According to Educause’s 2016 edition of its annual Top 10 IT Issues report, optimizing educational technology is a top concern for campus IT this year – in fact, only information security ranked higher. An important aspect of this is the technologies used to capture information from paper-based content and share it throughout the institution, which is integral to the modern higher education experience.

As modern campuses become more collaboration-focused, seamless document sharing is increasingly important to students. In fact, 86 percent of students report that technology helps them be more effective, efficient learners, according to McGraw-Hill.

Technology is central to making workflows smooth and efficient, including sharing information to and from learning management systems Blackboard™ Learn and Canvas; personal storage, such as DropBox, Office 365TM and Google Drive; and other document repositories. Today, institutions are looking to empower students and faculty along this efficient and effective route to digitize and share documents from a variety of endpoints, whether it’s a personal smartphone, cloud storage, or anywhere else.

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Despite the fact that, according to Harris Poll, two-thirds of students say they couldn’t function without using paper daily, much of today’s classwork collaboration takes place online, leveraging digitized content. For that reason, colleges and universities need to make the transition between paper and digital documents simple and seamless. This is so, for example, students who prefer to take notes by hand aren’t struggling to keep up on classwork with their laptop- or tablet-toting peers – or if a professor wants to print out the day’s essays from the learning management system to review on the train home, they can do so without multiple extra steps, which can hamper productivity and potentially inspire frustration.

Today’s students and faculty expect this information transformation to “just work,” 24/7, without downtime or delays. From their point of view, after all, the point of these technologies is to make the learning experience easier and better than low-tech, paper-based alternatives.

So as your college or university looks to drive seamless, any-time collaboration, in the course of your research, be sure to look for a solution that not only provides an easy to use and effective path to document sharing and collaboration, but also one that can be relied upon to provide students and faculty the 24/7 access they expect from their technologies.

Unsure how best to improve document sharing on your campus? Consider starting a conversation with experts in the education space.