Printer removal process begins in Broward County

by Kiera Cerino

THE FINE PRINT: Printers and the costs of paper and ink account for a large part of the district’s budget. As a result, a district mandate has led to this resource being removed from campuses across Broward County. Cartoon by Sarah Perez

Across the district, teachers print out tests, assignments and worksheets for their students to help promote a more interactive learning environment. This makes printers a resource that many members of Broward County take advantage of throughout their classrooms. However, it will soon not be available to them as much as it has been in the past. 

Starting at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, the district began to limit the amount of printers at each school due to new policies, in order to decrease costs spent on providing the printers around the county. This change is scheduled to affect West Broward in the beginning of this school year and is raising many questions about how our academic community would handle the significant decrease of this resource.

“What the district decided is, let’s go ahead and refresh the system, we’re going to take away these printers that are single purpose and isolated to classrooms,” said 12th grade advisor and assistant principal Wendolynn Mola. “We have them in local areas now, so the ones in local areas will be shared and will be better functioning printers than the previous ones offered.” 

Even though the removal of the printers will have cost benefits for the school, certain programs will have to fund their own printers and some teachers might continue to elect to purchase their own. 

“It does actually cause costs to creep up a little bit,” White said. “Now free funding helps kids print things out, because the media center is often closed for various statements and testimonials of the printers being broken and the media center being occupied. So I do think that could be an option to help students eventually.”

During the process of adjusting to having fewer printers on campus, many classrooms will continue to switch to a more digitizalized approach, using multiple technology platforms that have been implemented over the past few years.  Many teachers on campus have begun to have students submit assignments on Canvas, as the website has become more popular for instruction. Many students also use Khan Academy to help them understand the lessons better. 

“I don’t think this will be the end of the world for us,” Mola said. “It’s going to be the loss of some comforts for some people, department chairs, for example. But it’s a shared task.” 

As the change takes place at West Broward, students and staff prepare to adjust to the removal of the printers. Even though the proximity of the printers will be more of an inconvenience to the staff, the ability to print, scan and copy from one printer will help the productivity of accomplishing tasks. 

“The more productive we are, the more accomplishments we’ll be able to achieve,” White said. “It’s all about productivity,  and with this, the more well rounded we will teach our kids to be.”