A cloud printing solution piloted this past spring “suits the needs of the modern student,” said Cody Heaton, junior industrial engineering major and University Park Undergraduate Association facilities chairman. Heaton was one of more than 600 students who tried out the system, called wepa. Using cloud printing, students were able to send a print job from any device, rather than having to log in to a lab computer, and then pick it up at any of several campus printing kiosks.
The pilot was conducted by Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) as part of its exploration of various campus printing solutions which it hopes will provide increased convenience to students.
Heaton said he frequently used the system during the pilot to print when studying in the HUB. “Wepa kiosks were easy to use and convenient,” he said. “It was much easier to drag and drop documents into the wepa interface and then print them at my own leisure.”
“A frequent conversation I would have is students being amazed I printed from my personal devices,” said Heaton. “They were excited that it was a possibility and it usually ended with them signing up for the pilot program.”
According to a survey of pilot participants at the end of the spring semester, Heaton was not alone in finding the system easy to use. “Students said that the wepa print system was easier to use than the current print system,” said Blake Bergey, senior manager of Learning Applications and Technologies within TLT.
“Then we asked them a big question: Should we replace the current system with wepa or a similar service provider? And almost two to one said that they would like it to be replaced,” said Bergey.
This fall, TLT will further evaluate next steps for alternatives to the current student printing service.
Heaton noted, “UPUA was excited for the pilot and the future of printing at Penn State. Any program that makes students’ life easier and more efficient is something we support.”