In the realm of education, things are changing – and fast. Thanks to tech innovations and near-constant levels of updates, exciting possibilities emerge. These advances shape campuses and learning experiences around the globe.
We are living in a time when tech fluency for students, teachers, and staff has never been more important. Building, updating, and cultivating a smart campus is critical in maintaining school reputations. A smart campus draws talented minds to a particular learning community. This is how a campus stays competitive.
What A Smart Campus Looks Like
A smart campus combines systems upgrades with a forward-facing ethos. Namely, sustainability and minimized carbon footprint while empowering learning in an equitable manner.
A smart campus is made up of a mosaic of factors to create a humming whole. The initiatives are as diverse as the learning environments.
For instance, the University of Texas Austin runs on the largest microgrid in the USA. Boston University is working on an open cloud platform. Over at the University of Michigan, there is a public-private partnership between the university and the city of Ann Arbor. In this partnership, there is community cultivation of public transportation – including driverless vehicles. They’ve also implemented an electric shuttle.
These are big ideas that not only change the face of a campus but also shift the way cities and societies might function. This is one of the great boons of education institutions: at their best, they lead the way into the future.
This leadership looks a lot of different ways. And just as important as the massive, groundbreaking technologies are, it’s the structural, foundational smart systems that make every aspect of a campus community work more smoothly that bring it all together. Smart lockers are a prime example of just this sort of essential building block. Today, we’ll focus on how these lockers are a critical first step in building (and becoming) a smart campus.
Smart Lockers For A Smart Campus
In the classroom, relationships between students, professors, and others are facilitated by smart technology. Computers, tablets, phones, lab equipment – the list goes on.
In addition to these “smart” classroom amenities, there are spaces and areas of the broader campus that need the same sort of investment. Learning happens wherever we go – and our facility designs should support that.
Smart Lockers have a big role to play here, as they can be utilized all over campus to meet various needs and improve existing systems. Here are some examples:
Smart Lockers In Mail Rooms
Across the board, smart lockers improve mailrooms. The process, customization, and accessibility make for big gains. This is true for employees in a mailroom. These staff members might otherwise lag behind due to logistical constraints and overwhelming demand during certain times of the day. Not so with smart lockers. Smart lockers make the most of workers’ time while minimizing wait periods for package recipients. Students receive immediate notifications when they’ve received mail and their items are retrievable 24-7. This is a huge boon for a student navigating a hair-raising schedule or cramming for a final. The chain of transport works smoothly and efficiently.
Smart Lockers In The Library
Smart lockers also have a role to play in the campus library. These systems are popping up in community libraries across the country – and for good reason. Similar to what these systems upgrades have to offer in mailrooms, librarian techs can utilize these lockers for pick-up requests. Smart lockers can also help to streamline returns.
Additionally, smart lockers add a level of safety and security to package delivery and drop-off. This is a big deal for a campus library as students often need to rent expensive equipment for various class presentations and assignments. Smart lockers offer a secure system for equipment to come and go with relative ease and efficiency.
Smart Lockers Combating Student Food Insecurity
Frustratingly, for all the innovations and advances of educational communities, there is still a striking amount of student poverty and hunger. There’s no excuse for this. It behooves us to pressure both local and federal officials to pass legislation that eases the financial burdens a student must undertake to receive a competitive education.
And in the meantime, smart lockers can help to meet a desperate need: food insecurity.
Programs are popping up on campuses that address this unnecessary distress. Led by students, smart lockers provide a temperature-controlled, accessible-as-needed place for food redistribution. One hopes that the root of this problem will be solved as soon as possible. Smart Lockers can help bridge the gap until then.