Paw Prints cloud-based printing comes to Penn State

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – When instruction and coursework resume at University Park this fall, students will have access to new pay-as-you-go, cloud-based printing technology named “Paw Prints.” With it, they will enjoy greater convenience and an individualized printing experience.

Paw Prints features 51 printing kiosks strategically placed throughout the University Park campus. These kiosks were brought online Aug. 15 and replaced the printers previously located in computer labs. Also, many in-classroom printers will be moved to hallway locations to allow for access while classes are in session. Paw Prints kiosks do not, however, impact printers that are provided by individual colleges in their learning spaces.

"We understand that Penn State students are preparing for a much different experience at University Park this fall than anyone has experienced before,” said Jennifer Sparrow, associate vice president for Teaching and Learning with Technology. “Our goal with Paw Prints is to help provide an enriching learning experience through modern printing technology.”

Penn State has partnered with wepa to bring Paw Prints to University Park. Students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors are now able to upload print jobs to the cloud from laptops, desktops, phones, and tablets. They can then visit the Paw Prints kiosk nearest to them and print off their documents. There are mobile (iOS and Android) and desktop (Mac and Windows) apps provided by wepa for use with Paw Prints.

It’s also possible to skip the upload process at a Paw Prints kiosk. While visiting a station anyone will be able to access their files stored in Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, and Canvas, or they can insert a flash drive.

“We are thrilled that Paw Prints kiosks mean that University Park students no longer have to travel to computer labs to print documents,” said Sparrow. “They’ll be able to locate the nearest Paw Prints station wherever they are on campus and enjoy that convenience.”

“Also, with our heightened focus on social distancing and other health protocols, it’s a major benefit to avoid the need to print from shared lab computers,” Sparrow added. “All of the students’ printing needs can be handled from their personal devices.”

The debut of Paw Prints also means that University Park students will no longer have access to 75 pages of free prints each semester via these kiosks.

“We are working with faculty to share best practices to help students manage the cost of printing course materials,” said Sparrow. “For example, instead of requiring students to print syllabi, faculty can give access to digital versions through University-supported services like Canvas or Google Drive.”

Paw Prints can be a valuable resource to prospective students and their families during campus visits. Guests at University Park will no longer need to set up a temporary Penn State Access Account to use a computer lab printer. They can authenticate at a kiosk to access their cloud accounts and printable documents.

“The new printers will also help advance elements of Penn State’s Strategic Plan such as ‘Ensuring a Sustainable Future’ and ‘Stewarding Our Planet’s Resources,’” noted Sparrow. “These types of systems have been shown to reduce waste and use of supplies like paper and toner. Greater efficiencies in those areas will also allow the University to spend less on printing in the long run.” 

Further details including accepted payment methods, kiosk locations, and support are available at the Paw Prints website.

Last Updated August 20, 2020