A color printer is very much capable of printing anything with colors. It makes anything printed livelier and more interesting to read. But is a color printer worth investing for classroom use?
Color printers work in the same way as monochrome printers (black and white) except that they do the extra work of combining colors. Typically, they use four colored inks: cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow, and black. The outcome of these blends and mixtures generates a full spectrum of beautiful colors.
Thanks to technology, teachers can now do many more tasks than just producing a printed page.
As an educator, you constantly think of ways to innovate your teaching methods and make your materials as exciting as they can be. You invent ideas to incite interaction among students and that includes using colors to your signs and visual aids so they look more appealing. One way to achieve that is through the use of color printers.
Are you looking for the best printers for teachers? We have listed our top 10 picks ideal for busy teachers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Color Printers
Like regular non-colored printers, color printers are low-cost, good for photo printing, suitable for small prints, environment-friendly, and do not cause harm to the human body. There are zero hazards of a color printer so they are perfectly safe not just for teachers but around children, as well.
A color printer has a slow print speed, and it needs to print regularly to keep the nozzle from being blocked. It also has high-quality paper requirements so if you’re trying to save money or you don’t have enough budget for expensive papers, it will most likely produce poor quality printouts. Lastly, you must have it checked regularly because late maintenance is more troublesome.
How does a color printer work?
When you send a document to the color printer, it turns that material into a bitmap (tiny points that blend together to form a unified image). In a “black-only” printer, each pixel is either empty (white) or full (black). For color images, the printer finds the right blend of colors from its different colored toner to come up with the color you’re looking for.
The printer then creates a still electric charge on a special roller, called the imaging drum. The static charge will let the toner stick to the roller. But just before the toner is applied, the printer will print the bitmap image on the roller using a laser.
The special imaging drum roller (known as a belt in modern laser printers) is made from a material that conducts electricity when hit by light, so the laser disregards the static charge on the parts of the roller it imprints. Here, the rest of the roller remains charged—and sticky.
The roller then rolls over the toner tank in the printer while the sticky parts of the roller pick up the toner. As soon as the roller rolls over a paper sheet, the toner now transfers to the sheet.
For a color printer, the roller must apply each color toner separately. Since most color laser printers use four-color toners (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black), they often require the use of multiple rollers to accelerate the process one after another.
How to look for a good color printer
Here are four questions you should answer before finding the best color printer:
What do you plan to print?
- If you’re a teacher whose methods of teaching are more on the visual side, then you need to print pictures and illustrations. Buying an inkjet printer is recommended. Since you will be using the printer in the classroom, go for the color laser printer.
What is your printing budget?
- How often will you be printing? It all depends on how much you print because that will determine how often you will be refilling ink, and how often you’ll be replacing cartridges. Cartridges are a crucial part of the printer, and honestly the most expensive one. So, opt to buy a printer that has a longer cartridge life.
How many users will be using the printer?
- There is a recommended number of people for a printer. If you exceed that number, the internal parts of the printer will wear out faster. For the classroom setting, look for a color printer model with a bigger number capacity.
How plenty are you printing every month?
- Like number 3, there is a maximum number of papers/printouts that can be printed every month. If you exceed that, you may need to have your printer checked or repaired.
Improve learning with color printing in the classroom
A positive outcome in the classroom is a top priority for teachers. Since creativity is essential to add vitality to learning activities, color is one way to keep students interested in their work. Simply incorporating color into lesson materials or anything else that learners see in the classroom not only brings harmony but makes learning fun and lively.
Why use color in the classroom?
While modern classroom techniques like digital tools can be expensive to implement, color printing has a big role that brings a positive impact on the quality of a student’s education. In fact, it is a really interesting and affordable strategy suitable for a wide range of students. Using colors not only brings imaginative influence into your teaching materials but makes an effective strategy in your lesson planning, too.
Some positive ways a teacher can use color in their classwork include:
- Color-coding is great in organizing things inside the classroom.
- Printing projects with photos, charts, graphs, and diagrams with color provides vitality
- Design posters and other learning graphics in color also encourage interaction.
- Using colored paper for school activities instead of the traditional black and white adds fun.
Given that students respond positively to the use, effect, and influence of color in classroom materials, it gives an exciting opportunity for teachers to make the most of their teaching while getting closer to their goals.