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How do you do....it? Thread, Print Credits, how mean are you. in Technical; We're going to start running PCounter. How many credits do you generaly give your students, and which other restrictions do ...
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    Print Credits, how mean are you.

    We're going to start running PCounter.

    How many credits do you generaly give your students, and which other restrictions do you apply?

    What do you do when students feel they need more credits, has it caused a rise in accout sharing?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Kids here get 5 mono prints a week. Teachers get 20 colour prints a month, and unlimited mono.

    The rule here is 'no extra prints to pupils, at all!'. This is due to the fact that teachers can access pupil areas, and can therefore print extras as needed.

    If teachers need more colour credit, they have to go and ask the Assistant Head (Finance), who can issue them with 30 more credits if needed (on pre-made cards).

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    danrhodes's Avatar
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    Try running PCounter in unlimited mode for a few months to see what usage is like you will then be able to get a better picture of how things are going and how many credits you should issue.

    D

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    Quote Originally Posted by danrhodes View Post
    Try running PCounter in unlimited mode for a few months to see what usage is like you will then be able to get a better picture of how things are going and how many credits you should issue.

    D
    We do have figures, how many credits do you give your students?

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    Mako's Avatar
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    We use Print Manager Plus. I'm not sure how helpful this will be to you.

    An A4 sheet of black costs 5p. Colour is 10p.
    An A3 sheet, of colour or black, is 15p.

    Students have job restrictions in place that prevents any more than 5 pages being printed in a single job. If they're printing a large document, they need to specify pages 1-5 first, then 6-10, etc.

    Each term (not half-term) each student is given £3.00 complimentary credits. If they run out, they are required to pay in cash to top up their own balance. If they are printing the absolute final coursework, then the department is to pay for that (As some subjects print up to 100 sheets for coursework, which is unfair to expect students to print drafts and the final piece which is generally in colour) and subsequent credits are deducted from departmental budgets.

    Some students try it on and attempt to swindle us into believing they've "lost their credits" by printing something which hadn't come out, etc. PMP logs all print jobs, and they soon turn red faced when we print a report of their printing activities, and their proposed document isn't in sight.

    Same rules apply for staff, although some staff have unlimited and unrestricted printing due to their position. If they require more credits, it's a simple phone call and we deduct the money from their budget.

    That's about it, off of the top of my head.

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    We take a slightly different approach and give a blanket coverage of 50 credits per pupil and 100 credits for staff.
    When the individual runs out they have to request more. At that point we do a quick check of print history and pick up a good idea about if they are abusing the system or not (at which point if they are, we will refuse to top up or take payment).

    Perhaps strangely, we have found that our pupils do not generally abuse the system, it is the teaching staff which use departmental printers as make-shift photocopiers etc....
    (Our departments pay for their own toner, so in these kind of instances reports are given to the Head of Dept who either limits printing or speaks with the staff member etc)

    One thing I would add - if you are using PCOUNTER with some Konica Minolta printers, make sure you have tested thouroughly before purchasing!
    We have just moved from PCOUNTER to Papercut NG - which I think is a much more reliable product.

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    We were going to assign a set amount of credit to pupils, and have them pay extra if they go over the limit. However I don't think we're allowed, from a legal standpoint, to force pupils to pay for something that's required in pursuit of their course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mb2k01 View Post
    One thing I would add - if you are using PCOUNTER with some Konica Minolta printers, make sure you have tested thouroughly before purchasing!
    We have just moved from PCOUNTER to Papercut NG - which I think is a much more reliable product.
    There's no Konica Minoltas here , what sort of issues did you have with PCounter.

    We actualy purchased it a few years and then management desided to backtrack on the idea so it was never implemented. It's going to cost us about £400 to update our license, which I'd assume would be a lot cheaper then starting from scratch with Papercut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fafster View Post
    We were going to assign a set amount of credit to pupils, and have them pay extra if they go over the limit. However I don't think we're allowed, from a legal standpoint, to force pupils to pay for something that's required in pursuit of their course.
    I think you're right on that. But could you 'turn it on it's head' and when they run out of credit, bill them for the pictures they've previously printed of latest favourite popstar or fast car!?

