By Kisha Wilson
There is no doubt that technology has infiltrated our schools and I am happy that it did. I'm in my thirties, and the school I attended was vastly different from my nine-year-old's school. I remember it was a 'treat' to use one of the few computers available at the school's library, for the limited time you had it. Now they use smart boards and have their own personal computers or tablets. It’s an inevitable result of the technological evolution and it comes with many benefits.
Most educational institutions first started using interactive kiosks as a way to manage the registration of students, especially at university campuses. It eliminated the long lines, allowing students to enter their personal information, choose their classes and even pay tuition using a secure, user‐friendly platform. Kiosk usage has since been extended, allowing students to:
- Top up smart cards to avoid using cash for school transactions
- Access transcripts
- Obtain campus maps
- Participate in student and faculty surveys
- Obtain directions for the area around the campus
- Check in for events
- Obtain campus information and updates
- Conduct research via the internet
- Purchase books online
- Fill out applications for student clubs and volunteer organizations
Schools are also using kiosk technology to promote recycling. At Texas A&M, recycling kiosks allow users to earn points for every bottle or can they recycle. The points can then be redeemed for discounts at participating local establishments.
Three Williamson County schools announced that they will start using small electronic kiosks in their front offices. It is hoped that it will make some of the schools’ processes more accessible to parents. It will also enhance current security measures, providing visual documentation, including vehicle information, of anyone present at the campus.
School kiosks bring many benefits including:
- Reduced payroll and overhead costs
- Increased efficiency
- Less paperwork
- A great opportunity for school branding to promote school pride
- A more positive, effective student experience
One of our earlier projects included the installation of information kiosks in three different languages at Stoddert Elementary in Washington, D.C. These kiosks facilitated the school’s efforts to become more energy efficient. Since then, as their benefits are realized resulting in increased usage, we have installed many types of kiosks at educational institutions, each customized to address the specific needs of the school.