The popularity of digital directories and touchscreen wayfinding kiosks has been growing steadily over the last decade, but in particular, the last several years. There are few industries left that haven’t found a way to utilize this type of technology for their benefit and the benefit of their users. Educational environments are no exception, and self-service kiosks are becoming a common sight at all levels, from K-12 schools to college and university campuses.
Kiosks can offer many benefits in educational settings, including:
Almost anyone who interacts with or within schools can benefit from digital kiosks. Parents and guardians, teachers, vendors, staff and students can all use use kiosks to create a better educational experience at all levels, including:
There are any number of ways digital kiosks can be used in educational settings:
One of the most common and most important ways schools use self-service kiosks is to monitor visitor and student check-in and check-out. It has become an increasingly necessary way to enhance school safety, tracking who is in the building at any given time. It is also helpful for parents of older kids, who are able to see when their child checks in or out of school independently, such as for doctors appointments or other non-school activities with email or sms alerts.
Private K-12 schools, universities and colleges can use self-service kiosks to allow students, parents and guardians to pay for tuition while on campus. These kiosks can also be used in university book stores to pay for school books and other supplies.
One of the most stressful parts of starting college, especially at a large university, is learning how to navigate the campus and various buildings. Wayfinding and directory kiosks can make it easier for new students, as well as visitors, guests and vendors, to find their way around without getting lost and without extra worry or concern.
Most schools, whether at the K-12 or university level, have any number of events happening at a given time. From theater and music programs, to academic or social meet-ups to school sports practices and games, digital kiosks offer ways to display all types of event information in a clear and organized fashion.
In the case of a school or campus-wide emergency, digital kiosks can play an important role in keeping students, teachers and staff safe by communicating instructions in real time. Local emergencies, such as extreme weather, can also be broadcast via digital means.
Most colleges and universities have shared classrooms, with students, instructors and professors switching in and out of a given room or auditorium throughout the day. Digital signs can be placed outside of each room and programmed remotely with information that changes as classes rotate through, helping students to identify where they need to be, including if there are last-minute changes in class locations. For spaces that can be reserved, like conference or study rooms, students and staff can check availability and reserve rooms ahead of time for their needs.
The pandemic has permanently changed the way most people think about their own health and wellness as well as that of others. Keeping schools open and safe has become a priority, even as infections have surged and waned. Post-pandemic, it’s likely that regular temperature checks and wellness questionnaires will still need required in some environments, especially when social distancing isn’t possible, such as classroom settings. Digital kiosks can provide these via self-service options, helping to prevent the spread of infection in both schools and colleges.
School cafeterias can use self-service kiosks to check students in at dining halls and cafeterias, using their school IDs. While this is currently more common at colleges and universities, K-12 schools are now moving toward this model, too, decreasing the need for additional staff, and fully digitizing payments.
Most universities have student centers that allow students to gather to socialize or study, and almost all feature some sort of cafe or other place to grab coffee or a snack. Self-order/self-pay kiosks let students get what they need and go using a digital payment source, such as a debit card, or student ID that acts much like a debit card. Additionally, some larger colleges have multiple quick-service or fast-food restaurants right on campus, and most will accept the same payment methods as those that are owned by the university for students’ self-purchases.
With more than 100 years of experience as a leading American kiosk manufacturer, REDYREF has the expertise to build digital and self-service kiosks for any educational environment. From self-payment and visitor management, to wayfinding and communication, REDYREF knows how to create the best and most efficient kiosk solution for school and university needs. Interested in learning more? Request an online quote for your kiosk project, or call 1.800.628.3603 for additional information.