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    There's no Konica Minoltas here , what sort of issues did you have with PCounter.

    We actualy purchased it a few years and then management desided to backtrack on the idea so it was never implemented. It's going to cost us about £400 to update our license, which I'd assume would be a lot cheaper then starting from scratch with Papercut.
    The issues were with some of our newer Konica Minolta drivers. I believe it was down to PCOUNTER only working with PCL 5 drivers and newer Konica Minolta drivers not being PCL5 and being some other flavour. Essentially the accounting didn't work at all with them.

    On the price, I am fairly sure you're not talking significantly different money - maybe a hundred more, if that. I think there is a 60day trial available if you want to give it a go first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    There's no Konica Minoltas here , what sort of issues did you have with PCounter.

    We actualy purchased it a few years and then management desided to backtrack on the idea so it was never implemented. It's going to cost us about £400 to update our license, which I'd assume would be a lot cheaper then starting from scratch with Papercut.
    We paid around that for Papercut last year. Been a great product for us

    Currently been running papercut without any quotas since September. From the start of the next term (June) we'll be recharging all staff printing to departments. Through papercut staff that are in more than one department get a pop-up asking which department to charge the print to. It'll be up to department heads to come down hard on staff to reduce their printing. For staff colour will be charged at 9p/page and Mono at 2p/page.

    Students will get an amount of credit given at the start of each half term which will then be topped up each week. Mono prints will be 4p and colour 20p. Currently looking at about £5 at the start of term and then 20-50p/week extra.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulfish View Post
    We paid around that for Papercut last year. Been a great product for us
    Thanks, we're going to have a look at it, and probably do some trials.

    Now back to credits, who's a proper Scrooge.

    There must be someone out there who makes the kids pull reeds out of the school pond and then process them into parchment.

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    We tried being very tight with printing and it backfired to a degree with endless pupils whining for more credit because they “have to print their homework for the next lesson”; we’d then go trough the ritual of checking what they had printed that week and finally give them more credit. It became more trouble that it was worth.

    We then started giving lower school £1 per week, upper school £2 per week and sixth form £3 per week with colour pages costing 20p and mono 5p.
    We found teachers were topping-up pupils a lot (too much) because by the end of the week many pupils had used up their credit printing junk for teachers earlier in the week.

    So we are now trying a flat £1 per-pupil-per-period throughout the school with no top-ups, teachers can access the kids areas and print work for them if need be.

    We are also looking at using release stations, so the pupils won't have any credit and the teacher will have to (bulk) release printed jobs each lesson, thereby having all that lessons printing charged back to them. Hopefully that will be the ultimate solution in kerbing excess printing.


    As an aside, I can’t recommend papercut highly enough. I haven’t found a single scenario it hasn’t catered for.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    We use papercut here.

    We're quite strict because the amount of waste when I first started here was appauling.

    Students get 100 prin credtis per term, staff get 200, departments get a base of 1000 with a couple of departments getting 1500 this is allocated on a termly basis. When staff print they can charge their personal budget, or their department budget depending on what they're printing.

    Print jobs aren't done by cost, we found this confused people thinking their budgets were being directly charged for printing costs. Insted it's done simply by credits. 1 credit per B/W page, 2 per colour page. There's a copy limit of 3 printouts, a rule to stop work beng printed without being saved, a rule which stops the same print job being printed withinn 60 seconds.

    For students we also have a release queue system which staff control so they can monitor what's printed in their room.

    After some initial uproar when this was introduced, it has settled down and staff have generally accepted the system, bar one of two. It also has the full support of senior management because of the amout of money it has saved the school so far this year.

    Handing out more credits is treated on a case by case basis, we only get a few of these torwards the end of the term normally.

    Mike.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Students will get an amount of credit given at the start of each half term which will then be topped up each week. Mono prints will be 4p and colour 20p. Currently looking at about £5 at the start of term and then 20-50p/week extra.
    Why do you charge the students more than staff, if you're not actually making them pay?



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