Interactivity in Education: the benefits of interactive kiosks

Interactive kiosks are increasingly a strong investment of the Education sector. In addition to providing incomparable access to information, they are also a way for educational institutions to communicate with the student body, teachers, alumni and visitors.

In the Education and Teaching sector, multimedia kiosks are beginning to play a fundamental and indispensable role. The functions that can be performed in a multimedia kiosk by students, teachers and parents are already part of the daily life of educational institutions.

Since young people, more specifically, are already used to dealing with new technologies and interactivity, it is almost natural to interact with multimedia kiosks.

University of Minho: Self-Service catering kiosks
University of Minho: Self-Service catering kiosks

In this sense, digital signage and interactive kiosks also end up creating a relaxed environment in educational institutions, providing access to useful information, interactive classes, interactive games, news, among other communications. But there are other features associated with digital kiosks, such as security notifications or the possibility of buying school material.

For many students, the school year starts precisely with the use of multimedia kiosks, which are a trend in many schools and universities – such as Camilo Castelo Branco High School and Instituto Nun’Alvres – INA, in Vila Nova de Famalicão; University of Minho; University of Porto; University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro; and Universidade Europeia. This equipment ends up being a guide for the student, who can be informed about what is happening inside and outside the educational institution. This is because these institutions are now centers of diversity, hence the need to implement interactive kiosks that are able to remove social barriers.

Digital signage and interactive kiosks are, thus, an essential complement to the visual communication environment of any educational institution. They are tools that attract attention and provide, digitally, a series of important information. The multimedia kiosks can also integrate a touch screen which, in turn, further enhances the digital signage experience.

Self-Service Kiosks for UTAD
Self-Service Kiosks for UTAD

The features of interactive kiosks in the Education sector

There are several functions that a kiosk can perform in an educational institution (whether basic school, high school or university). A multimedia kiosk can function as a student card loader with a note and coin reader, allowing all students to load their balance cards for use, for example, in school services (bar and reprographics); it can function as a multimedia information point for students and teachers; it can be used for consultation, for example, of exam notes and timetables, etc.

Many educational institutions also place interactive kiosks on their facilities as a way to create an internal information network that is available to employees, students, teachers and guardians.

Interactive kiosks can also replace traditional attendance and access systems, both for employees and for students and teachers. In the case of the teachers, specific software can be created to allow immediate consultation of the student’s situation, attendance or direct and rapid communication between parents, teachers and the management of the educational institution.

Queue management for Universidade Europeia - Higher Education Lisbon
Queue management for Universidade Europeia – Higher Education Lisbon

These equipments can also have useful information about events, training and courses or can serve as a hot-spot of the educational institution.

But other features of the interactive kiosks for the Education sector can be listed:

  • Learning support;
  • Booking of library books;
  • Display of cafeteria menus;
  • Marketing and branding;
  • Display of emergency warnings;
  • Interactive maps (wayfinding);
  • Emissão de senhas de atendimento;
  • Prints and scans.

What are the benefits of interactive kiosks for educational institutions?

Multimedia kiosks offer educational and even extra-curricular benefits, in addition to logistical and practical benefits for the entire school community. Using this equipment effectively can even increase the efficiency of the institution. Thus, here are some of the benefits of interactive kiosks for the Education sector:

1 – Easy communication of news and events

The use of multimedia kiosks in the Education sector is an excellent way to communicate news and events to students, teachers and visitors. In addition, emergency messages can also be communicated, which makes everyone aware of what is happening in the educational institution.

Digital kiosks for booking school meals
Digital kiosks for booking school meals

2 – Advertising and revenue creation possibilities

In addition to all the functional and automation aspects inherent to interactive kiosks, they can also be used to generate revenue for the institution. This is possible through the display of advertising content.

3 – Security

The security and confidentiality of the information contained in the kiosks are guaranteed to all members of the school community.

4 – Navigation

The integration of software related to wayfinding and tour guides in these interactive kiosks for educational institutions is essential for students and visitors to be able to orient and locate themselves, without having to waste time and energy.

5 – Data sharing

To encourage fellowship among students from different classes, universities and schools, a series of events are organized and later publicized at interactive kiosks. In this sense, the digital signage can be used to show dates of future events, important deadlines and lectures and workshops that may occur.

FEUP choosed the QUARTZ model for queue management
FEUP choosed the QUARTZ model for queue management

6 – Payments

Another benefit of the interactive kiosks in the Education sector is the simplified payment of bills. That is, the school community can pay with bills, coins, credit or debit cards, MB Way, etc. In addition, these are safe and easy to use systems, which is extremely favorable to everyone.

7 – Improved learning

These equipments have also proved to be very important in teaching, as they are ideal to, among other possibilities, exhibit institutional videos and conduct workshops and lectures.

8 – Updated and real-time communication

Notifications and emergency alerts can be displayed in real time, providing timely communication for all. This is because the message or information can be displayed instantly at the various kiosks of the educational institution.

Self-Service Kiosks for University of Porto
Self-Service Kiosks for University of Porto

9 – Modernity

Interactive kiosks stand out for innovation and state-of-the-art technology. As a result, educational institutions are investing in modernity and digital.

10 – Sustainability

Multimedia kiosks eliminate the excessive use of paper and are, therefore, ecologically correct and energy efficient.

In view of all these benefits, the University of Porto, the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, the University of Minho and the Camilo Castelo Branco High School have invested on PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS self-service kiosks, in order to automate the whole service process, especially with regard to catering. Universidade Europeia invested in a complete QMAGINE queue management system. Instituto Nun’Alvres – INA, in turn, preferred digital kiosks for booking school meals.

In short, it is possible to observe that the interactive kiosks represent a great advance in the world of the Internet of Things (IoT). Besides being at the vanguard of technology and innovation, they are fundamental for citizens, consumers and students to be able to connect.

Camilo Castelo Branco High School with Self-Service Kiosks
Camilo Castelo Branco High School with Self-Service Kiosks

Technology is an instrument for opening institutions to the world, since it enables the formation of increasingly connected citizens. PARTTEAM & OEMKIOSKS, thus, continues to develop technological solutions for the Education sector and for improving the quality of teaching and student experience.