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Christine Dunne

Hybrid-Style Education Opens up More Print Opportunities

Varying Uses for Print and Paper Depending on Home- or School-Based Learning

Aug 5, 2020 12:22:28 PM


With many school districts across the US expecting to implement a “hybrid” approach to instruction come fall, it appears that new opportunities may exist for printed material. Indeed, with students learning in the classroom and at home, the number of potential use cases for print is elevated.


In the spring, when US students were full-time distance learning, they tended to boost total printing in their homes (as shown in the pie chart below). This use of print was in addition to any packets or printed materials they received from their schools.


Did Schooling From Home Increase or Decrease Your Household Printing?
Source: The US Future Office Survey: Working from Home During COVID-19
(Keypoint Intelligence, 2020)


Remote learners are likely to continue requiring print at home, especially young students who may have fewer computer skills and/or lower attention spans for sitting in front of a screen. At the same time, when they are in the classroom, they may rely on paper in a manner similar to pre-COVID learning.


In other words, we wouldn’t be surprised to see teachers continue to distribute hardcopy worksheets, exams, and informational packets to students. They may wear gloves and a face mask while doing so, but the reality is students still derive numerous benefits from paper-based learning—including an improved ability to concentrate and retain information.


Between print needs in classrooms and those at home, there appears to be a more diversified landscape for those in our industry catering to the education market. The notion of diversification also applies to the use and availability of print and digital technologies in both environments. In fact, surveys and focus groups are showing that families are seeking various media for at-home learning—including digital technologies and hard copy assignments. The below example comes from a Syracuse, New York focus group.


Key Finding from Family Focus Group for Syracuse City School District in Syracuse, NY
Source: Syracuse City School District Reopening Plan, School Year 2020-2021


Syracuse’s school re-opening plan also asks the district to “design flexible opportunities for students to engage in class, including both online and offline tools” regardless of whether in-person or remote learning is being practiced.


The need to be flexible aligns with different preferences and beliefs among families around the use of screens, apps, and video chats for learning, as well as access to these technologies.


As for print opportunities for the school year ahead, below are some ideas for both home- and school-based learning. A number of these are very similar across environments while others are more specific to the type of setting. This is just an initial list, but many more possibilities can be imagined and put into practice.


Possible Print Applications for Home- and School-Based Learning
Source: Keypoint Intelligence


Last year, Keypoint Intelligence evaluated the major printer/MFP manufacturers on their offerings for the K-12 and higher education spaces; Canon, HP, and Konica Minolta all took home awards. We imagine that, when we do the next version of this study, leading vendors will have revitalized their education offerings to address the new reality of hybrid learning in terms of where school is being conducted and the media being used.