School gets 10 out of 10 for creativity and innovation! - UK
St. Augustine's primary school is a Roman Catholic School serving the High Wycombe area in Buckinghamshire.
St Augustine's printing requirements were previously met by having four Canon inkjet printers within the IT suite. These printers were responsible for serving the needs of the entire school. However, with a number of computers running to just a few printers, the system was proving to be extremely unreliable: "There was a huge cost impact as well," said Kathryn Thomas, ICT co-ordinator and assistant head at the school: "I seemed to be spending my life ordering new cartridges. It was incredibly expensive and as a school we have to make sure we are getting maximum value from our spend." It became clear, therefore, that for reasons of reliability and costs alone, the school needed to replace the Canon inkjets.
Kathryn spent some time investigating the market: "Although we were fundamentally changing printers because we needed something more reliable at less cost, it was also important that the printer could help in other ways. For example, every teacher will tell you that there is always a mad rush at the end of the class to print off work. On a slow printer this can take forever. So, as well as reliability and low cost, we needed something fast." Kathryn was also keen to acquire a printer that had a high quality output: "Increasingly our pupils are wanting to print off homework and projects in a way that creates impact and really brings their work to life. So, that was another criteria for our list!" Finally, after researching various printers on the market, St.Augustine's chose the OKI C8600 A3 printer from OKI Printing Solutions.
The results, according to Kathryn "have been spectacular," with both the pupils and the staff using the printer to great effect. Using the Template Manager software that comes with the OKI 8600, the school has been able to employ the printer in a variety of different and creative ways. Here are just a few examples:
Field trips - the OKI printer was used for wristbands, for safety purposes, and for work sheets, which needed to be printed on special media which was both tear-proof and water proof.
School fayres - for signage, including directions to specific areas for visitors, programmes and for posters advertising the events. Some of these signs needed to be quite large, so ideal for the A3 output.
Special projects - for Mission Together Charity Week, the pupils printed posters to advertise various stalls in the different classrooms. The printer also produces high quality photographs, something that was used to great effect for the pizzas during the school's recent Italy Week!
Religious services - The OKI printer was used to print off 200 First Holy Communion Orders of Service, in colour. It was also used to print off the Order of Service for leavers Mass: "These things are terribly important to the pupils and they need to be printed in high quality with good colour. They will be lovely keepsakes for the pupils," said Kathryn.
The OKI printer is also finding ways to pay for itself, as Kathryn explains: "We used the printer to print off personalised room plates at the school fayre. We charged £3 for each one and the money we made will pay for the consumables for quite some time. Previously we used to get through so much money on consumables. Now, with the OKI printer, we are finding ways to make money! That's hugely important for a school."
Equally importantly, the printer's high quality output has meant a big difference to the pupils: "The output from projects and class work can now be to a much greater standard, with posters, photos, etc in A3 or A4. This has meant that the pupils have a real sense of pride in the work they produce. And what price do you put on that? You can't!" said Kathryn.