Students Deserve The Right To Digital Technology

Denise Crouch

Denise Crouch

During the last twelve months we have seen the increased demand for more and more digital devices to be made available to students. The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the need for remote learning, anytime and anywhere.

This demand has highlighted the need for more devices particularly for those from disadvantaged families unable to afford laptops or even broadband connections.

Department for Education has tried to support the increased demand for technology with its ‘Get help with technology programme’.

Managing large pools of assets, such as laptops and tablets can bring many challenges; keeping software up-to-date; keeping them fully charged; loaning devices and keeping track of the asset.

Having a pool of devices to loan to students can help to bridge the gap ensuring all students have access to a device. However, this in itself can be a headache and difficult to manage. Manually loaning devices is time consuming, requiring staff to ‘check-out and check-in’ devices. Devices may not be available out of normal study periods leaving students with no access to a device when they need it.

Automating the manual loan service can dramatically improve the user experience as well as save staff time managing the devices. A recent study carried out by LapSafe® shows that 80% of UK universities have already automated their device loan service and they use the Diplomat™ Self-Service Device Loan Locker range.

The Diplomat™ is a sophisticated and intelligent self-service locker system which loans devices or lockers 24 x 7 and is the most popular in the UK market today.

Birmingham City University Case Study

Fully charged devices such as laptops, Chromebooks and tablets can be automatically loaned to borrowers without staff interaction. The devices can also be remotely up-dated saving technician time when carrying out upgrades.

Students love the freedom this type of service offers them as they can choose where and how they work. In a recent survey carried out by LapSafe® some students have commented that ‘it’s the best investment their university has ever made’!

Staff also like the service because it frees up their time to spend on other things including more face-to-face time with students.

The lockers themselves take up minimal space and can be installed in high traffic areas such as corridors, libraries or learning areas. Some universities are replacing traditional PCs with laptops and self-service loan lockers as they take up minimal space helping to create agile learning spaces and encourage collaborative learning.

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