Empowering K-12 Education: Embracing the Synergy of Printing and Technology

Casey Teel

In the ever-evolving world of K–12 education, technology continues to shape classrooms into centers of creativity and engagement. Amidst this digital transformation, we shouldn’t overlook the significance of printing in the learning process. At Connection, we firmly acknowledge the importance of equipping educators with the appropriate tools to inspire their students, a principle we proudly share through our partnership with Canon U.S.A.

Why Printing Matters in K–12 Schools

The role of printing in the education sector remains crucial for effectively meeting the needs of students and teachers. In K–12 schools, printing is instrumental in supporting vital areas like extracurricular activities, fundraising, admissions, HR services, and alumni and community relations activities. According to a survey of the education industry by InfoTrends[1], between 15% and 30% of printed materials consist of support materials, such as diplomas, certificates, report cards, and newsletters. Furthermore, teachers heavily rely on accessible printing to produce teaching materials, with 65% to 90% of print jobs dedicated to teaching and educational support.

According to Bay View Analytics, approximately 61% of educators and 55% of students prefer print over digital when it comes to educational materials[2]. This preference for print underscores the continued importance of printing technologies in fostering engaging and effective learning experiences within K–12 schools.

Paper vs. Screen

While digital learning materials are likely here to stay, they do not negate the importance of paper-based educational materials. According to Acta Pediactrica, research indicates that the duration of book reading in children correlates with enhanced brain connectivity, whereas prolonged exposure to screen-based media is associated with decreased connectivity[3]. Ensuring the availability of paper-based educational materials is necessary to foster an equitable environment for all students.

Balancing print and digital solutions requires a careful evaluation of the school’s printing devices. Schools can consider investing in smaller, more cost-efficient large format printers for necessary print assets. Canon imagePROGRAF TC-20 series printers offer an ideal solution with their cost-effectiveness and compact design, while maintaining the ability to print in multiple formats with vivid detail.

5 Cost-saving Tips to Navigate Printing in K–12 Schools

Balancing costs while maximizing the benefits of both digital and printed materials is a challenging, but necessary task. Take into account these suggestions for reducing printing expenses:

  1. Conduct a Printing Audit: An audit will help identify the current printing habits, including the volume of printing, types of documents printed, and the associated costs. By analyzing this data, the school can gain valuable insights into areas where printing can be reduced, optimized, or made more cost-effective. Just be sure to survey all stakeholders, including administration, faculty, parents, and students.
  2. Educate the School Community: Raising awareness among students, teachers, and staff about the importance of responsible printing can significantly impact overall printing behavior. Educating the school community on the environmental and financial implications of excessive printing can encourage more mindful printing practices. Implementing guidelines on when to print, using double-sided printing, and minimizing unnecessary printing can all contribute to reducing printing costs.
  3. Optimize Printer Settings: Adjusting printer settings can lead to substantial savings in both paper and ink or toner costs. Setting default printer settings to duplex printing (double-sided) and selecting draft quality for internal documents can significantly reduce paper and ink usage without compromising readability. Regularly checking and calibrating printers for optimal performance can further enhance efficiency and reduce waste.
  4. Consider Bulk Purchases: Exploring opportunities for bulk purchases of printing supplies can lead to cost savings. Strategic planning for these purchases can ensure that the school maintains a sufficient stock of supplies while keeping costs in check.
  5. Invest in Low-Cost or Energy-Efficient Printers (or both!): Upgrading to low-cost or energy-efficient printers can be a wise investment in the long run. Such printers often consume less energy during operation and may use cost-effective ink or toner cartridges. Additionally, considering multifunction printers that combine printing, scanning, and copying functionalities can further streamline workflows and reduce the need for multiple devices. The Canon imagePROGRAF TC-20 printers offer a blend of cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency, making them a great choice for schools aiming to optimize their printing infrastructure.

Canon imagePROGRAF TC-20 Series Large Format Printers

  • Print up to 24″ wide on roll paper, 11″ x 17″ and 8.5″ x 11″ cut sheets, and more
  • Seamless connectivity with Wi-Fi / USB / Ethernet 
  • Compatible with most Windows, Mac, and Chromebook devices
  • Compact size for easy placement saving valuable space in the classroom or office

Canon imagePROGRAF TC-20 M with Enhanced Capabilities

  • Multi-function: Print, scan, copy, and scan to print with wireless connectivity
  • Enlarge copy (no computer needed): Make enlargements directly from the TC-20M and showcase students’ work on an 11″ x 17″ sheet or create a large poster for the entire classroom to see
  • USB flash Drive: Access saved files directly from the TC-20M, simplifying the printing process

The Bottom Line

In the dynamic world of K–12 education, the role of printing remains crucial amidst technology’s reshaping of classrooms. Printed materials have a significant impact on student engagement, retention, and creativity, complementing digital resources. Striking a balance between paper and screens optimizes the learning experience. The Canon imagePROGRAF TC-20 printers offer an innovative and economical solution, redefining creativity with versatile formats and seamless connectivity. Embrace the synergy of printing and technology to empower the future of education. Visit the Canon Showcase to explore printing solutions for your school today.

[1] Source: In Search of Business Opportunities: Finding the Right Prospects, InfoTrends 2017

[2] Source: Bay View Analytics, Coming Back Together – Educational Resources in U.S. K-12 Education, 2022

[3] Source: Brain connectivity in children is increased by the time they spend reading books and decreased by the length of exposure to screen-based media, Acta Paediatr, 107: 685-693

Casey Teel is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Connection. She has over 4 years of experience in content and product marketing. Beyond her professional endeavors, Casey enjoys spending time with her fiancé, family, and friends at live music events, taking part in outdoor activities, and exploring new restaurants and attractions.