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4C Educators Should Seek a 4C Business Technology Partner

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While the 4Cs in education help empower students to be think-tanks of tomorrow, the 4Cs of business technology should and can liberate your on-campus technology team to apply these classroom initiatives.

As educators further pursue the ideal 21st century learning environment, one won’t dig far without uncovering the 4Cs.

The 4Cs – critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication - have been adopted and implemented into the curriculum of school districts and professional development programs for years. Established by the National Education Association and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, these four components are a guide post for choosing specific tools, software and curriculum for the modern day, technologically advanced environment of today’s youth.

Your business technology partner should play a key role in helping bring those 4Cs to light. 

Examples of the 4Cs: Elementary students skyping with a forest ranger at a national park (communication), or using Google Slides to identify the purposes of titles, photographs and captions (collaboration).

Technology undoubtedly plays an immense role in pushing the 4Cs into classroom practice. But it certainly comes with challenges. The implementation of the 4Cs by instructional technology teams is often stymied by two culprits that have existed well before the 21st century (and not just in education): time and money.

A reputable business technology provider will support the technology foundation that surrounds new, forward-thinking technology initiatives. They should do so in a way that:

  • frees up your technology personnel to allow more time for pursuing them, and
  • provides cost-effective solutions, from printing to network maintenance that free up additional funds as well. 

But First, a reminder of what the 4Cs are:

Critical thinking

This is the ability to evaluate and analyze all evidence and opinions to either solve problems or come to a reasonable conclusion... not just seek the Internet.

Creativity

This teaches students to think outside the box and to learn, grow and innovate in their own unique way. Exercises in creativity also trains them to be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives. 

Collaboration

The integration of technology in the classroom allows for collaboration literally all over the world. Effective collaboration lessons teach students how to work together to achieve a common goal that is much bigger than themselves, while valuing every member's contribution to the group.

Communication

Students must learn how to best articulate their ideas in a society that communicates much differently than it did 20 years ago (social media, texting, etc.).  Using digital media, youth can learn to share information clearly and effectively among peers and teachers.

Here are the 4Cs you should be discussing with your technology provider:

Cultivate

The information you create and distribute ultimately comes down to efficiency. Through collaboration with your office equipment or managed service provider, you should seek ways to produce faster, more affordable output, streamline and even automate tasks with MFP integration and, whenever possible, leverage mobile technology solutions.

Your partner should be a "first call" when cultivating new ideas on how to tackle the “bigger and better” projects that will permeate the classroom.

Capitalize

Your school should be able to capitalize on every technology investment made. From long-term infrastructure stability and security, to responsive, proactive resolution to your routine IT issues, your team should have the ability to focus more effort on initiatives that improve students’ learning experience.

Control

The average office worker prints 10,000 pagers per year at an average cost of $725. From controlling print costs to internal print-related processes, a reputable office equipment provider can help you manage your print environment and reclaim your bottom line.

Consolidate

When workflows are better streamlined, everyone on campus gets more done.

The “Paperless Office” continues to be a buzzword connected to the idea of organizational consolidation. However, a recent report from Canon indicates that 36 percent of enterprises say they are printing more often than they were 12 months ago, while only 14 percent are printing less often.

The plain (paper) truth, it seems, lies somewhere in the middle.

Combined with document capture software and document management tools, your multifunction copier can scan student information, class assignments and test results for easier sharing and faster retrieval. Additionally, a document management solution can provide fast, easy access to documents that are both well secured and structured.

While the 4Cs in education help empower students to be think-tanks of tomorrow, the 4Cs of business technology should and can liberate your on-campus technology team to apply these classroom initiatives. Does the IT staff at your school have the time to devote to forward-thinking technologies? Do you have a collaborative, meaningful partnership with your provider? If not, let's talk!

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