The challenge of print in schools

As mobile devices seem to be surgically attached to the palms of children these days, it follows that schools and colleges are increasingly looking to offer mobile printing solutions. After all, today’s youngsters are more tech savvy than ever before and there’s no better way to ensure they remain interested in school than allowing them to use their ever-present mobile tech.

Indeed, one of the biggest developments in the education sector in the last few years has been the rise in student mobility, which has had an impact on print in the education sector. Students, who bring their smartphones and tablets into classrooms, access, manage and share many of their documents and information through these digital devices, reducing the need – and volume – for hard copy prints.

That said, despite the increase in personal technology, print services are still hugely valuable in schools. Coursework and projects are still required to be submitted in hard copy format, while certain classes can be supported by specialised print, including new technologies such as 3D printing.

Matching expectation

As a result, the education sector has to ensure that school print technology matches their ever-growing expectations. Yes, schools and colleges need reliable printers that print high quality documents for coursework and displays, which can also deal with high print volumes, as well as offering great value in the long-term. But print education print also has to be interesting and appeal to users if they are to make the most out of the technology in front of them.

Connectivity is one way of doing just that. Options, such as wireless print, printing directly from USB and cloud-based applications such as AirPrint and Cloud Print – including /KYOCERA’s private cloud print solution – enable teachers and pupils to work from different devices; the devices that they cherish and use so much.

Our partner KYOCERA’s own research tells us that 45% of students think better computers are needed in their schools, which does suggest that the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend has legs – difficult teenagers can’t complain if they’re using their own devices!!

App culture

A recent RM Education survey highlights the growing BYOD trend in schools as 29% of UK secondary schools have actually opted for some form of BYOD, and the number considering adopting this policy rose from 22% in 2014 to 26% this year. As BYOD grows, so too may demand for app-based print and document solutions – for both pupils and teachers. Targeted apps which streamline workflows, such as KYOCERA’s teaching assistant, are proving popular as they save teachers time, which can then be spent with their students, while the KYOCERA Mobile Print App is a very handy tool.

At the end of the day schools can benefit from being able to access documents on the go, from any device. They also want easier functionality and easy-to-use devices – which BYOD offers only when connected to the correct infrastructure. Get that right and the toughest of tough audiences will be happy – and embrace the functions made available to them.