A brand new school premises and Academy status, combined with a £2 million IT infrastructure investment, enabled Skinners’ Kent Academy to roll-out iPad technology and mobile printing for all pupils and staff.
Over half of all secondary schools in England are now academies
Skinner’s Kent Academy occupies an impressive, £21 million state of the art building in Tunbridge Wells. Opened on September 1st 2009 the Academy is an independent non feepaying school funded by the Department for Education and is supported fully by its lead sponsor, The Skinners’ School, a grammar school for boys and the Skinners’ Company and Kent County Council.
The Academy is founded on the principles of a culture of high standards and high aspirations, a culture of active participation, an emotionally rich learning environment and an inclusive environment where every child is known and every learner supported.
The main aim of the Academy is to provide the highest quality of education for students from 11 to 18. It also aims to raise and reflect aspirations within the local community and provide educational, social and economic benefits for all.
Foreseeing the significant growth of IT within their curriculum and in daily life, the Academy’s funding body invested £2 million to ensure that the IT infrastructure within the new school building was future proof. Tom Mitchell, Head of The Academy’s IT Services describes it as; “A fantastic IT infrastructure”.
The Academy’s vision and ethos is to make learning exciting and provide an emotionally rich learning environment for students of every ability. A spirit of entrepreneurship is encouraged.
Pupils are inspired to participate in business and social enterprise activities alongside their academic aspirations.
Making the most of technology
Academy status allows The Academy more freedom over their spending, culture and curriculum.
Tom Mitchell said; “A decision was made to resource an iPad for every student (which they would be able to use
in lessons and at home) and to upgrade our print infrastructure to enable seamless mobile and remote printing
from all iPads.”
iPads in the classroom
Tablet technology provides students with unlimited, immediate and easy access to multimedia information and provides a varied electronic toolkit of video, audio, photo and music apps etc. to enhance their creativity. Learning immediately becomes more interesting, engaging and memorable.
Enabling WiFi mobile print for iPads
The Academy has six, networked multifunction printers (MFPs) located throughout The Academy, which have integrated Equitrac print management capability.
Printing directly from a desktop for users is a simple press print task.
Equitrac automatically routes the print job to the most cost effective/suitable printer for the task, controls print security and monitors paper usage, individual user activity and printing trends.
However, printing from mobile devices such as iPads, tablets and smart phones can be problematic.
Users needed to navigate through a Citrix interface, which was slow and quite tricky, only to discover that stringent firewalls prevented them from printing.
To solve this problem, the IT department sourced wireless printing solution, PrinterOn, from ProcessFlows.
PrinterOn provides simple, secure and authenticated mobile printing
ProcessFlows integrated hosted, private cloud printing solution, PrinterOn with The Academy’s Equitrac print management software and MFPs. This provides a print network which meets the needs of every user within The Academy and delivers full management capability for administrators.
PrinterOn enables users to print over the secure network from their iPads. No software needs to be downloaded to the iPad. The solution uses the internet for submission, encryption and delivery of printed documents to the designated MFP.
Integration with Equitrac means that the same print management rules and security is applied to print from a mobile source as it is to local area networked print source.
Easy to integrate and use
Only minimal changes to the network are required during integration; even in the most complex IT environments.
“Before PrinterOn, students were creative in finding ways to print – often attaching documents to emails and sending them to a friend who had a networked computer and saving to a memory stick to print later at home. Now, printing is a simple and reliable touch screen process on the iPad which works every time” said Tom Mitchell.
The ability to share information electronically and print from any device has improved communications for everyone
- Course notes can be distributed electronically to pupils, instead of being printed (or photocopied) and
- It makes it easy for staff to share resources, email colleagues and parents and receive homework directly
in electronic format.
- Tablet technology aids group working in the classroom as every child has access to the same information at the
- No child is disadvantaged because they do not have a computer at home.
- Teachers can share an individual’s work with the class by connecting the iPad to an interactive whiteboard.
- Printing is easy for everyone.
Saving paper and time
In addition to the learning benefits for students and the convenience for staff, the day to day use of iPads and print management technology has dramatically reduced The Academy’s paper consumption.
- Less text books need to be purchased.
- Time spent printing and photocopying lesson notes is saved.
- IT now receive very few print resolution requests.