Recent years have seen schools shift their focus from traditional learning methods to digital learning strategies such as interactive whiteboards and virtual classrooms. While this technology is useful, one tool remains essential for helping students get the most out of their educational experience: the classroom printer.
The latest Epson panel discussion noted the importance of printers as a learning tool for schools. The discussion, moderated by Letshego Zulu, included Epson Country Manager Timothy Thomas, DocQtech Solutions Director Klaus Vogel, CARE for EDUCATION Programs Manager Linda Smith, and Rays of Hope Education Manager Bafana Mohale.
Timothy Thomas, Epson Country Manager for Epson South Africa, says, “While the benefits of technology and its applications in education cannot be overstated, we still cannot get away from the fact that print continues to bridge the digital divide and gives children from less fortunate communities and schools a cost-effective opportunity to access information.”
Bridging the Divide:
Digital technology in schools has highlighted the digital divide in South Africa, where 80% of children cannot afford tablets and laptops to access learning materials. Using print can create affordable and interactive learning experiences that are accessible to all learners, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
“It is the right of every student to have adequate access to educational resources that will empower them and enhance their academic performance. A child’s ability to learn and receive quality education should not be affected by access and affordability,” adds Thomas.
Several studies have shown that reading in print improves understanding of information, memory, and recall, which is why printers are still the ultimate school tool because of their portability and ability to provide materials that can be easily shared among students and classrooms.
Why Printers Matter:
The use of printed material is crucial for early childhood development. Art and craft projects can help children develop their fine motor skills, trigger the development of creativity, and increase their language skills. It is therefore essential to complement classroom learning with printed material to encourage deeper engagement with the subject matter at hand as well as to nurture the development of valuable life skills.
Studies show that one of the biggest advantages of printed material is that students comprehend information better and concentrate for longer when using them. Furthermore, when it comes to education, most students prefer physical books when learning because they are easier to comprehend.
In a country where access and affordability are key issues, organisations like Epson are doing their bit to assist learning and development by offering broad-reaching solutions that provide just as much value for a student in rural South Africa as they do for a learner from an affluent Johannesburg suburb.
Thomas concludes, “What is most important to us is that we merge cutting-edge digital technology with print to create better letter experiences that are interactive and accessible to all students. No child deserves to get left behind because of circumstances beyond their control and we are doing our best to ensure that doesn’t happen.”
For more information on epsons education solutions, visit: https://www.epson.co.za/en_ZA/verticals/business- solutions-for-education/