What are the best school printers?

What are the best school printers?

As a leader in the education system, you’re always looking for ways to make the equipment and processes in your institution more cost-effective, efficient and user-friendly. This careful approach should extend to printing, and the printers and multi-function devices your staff has access to. There is one complicating factor when you’re considering a printer upgrade, however: There is no way to crown a single best printer for schools. Each environment within a school, from classrooms to computer labs to the front desk, has its own needs.

So, how do you pick the best school printers? It might seem like a simple question, but there are actually a lot of factors to consider. Printers need to be able to handle a high volume of printing, and they need to be durable enough to withstand daily use. They also need to be easy to use, so that students and staff can get the most out of them.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best school printers and print solutions that can transform workflows within an educational setting. We’ll also discuss some of the important factors you need to keep in mind when making your selection. So read on for all the information you need to make an informed decision!

Best School Printers by Department

Rather than picking one kind of printer, you can go one department at a time, then find a services partner that can deliver and service those devices. The following are a few of the factors that should shape your decision-making across your whole school.

Printers for Classrooms

Your school’s classrooms can be a rough-and-tumble environment, especially when dealing with younger students. Choosing expensive and feature-packed printers for these rooms may not be an effective use of your hardware budget. Printing out assignments and homework is potentially a daily occurrence, and teachers need to be able to count on their high speed printers to quickly produce all the materials pupils need. A monochrome printer, providing black-and-white printing at high speeds and large volumes, could be the ideal solution for classroom deployment.

While having printers in all the classrooms could be a threat to create waste, with students potentially printing more documents than are necessary, there are ways to control printer access. If you implement these printers through a Managed Print Services (MPS) program, you can create a credit system which gives each student a limited number of print jobs.

Printers for the Library

While printers without scanners are likely the right choice for your budget in most areas, it’s important to outfit your school’s library with a multi-function device. Scanning information from physical books and then emailing the scans is a common way of performing research. Library staff members and the students need access to a reliable scanner. The device should ideally have document management features built in, allowing users to email themselves files without having to log onto a computer.

If the library is home to computers for research, it may also be a good environment to deploy a high-volume monochrome printer or a large, freestanding multi-function device. Your school will have its own unique requirements to meet based on the balance between physical and digital materials in the library.

A teacher and student in a school library.School libraries have unique requirements

Printers for Dedicated Print Rooms

The room where teaching staff print assignments for their students needs to blend speed and reliability with privacy and security, making extra protective features worth the investment. Whether printing out report cards, exam sheets, disciplinary papers or any other document that needs to be kept private, faculty members need to be sure the information is secure. This is where physical access controls come in, with access to the printers restricted by PIN pads or ID card scanners.

The printers and multi-function devices guarded by these methods have to be highly reliable and suited to daily use. A failure in the print room could lead to bottlenecks for multiple staff members. While some schools will be content with monochrome devices in the print room, others will prefer full-colour capabilities.

Printers for Computer Labs

Your school can benefit from installing multiple devices in the computer lab, enabling numerous projects to proceed without interruption. Rather than just selecting multiple units of the same printer model, your most budget-friendly decision is to match hardware to specific needs. Multi-function devices can provide scanning capability and full-colour printing, supported by monochrome printers for high-value jobs. Students should be able to seamlessly access each of these devices from all lab computers.

Since students will have to work on many kinds of projects in the computer lab, potentially self-directed, it can pay to implement controls that prevent the waste that comes from excessive printing. Controls enacted as a part of an MPS system can ensure students use the right device for a job type, potentially redirecting text-only documents to the monochrome printer and imagery to a colour inkjet printer.

Printers for the IT Department and Other Staff Areas

You can equip faculty rooms and executive offices their own printers or multi-function devices. Since high-volume and confidential print jobs will take place in the dedicated print room, you can devices deploy affordable and easy-to-use devices with small footprints to other faculty areas.

Your IT department has a special role in a printer deployment. When using MPS solutions that come with strong reporting features, IT staff can study statistics regarding print use throughout other departments and devices and recommend ways to optimise processes.

Visitor Management Printers for the Front Desk

The front desk of a school has a unique printer use case: These are the areas where visitors check in and out. Visitor management systems that enable the printing of unique badges on the spot are a key device for front desk staff.

When guests are issued an ID with their name, a photo, a barcode or all these features, it is much easier to manage their movements in the school and ensure they have permission to be where they are. These badges should be paired with a digital visitor management system that simplifies the check-in process and gives the school and air of professionalism.

A teacher works with two students.Optimal printing in schools helps improve educational outcomes

MPS for Comprehensive Print Needs

While there is no one best printer for school projects, there is a solution type broad and flexible enough to apply to schools of all sizes, levels and types: MPS. Working with an MPS partner means determining the level of engagement the school needs. In some cases, that will mean leasing all the printers required for each department. In others, it will consist of service, maintenance and workflow improvements. In many situations, all of these inclusions are part of the agreement.

MPS solutions aren’t just about the printers themselves. Working with these systems can give administrators more control over their print environments, with visibility into the status of each device and all print jobs. This level of access is critical when creating rules to limit printer access for both security and environmental reasons. The greater control enabled by central visibility enables leaders to cut down on wasteful print use and control their costs more effectively than would be possible without such oversight.

A Tailored Print Solution for Every School

Reaching out for a print assessment can be the first step in determining the ideal MPS solution for a company, and schools are no different. As with any business, an educational institution has varied print needs spanning security, confidentiality, waste limitation and reliability. Brother and its MPS partners can deliver this experience for your school, letting you balance your budget, control your environmental footprint and keep close control of every document printed and scanned.

Contact an expert at Brother today to learn more.


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