It’s More Than a Copier. Three Out-of-the-Box Benefits to Multifunction Printers in the Classroom
We are migrating to a digital era, but that hasn’t stopped educators from relying on their school’s multifunction printer (MFP) to quickly produce 30 copies of their students’ homework as they scarf down food on their lunch break. Despite an increase in digital technologies being incorporated into the classroom and at home, educators are still printing many documents each school year, from homework and assignments to study guides, worksheets and tests.
After speaking with my wife, a kindergarten teacher, about her print usage, I was shocked by the number of copies she makes. What I didn't realize was that a typical school uses 2,000 sheets of paper per day on average, and roughly 10% of a school's allotted budget goes directly to printing, supplies and print management. To say lightly, schools print, and print a lot!
We can look at the data to determine why print is important from usage alone. But there are underlying benefits to having an MFP in the library, faculty lounge or administrative office. Let’s take a closer look.
Learning Efficiency with Printed Materials
When students have print materials in front of them, they can focus on the task at hand. Studies have shown that a student performs better with comprehension and retention when documents are presented in print, especially if they are more than one page. Early elementary age students particularly benefit from printed materials since these students are learning to read and write for the very first time. These students require printed material as opposed to digital. Additionally, a student may become more distracted while working on an assignment via a computer, laptop, or tablet due to text skimming and readily available internet and app access, leading to fragmented learning.
Integration with Classroom Software
It’s no secret that educators are incorporating digital learning into the classroom, but that doesn’t mean an MFP can’t play nicely by integrating paper and digital documents to fill conventional workflow gaps. Many copier solutions integrate learning platforms like Blackboard® Learn, Microsoft® 365 and Google® Classroom. Through this integration, educators and students can view and print course content or scan assignments directly from the MFP’s touchscreen, increasing the timeliness and flexibility of student assignment submissions.
Student and Staff Data Privacy & Security
On any given school day, students and staff complete countless print jobs. When printing paperwork that contains confidential data in student records, it’s imperative to safeguard this information to reduce security risks. Access to transcripts, test scores, and medical records can be monitored and controlled with advanced document management and user authentication via Active Directory. An Active Directory integration provides trusted single sign-on to authorize the appropriate school staff to search, access, and process these files in one secure location. Additionally, many MFPs have other integrated security features designed to prevent unauthorized access to personal data and help protect against physical and network-based threats.
While many aspects of the classroom have changed dramatically over the years, especially in terms of technology, both the benefits and usage of MFPs continue to be constant in the educational community. When integrated with modern online platforms, these MFPs can combine new digital tools with the reliable and necessary task of printing and copying for a seamless and efficient workflow for both students and educators.