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Creating a cloud-driven classroom

​by Elisa Esposito

The next chapter of cloud education is here

Sharing information from physical documents in a learning environment using cloud-based education software is more challenging than it should be — and it negatively impacts students and faculty. Classrooms and educational administrations are not yet paperless, so teachers and students can struggle to seamlessly manage all of their information from physical and digital sources when using modern cloud software.

Getting information on paper documents (e.g., handwritten notes, work for an algebra equation or an annotated page from assigned reading) into digital workflows can be painful. It starts with the cumbersome and inefficient steps to upload information from physical documents into a cloud application like Box or Google Drive, or into a learning management system (LMS) such as Blackboard® Learn or Canvas®. Students and faculty are forced to scan and save either to a USB drive or, more commonly, an email client, and then download the files to their desktop/laptop PC or device(s) — only to then have to upload the scanned files into a cloud learning application to share and collaborate with others.

​Getting information on paper documents (e.g., handwritten notes, work for an algebra equation or an annotated page from assigned reading) into digital workflows can be painful.

These excessive steps and outmoded processes can disrupt cloud learning environments by putting an undue burden on your institution’s already-taxed IT system as well as straining your users’ experiences. Students and faculty expect to be able to treat information from any physical or digital source interchangeably, streamlining learning and collaboration both inside and outside the classroom anytime, anywhere — and file collaboration should be possible from all of their devices, regardless of a file’s original format.

Additionally, students increasingly expect to learn in next-generation digital learning environments (NGDLE) that offer an ease of collaboration on par with the technology experiences in their personal lives. According to the “Study of Students and Information Technology, 2015” by the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research:

As new LMS technologies are deployed, institutions will need to train, support, and encourage faculty to use the advanced features that constitute what has been called the next-generation digital learning environment (NGDLE).

Now is a good time to start assessing how well your institution is handling the operational aspect of this LMS challenge focusing on how you can improve how information from all sources is inserted and outputted from your LMS.

Taking down information silos

To solve this issue, you need to manage the information that is siloed in disparate forms (paper and digital) in disparate systems that do not necessarily “speak” to one another. In turn, removing disruptive silos means taking down the “language barriers” between silos, a concept known as information mobility.

With information mobility, institutions can ensure that their LMS makes paper and digital information ubiquitously accessible to the people who need it, when they need it, where they need it, and in the format they need for on-demand collaboration and learning.

Learn more about how academic institutions and other organizations are tackling their siloed information problems with a single solution that simplifies how both paper and digital information is shared by faculty and students anytime, anywhere.

Get information into digital workflows and cloud apps

With the right tools and the right partnership, you can improve how information is shared by your faculty and learners everywhere.
Elisa Esposito
Elisa Esposito is Senior Manager, Channel Marketing, Higher Education for Ricoh USA, Inc., responsible for vertical marketing strategy, development and success to ensure strategic alignment for higher education customer environments. Esposito has worked with Ricoh’s strategic partner, Blackboard, to create the industry’s first scanning and printing connector that unites information from a Ricoh multifunction device to integrate within Blackboard Learn.