Folks, I need advice re improving the printing in a special (behavioural) school environment.
As it stands the school has seven colour laser printers in each of the classrooms. The school works on a limited user base of approximately 57 students, plus 20 staff.
As it stands the printers are sitting ducks, day in and day out subject to abuse ranging from heavy; sensors being ripped out, to simply removing the toners to make lovely coloured patters across the classroom.
My suggestion has been to move towards a central print solution, consolidating the seven printers down to two central 'student' colour laser, as well as a photocopier to accommodate the staff.
My only concern is that students won't have a printer in the class, which could and likely will result in them hitting print lots of times. I know this can be controlled through various print management software, however I'm just not sure if the proposed solution is the right direction, especially given it being behavioural school.
It is the correct approach and I can recommend solutions such as Safecom or PaperCut (working with Ricoh photocopiers), which properly control printing, with no configuration on the driver needed (end user side).
It also allows you to introduce 'Follow Me' type printing. Print some documents and they're held in a virtual queue. Then a teacher/pupil can go to the nearest photocopier to pick up their work, so the solution scales accordingly.
You can also make available a Mono Printer and Colour Printer (to end users), so this saves them messing in the driver settings. This also saves lots of money, as most printing is black and white. Hope this helps!
Currently got several sites set-up in this light, without the follow me printing aspect.
My only concern with this is how staff will cope with the printers being moved out of class, into a student restricted area... They'll probably not cope at first, then eventually learn to cope... It's also likely they'll follow me with pitch forks!!!
i agree in most part with Michael, but one real issue will be cost as well as a culture change, the answer i think is somewhere in the middle, sort out the correct printer in the classrooms (poss b/w only) or a heavy duty model, paper-cut embedded with teacher control and less monies on a MFD for the staff