From Xerox Comes A Document Technology Lesson Plan
An icon of many schools and universities and often mistaken for a basic copier, multifunction products (MFPs) combine copying, printing, scanning and faxing into one easy-to-use system. When connected to a network, these systems can handle the workload of a small school or a workgroup or department within a large university. However, many educational institutions have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to utilizing the full functionality of an MFP. Some may only be copying or printing, while others may have a limited understanding of faxing and scanning. But the power of many of today’s multifunction systems goes far beyond these basic functions.
Educational institutions can extend the value of many MFPs through a combined use of software and hardware, so it is important to understand what’s available and how these solutions can help save time and reduce costs. Following are two types of solutions that have the power to dramatically improve productivity for faculty and administrative staff.
In processing forms, when combined with an optical mark recognition software solution, an MFP can serve as the on-ramp to automatic test scoring and survey evaluation. This software recognizes barcodes and marks, such as darkened bubbles or checkboxes, in scanned documents. It can also tabulate surveys or grade tests. Teachers simply enter an answer key and a grade scale in the software and it automatically grades the test and produces a report for each student.
By automating the scoring process, teachers can spend less time scoring tests and more time focusing on students’ needs.
For administrative personnel, basic and advanced scanning solutions can help streamline business processes by giving staff the ability to easily and quickly capture, store and share hardcopy documents in digital form. In addition, these solutions allow for easy retrieval of electronic files for future use and archiving.
For example, the alumni department of a college in Illinois uses Xerox’s FreeFlow SMARTsend scanning software to digitize and store newspaper or magazine articles about their alumni.The staff previously stored these files in hard copy, but over time, this became inefficient. When writing a story about an alumnus, the staff would have to manually search through hard copy files to find the appropriate information—often taking weeks. Now, when articles appear about their alumni, the department scans the information with an MFP and stores it electronically in a Web-based content management system. There are a myriad of solutions that can help maximize the document technology investments of schools and colleges.#
Maggie Ochs is vice president of market planning and product introduction, Xerox Corporation.