First and foremost, I would suggest that schools need to print less. There is a huge cost (and potential waste) for schools that still rely on paper media to provide resources and course materials to students. But I concede that there are occasions whether at school or home where a hard copy of a document is required.
For those looking to print from their iOS device, AirPrint is a technology that allows the user to wirelessly print to a compatible printer. However for those without an AirPrint option, Google is currently offering a wireless printing solution that makes use of Google Drive and the Chrome browser. Google’s Cloud Print (Beta) uses its cloud services to allow access to any printers that may be connected to devices (Android, iOS, Windows) under the same Google account. The beauty behind such an arrangement is the potential to wirelessly print to conventional, non-AirPrint printers.
My trials of this beta service were successful and I was able to wirelessly print to networked printers (not AirPrint compliant) in my office but this does not come without some limitations. As mentioned before, this makes use of Google’s cloud services so you will see the Cloud Print option in Chrome and Google Drive but not across all browsers and applications. Additionally, although I store a variety of documents in Google Drive, I found I was able to print a narrow range of file types. The most significant limitation for me was my inability to print Microsoft Office documents. However, I was able to print my Google Drive documents and PDFs without a problem.
So ultimately Google Print is a service that is still in beta and it still has some significant limitations to address, but if you are already working within the Google environment and are looking for a quick way to print from your mobile device, Google Cloud Print is definitely worth a look.
– K. Takahashi