms that don’t find their way out of the school bag.

In 2020 more schools will use automated forms and workflows to automate admin tasks. It’s convenient for admins, students, staff and teachers — and collects data to guide and support decision-making.

Look for processes to automate like:

  • student and staff enrolments
  • student record management including health information
  • financial processes like purchase orders and accounts payable

Find out more about automated workflows and administrative processes and why automation could be your security secret weapon.

3. Immersive learning with safer, smarter 3D printers

3D printing brings designs to life in the real world with objects to be held, examined and explored. In 2020, schools are looking at the next-generation of 3D printers that can print everything from print 3D topographic maps to complex engineering projects and digital sculptures.

Look for:

  • a lockable enclosure and login entry for secure access (3D printers get hot)
  • a 3D printer that is networked allowing students to print without moving hardware around the school
  • secure release of 3D jobs by student card or PIN ensuring jobs are not interrupted  

4. Personalised learning experiences powered by AI

While more schools are using AI voice command technologies like Alexa and Google Assistant, AI has applications in the classroom beyond a reference assistant.

In 2020 more schools will look to AI for tutoring systems, personalised assessment systems and machine marking.

Look for:

  • AI that’s simple to use — or it won’t be used
  • ongoing support and training
  • safe and secure systems that work with your existing tech stack  

5. BYOD and collaboration supported by the right network

With Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) a requirement of most schools, secure and scalable school infrastructure is a must.

In 2020, schools will join with the business world in demanding networks built for collaboration and mobile users. And there’s a world of learning opportunities for remote schools built with the right networks.

Look for:

  • scalable network infrastructure to support BYOD
  • proven experience in school infrastructure projects — someone who has done it before
  • collaboration technologies that grow with your needs

Talk to Ricoh’s experienced networking solutions team.

6. Connect and engage using digital signage

Catching attention with digital signs is a smart way to connect with students, staff and visitors.

This year more schools will install digital signs in areas of high foot traffic, common areas and entry zones to reach students with safety, news, reminders and event information.

Look for:

  • message control via smartphone app or browser
  • centralised control of messaging across multiple locations
  • options to schedule messages to target school audiences

Try Ricoh’s digital signage solutions.


7. Faster and easier collaboration with interactive whiteboards

Interactive classroom solutions empower teachers to vary learning styles to keep students engaged, learning and connected.

In 2020, more schools are choosing interactive whiteboards connected with a unified communication solution. What does that mean? Connection no matter where you are or the device you’re using.

Look for:

  • simple connection to BYOD for interaction from their own connected devices
  • improved use of existing video conference systems
  • connected screens across classrooms, buildings and schools for real-time collaboration

Try Ricoh’s Smart Classroom technologies.


Choose the tech that works for people

The best IT solutions for schools have to connect students, teachers and administrators in seamless systems that just work. Look for 2020 technology that takes people on the journey to collaboration and connectivity and better prepares students for a rich technology future.

2020 K-12 school technology buyers guide