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How Xerox® and a School District Teamed Up to Promote Remote Learning

Teaching students is an important but tough job, as many people have learned firsthand in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. A unique and longstanding partnership between Xerox and the Lincoln Public Schools district of Nebraska shows how technology can facilitate learning even when a student’s classroom is a computer screen set up at a kitchen table.

For more than 15 years, Xerox has worked with Lincoln Public Schools to create and optimise document management solutions—producing everything from school calendars and classroom signage to lesson plans and report cards for 60 schools, which serve more than 42,000 students in grades K-12.

To get the job done, Lincoln Schools rely on a combination of Xerox® DocuShare®, an advanced, easy-to-set-up and secure online content management and collaboration platform, Xerox multifunction devices, and some of the services offered through Xerox® Managed Print Services. Teachers can easily print directly from their classrooms even if they don’t have a printer there, or even on their laptops and devices at home, and the jobs show up like magic in Losh’s print center thanks to the beyond managed print offerings of Xerox Managed Print Services.

“It’s got pretty much everything a school could need for paper copies of anything,” says Lynnette Losh, the Lincoln Public Schools Print Center and Mailroom Manager.

Prior to Xerox’s solutions, in the early 2000s, the school district used many other print and document systems from different vendors, which created a complex and confusing work process. Only three users in the entire district were able to send electronically to the print center. It also meant that if the teacher wanted something produced for the next day, their only choice was to get to school early to get lined up at the copier.

After Xerox’s audit in 2005, the company developed a custom solution that allowed the school district to cut by two-thirds the number of devices it employed, and optimised the in-house print center. Teachers can scan and submit work from any Xerox MFD in the district and now, if a teacher goes to print something at night from their computer at home, they can select the print center as the destination, and it is delivered to their classroom the next morning.

Losh runs the state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly, and climate controlled center that produces and then delivers these printed materials to classrooms. It was designed in close partnership with Xerox, and includes temperature and humidity controls that keep eight Xerox production print devices (including Xerox Nuvera® 288, 157 and 120 systems and several Versant® 180s) running at peak performance.

This school year, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lincoln Public Schools Print Center and Mailroom’s team of nine employees produced and distributed more than 200,000 printed impressions on a typical day — and on some of their higher-volume days, they produced nearly half a million pieces of paper.

Since the pandemic hit, upending the traditional school year by sending teachers and students home, the school district has worked with Xerox to pivot some of its key systems. Using Xerox’s DocuShare content management and collaboration platform, teachers and administrators can upload, store, access, and edit documents in real-time wherever they are. “DocuShare has a full curriculum available for them to print on demand,” says Tobias J. Wehrman, Xerox Service Delivery Manager, Central Operations, and a resident of Lincoln, Nebraska.

And outside of the classroom, the district has relied on Xerox systems for critical employee communication and documentation as well, using Xerox DocuShare for its Human Resources, Purchasing, and Accounting records.

That flexibility – with Xerox offering tools and holistic, steadily evolving solutions to access documents both in print and digitally, wherever students, teachers, and administrators need them, when they need them – is what has made Xerox’s partnership with Lincoln Public Schools so successful.

And though the print center is quieter than it was during a typical school year, it’s hardly idle. In fact, the school district is continuing to produce paper packets and workbooks for children enrolled in summer school. Some are designed for students to practice penmanship and practical math problems, while others are intended to foster art and drawing, and more tactile skills as well.

“Even though lots of learning has moved online, Losh says, “there’s still a need for packets.”

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