tips for schools to help reduce printing costs
15th September 2014
If you’re a teacher or administrator of a school you’ll know only too well just how much of a drain desktop printing can be on financial resources. The proliferation of digital technology in the classroom and throughout the entire school support system means that an ever increasing amount of printing is necessary. With many schools now running their own computer labs, and students having access to their own designated devices, printing costs will only rise if left unchecked.
It doesn’t have to be that way. With some careful consideration, planning and action, schools can not only better manage their print resources but ultimately significantly reduce costs. Here are some simple tips to help your school reduce printing costs.
choosing the right printer will help reduce printing costs
It’s all too easy for the decision maker purchasing the printer to overlook the final end user’s needs. These days printers are often marketed based on print quality and print speed. While these two features are very attractive, they may not be necessary for the typical school classroom. Of more interest could be the energy consumption of the printer (less energy usage equals reduced energy bills), the cost of replacing ink (and whether cheaper third-party cartridges are available), and whether the printer has a ‘draft’ mode (which allows you to print lower quality pages prior to the final, finished output). Over time these efficiencies will all add up to tangible cost savings. Another thing to consider is whether a cheaper black and white printer can meet your needs. While everyone takes colour printers for granted today, depending on your requirements a black and white only version may do just fine. Not only are they less expensive to buy, but replacing ink cartridges will be cheaper too.
selecting the right paper and using it wisely will help reduce printing costs
If the majority of your printing is acceptable as draft quality, there’s no need print on high quality paper. You don’t have to use specialist inkjet or laser paper for day-to-day classroom activities. There are plenty of alternative papers available, both online and from the high street (and even the supermarket). These are more than adequate for everyday classroom usage. Of course when it comes to certain projects you may wish to use a higher quality paper, but this should be treated as a special resource, used only when appropriate. You can also make substantial paper savings by printing on both sides, or setting up documents to print at reduced size, thus allowing more than one page to be printed on the same side.
Setting up individual User profiles will help reduce printing costs
These days you can set up individual User profiles on your PC or Mac. This means each teacher or child has to login with their own identity before using the computer, allowing administrators to know who has used a computer and when. This is particularly useful in identifying individuals who may be over zealous with their printing, and allow administrators and teachers to address the issue. Identification can be a good deterrent to influencing a child’s behaviour. Also, if you have classroom management software print features, identification can be applied to printed material, with username, computer name and date/time being added to each printed page.
setting up resource limits will help reduce printing costs
Some classroom management software allows you to allocate resources to both individual user and group user profiles. This means that individual and group users can be made aware that they only have a finite resource available, and as a consequence need to be selective in their print usage. This is a great way of instilling the value of printing, encouraging individuals to carefully consider the need to print prior to actually doing so. It also helps to improve a child’s attention to detail, encouraging them to check for mistakes before printing. If they know they can’t simply keep printing in error without consequences, they’ll soon focus on making sure documents are correct before pressing ‘print’.
disabling or restricting printing by user or device group will help reduce printing costs
Teachers can keep an even tighter rein of print usage by directly controlling access to printing capabilities. They can effectively deny the classroom the option to print, thanks to print management software features. This makes a lot of sense, since lesson plans which feature the use of digital technology are often structured so that the class moves together as one, and the time to print can be managed in the same way. With class management software print features, teachers can apply restrictions or disable access both class-wide and by individual user, allowing them to retain total control of print resources and how they are used.
if you’re a school administrator, learn how to reduce printing costs today
Classroom management software, like Impero’s Education Pro, provides administrators with a comprehensive selection of print management tools to better help minimise printer usage and reduce printing costs. Our print management software features can contribute to school’s reduce printing costs.