Advantages of Vending Machines in Schools and Colleges
The upcoming third wave of COVID-19 has, once again, spoiled the plans for educational institutions like schools and colleges to open up with full strength. The most sticky point in reopening these institutions has been the need to follow social distancing norms. Since schools and colleges typically have students in hundreds and thousands respectively. Vending machines can prove a beneficial tool to meet the various material needs of students while allowing them to maintain adequate distance in schools and colleges.
Placed at strategic locations within a school or college campus, vending machines provide the following advantages:-
Healthy Eating Options for Students
Hunger pangs can strike anyone in the middle of the day. Students however use a lot of mental energy and often have a jam packed schedule. It is only natural that the students who spend on an average 6 to 8 hours a day within the campus would feel the need to snack outside of their designated lunch hours. But it is also essential that students don’t snack on any junk to satisfy their hunger. Since that can disturb their concentration levels and even make them sleepy during classes. Therefore, there must be a provision of healthy snacks available to students at schools and colleges beyond the (full) meals that are available in canteens.
Since going out is not a feasible option because of back to back classes, a vending machine can provide a quick fix to the hunger pangs of students. Moreover, many times, the canteens are very far from the classrooms in schools and colleges which have a large campus. Therefore, not everyone can rush to the cafeteria to purchase a snack and come back in time for the class (not panting). To tackle this problem, multiple vending machines can be spread out throughout the campus so that students have easy and quick access to healthy eating options at all times.
Vending machines reduces physical contact among students
In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, reducing contact among people has become the buzzword at every organisation now, let alone educational institutions. But this advisory becomes even more important in the case of educational institutions for two reasons. First, students in educational institutions, especially in schools, belong to the still non vaccinated section of the population. Secondly, unlike offices, it is a norm for educational institutions to cram up many students in one room because of the lack of adequate infrastructure to maintain a two feet distance among students, thus defying the social distancing norms.
Both these factors increase the chance of students contracting the disease. Making both administration and parents reluctant to the reopening of these institutions. One particularly problematic instance is the lunch time at educational institutions because during this time. The students will also need to remove their masks to eat. Another extremely important precaution to contain the spread of coronavirus. If these students, without their masks on, eat at a cafeteria sitting together closely. Due to lack of sufficient space, they are at a much greater risk of getting infected.
Thus, vending machines can provide a great solution for this social distancing problem. As they will be placed in every nook and corner of the campus. The students can buy a snack at any time and eat it across the vast campus anywhere, without having to sit down in the cafeteria only. Having multiple vending machines instead of just a few canteens will also reduce their contact with other students and staff.
Reduces crowd in schools and colleges
Crowding of students is a common sight at schools and colleges. Characteristic crowds at fests, in classrooms, at the photocopy machines. In the canteen and the library often are used as an indicator of the ‘popularity’ of an educational institution. However, with no end to the pandemic in sight, these images will become a thing of the past. Now the focus of the administration of educational institutions is to reduce crowds to the maximum extent possible at all crowd “hotspots”.
Vending machines offer a way around this crowding problem. Since only one item can be dispensed at a time from a vending machine. It reduces the unnecessary crowd at the counters which would otherwise have happened in a canteen. Moreover, with a smart vending machine, an order can be placed and paid on the app beforehand and the app can send a notification when it is ready to dispense the item related to that order. This can avoid the long queues, and at times, the huddles at cash counters to place an order.
Resource point for students and teachers
Children are brought up with the principle “sharing is caring”. But with the pandemic limiting physical contact, both students and parents are becoming apprehensive of sharing their possessions. Thus, if a student forgets to bring a pen or the ink runs out, he or she will have no option but to run to the nearest stationery shop to purchase a new one. Along with stationery items, medical aid forms another category where an urgent need by both students and teachers has to be met within a school or college campus for which supplies may not be readily available. While vending machines for sanitary pads have now become commonplace in schools and colleges. This facility can further be extended to dispense non-prescription drugs for minor ailments like stomach pain, cold and cough. This can improve the health and well being of both students and teachers, leading to a better learning environment.
Vending machines in schools and colleges have the potential to make educational institutions a safe space to carry out in-person teaching again. Research has shown that physical presence has more positive impact for long term learning outcomes. Schools and colleges should reopen while following COVID-19 protocol. A smart vending machine is the ideal solution to implement the social distancing norms. While providing convenience to students and teachers alike.
An intelligent, cloud-based IoT SaaS solution like that of Vendify can help the upcoming entrepreneurs to scale their vending operations across schools and universities. Our ERP solution automates the entire supply chain of a vending business and is available at nominal monthly subscription prices. Our software and hardware solutions can fit into any existing vending machine and make it “smart”. Moreover, the solution comes bundled with a consumer app to pre-place and pre-pay their order. Making it a preferred choice for today’s tech savvy teachers and students. For more information about our solution, please get in touch with us by dropping an email at email@example.com.