Buyer’s guide to all-in-one inkjet printers

The more ICT becomes integrated into the school curriculum, the more work is being done by children on computers. This in turn makes it crucial that teachers have a reliable, cheap and effective way of printing out their pupils’ work.

Buyer's guide to all-in-one inkjet printers

Five fantastic printers, reviewed

Brother MFC-J6710DW
Canon Pixma MX895
Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4525 DNF
HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Plus
Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro 4000

For some schools, this automatically means a networked laser printer, but this approach has its share of drawbacks. A shared printer might be a long way away from your classroom, for example, and print quality, particularly with photographs, might not always be as good as you would want.

Inkjet printers have a reputation for photo quality, but also for being slow and expensive. Some schools are now moving away from them, or restricting their use altogether. However, a new breed of professional inkjet printers is changing the situation. Faster, cheaper to run and with wireless networking as standard, these printers are a practical addition to any classroom. Add in the fact that all-in-one inkjets also have built-in scan and copy facilities, and you might even find one essential.

Printing in the classroom

So what are the advantages of having an all-in-one inkjet printer in your classroom today? Well, the main one is immediacy. If a child has written a superb story in Microsoft Word or designed a new school hall using Google SketchUp, then that child wants to see their work on paper. While we all want to cut down on paper in the classroom, children are uniformly disappointed if they cannot have a hard copy of their work to stick in their books, take home or display on the wall.

It’s also great from the teacher’s point of view to be able to print out work without a fuss, as it gives you a printed record to show to anyone who asks about pupil progress. It’s good ICT practice to have an electronic portfolio of work, but it’s much more convenient to have a paper version, too.

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