Buyers’ Guide to IT Tech for Higher Education
These days, IT staffers are overwhelmed with a constant barrage of information about education technology. With so many emerging options, it’s a challenge to identify products that fit your institution’s specific needs. Which features are essential, and which are optional? Here are a few tips on what to look for when considering projection, scanning and printing equipment for use in a higher education setting.
Projectors have come a long way since the overhead displays of the 1980s. Sharpness and brightness have improved exponentially — 10 years ago, a 3,000-lumen projector would be considered a large venue display. Today, most standard machines achieve that level of brightness, and large venue projectors now top 25,000 lumens. When considering the best projectors for your institution, first consider the size of the venue: Is it a classroom, lecture hall, or arena?
If the projector is for a smaller classroom space, look for such features as interactivity and interoperability. Many instructors are starting to embrace “bring your own device” initiatives and providing a projector that can seamlessly connect to various devices allows students to share their work with the rest of the class.
For larger venues, display size and resolution are the primary concerns. Laser projectors offer some of the best quality imaging, and they last longer than projector lamps. You’ll also want to think about connectivity options — how many USB ports, HDMI inputs, and networking inputs does it have? Finally, make sure the projector is compatible with the control system you want to use or the one you already have in place.
Whether for classroom or administrative use, scanners play a vital role in higher education. When looking for the ideal scanner, consider the users’ needs first: Is the machine destined for the financial aid office, where it will need to scan hundreds of forms at a time? Or does it need to be portable so a professor can take it along while doing fieldwork?
Another element to consider is whether the machine will need to scan photos or documents of nonstandard sizes. If you’re already running a document management system, you’ll want to make sure the scanner will easily connect and integrate with it. Also, consider your daily scanning needs and seek out a unit that has the right capacity — so you don’t spend more than you need to on equipment and upkeep.
A number of scanners on today’s market include wireless capabilities, allowing instant file transfers to tablets, laptops or other mobile devices without plugging in.
Although many campuses are working to reduce paper usage, printers remain a necessity for faculty, students and administrators. You’ll find a wide variety of choices on the market, and again, the best first step is to consider where (and how) the machine will be used — in a departmental office, the college library, or a classroom? Is color printing a necessity?
Focus on printers that will integrate easily with your existing print software to manage workloads and usage limitations. If color printing is a requirement in some departments, inkjet technology offers affordable, high-quality color printing with low maintenance and service costs. And consider energy efficiency: Many modern printers deliver both speed and quality while conserving energy, offering clear cost-savings benefits. Wireless printers that are compatible with a range of devices and operating systems will be a hit with faculty and students alike.
Looking for printing, scanning, projecting and display solutions for your campus? Visit Epson Higher Education today to learn more about how our latest technologies can benefit your institution.