It is a lightweight, portable label printer, which connects wirelessly via blue tooth to compatible devices with an android or IOS operating system. The device itself fits comfortably within the hand, making it travel friendly and easy to use on the go as it requires no internet connection!
The printer is available in a choice of three colours (black, blue or pink). I personally chose the blue to ensure it can be easily seen in my desk drawers or bag when on the go! Amazingly it requires no ink as the labels are printed using thermal printing; making it environmentally friendly and a worthwhile investment, which if utilised in the best possible way could also save time marking books and giving personalised feedback to learners! This really is a universal tool because the labels can be personalised to the subject being taught, the teacher writing the feedback, including the learner’s name and specific feedback to them with targets by dictating into the free app, which you need to install on your Android or IOS device.
I must admit I tested out the connectivity of the printer to both my Samsung tablet from work and my personal Samsung mobile phone. I downloaded the app onto both devices from the app store, which took a matter of minutes. This meant I was then ready to go! In the box with the printer is a handy user guide with clear instructions on how to get set up and running quickly and a USB charging cable. Once in the app, just tap the find printer button and turn the Teacher Fast Feedback printer on. Both my phone and work tablet instantly found the printer and connected without any problems and has been set up so that if the printer is on and near one of these devices, it will automatically connect once the app is opened. The beauty of this is that if I accidently leave my tablet at work I can still mark and give feedback through the app on my personal mobile phone, although admittedly this is not what I am hoping to have to do.
The app on the mobile phone and work tablet is exactly the same, although it is easier to see on the larger tablet screen. I am still able to navigate and use the app on my mobile phone equally as well if this was ever needed. Upon first logging onto the app and trying to access the templates on the cloud, you will need to log in, although the details for this are on the box the Teacher Fast Feedback printer arrives in. Once into the cloud, there are 18 templates that you can edit and adjust based on your own requirements or preference of presentation. As part of the editing process you can include logos, text, images, QR codes, barcodes, tables, lines, serial number, boxes and date stamps. The templates also show you other ideas you can use the Teacher Fast Feedback printer for, such as setting learner targets, lesson reviews or reward stickers. The possibilities are endless if you are a creative person!
Once the label is set up and a text box is selected, double tap to be able to edit the text, you will find the keyboard on your device automatically appears on the screen, although in the toolbar along the top a microphone should also appear, which you press before dictating your feedback into your Android or IOS device, just remember to verbalise your punctuation because it does not automatically add these in when you speak. Whilst editing the label, if you click into the ‘property’ tab at the bottom of the screen you are able to adjust the font, text size, line spacing, text wrapping, text alignment, bold, italic, underline and strikethrough text options. Ultimately enabling you to fully design and edit the appearance of your label based around your school’s marking policy.
After you have finished editing your label and included the personalised feedback to your learner, you simply hit ‘print label’! It then asks how many labels you want to print of that specific design/feedback. Therefore if you were writing generic feedback for a group you could adjust the quantity to print a feedback label for each member of the group. The Teacher Fast Feedback printer prints your personalised labels in seconds and the printer has a serrated tear strip so the labels tear off neatly without causing any damage.
The labels can be purchased directly from the Teacher Fast Feedback website within their ‘catalog’. Labels are available in two different sizes and a variety of eight different coloured labels! In this range of options, each colour could be used to represent a different aspect or meaning, depending on your own school’s marking policy. Labels are sold in single coloured packs of 600. Admittedly, I bought a pack of labels in five of the available colours (red, orange, yellow, green, blue), which should last at minimum to the end of the next academic year! I only brought white and yellow labels home to experiment with this evening, but at the moment these look impressive and print clearly. I was even more impressed that due to the thermal printing the text on the labels didn’t smudge as I handled them once printed, unlike some traditional ink printed labels.
One function I saw on their website but have not been able to test out myself is the ability to dictate through the app in any language and it recognise the language, recording it in writing on the label to be printed! This would speed up marking and feedback for modern foreign language teachers, as well as a great way to embed learning because in order to understand the feedback, learners will need to translate it into their home language. Already this part of the app has me thinking of lots of different ways in which this Teacher Fast Feedback printer can be utilised, especially in places such as early years settings or where there are lots of learners with English as a second language in supporting the development and learning of languages. Likewise this app could be used where children create their own labels through dictating into the app, making it accessible to wide audience; not just teachers!
The Fast Teacher Feedback website has a great range of tutorial and guidance videos from setting up your device and app through to printing and the different aspects in terms of personalising the labels to the user. I also reached out the them on twitter (@TeacherFFB) and they were quick and enthusiastic in their responses! Also looking at their twitter page there are lots of positive reviews and suggestions on how other professionals have used the Teacher Fast Feedback printer across a huge range of educational provisions and subject areas! This a a great piece of educational tech that will change the perspective of marking and feedback for lots of teachers and other professionals across a range of industries.
Overall, in the few hours I have had my hands on this amazing piece of technology it has impressed me with its ease of set up and user friendly design both in terms of the printer and the app! I have already found my marking has been quicker this evening, even with having to get use to the app and remembering to dictate my punctuation. Although once I had done the first three, it became natural and in some ways enhanced the feedback I would have normally given my learners, compared to if I had been writing it by hand. I can already predict this is going to be a huge time saver and the advantage of being portable means I can take it with me and mark or write feedback in places, which would traditionally have been more complicated due to the lack of room or places to lean and write. This is definitely going to help me on my journey of working smarter and not harder over the next academic year!
The printer is available currently for £59.95, which includes the Teacher Fast Feedback printer and 150 white labels. In terms of the ease of use and the potential for reduction in workload, whereby having a positive impact on an individual’s wellbeing or work life balance is good value for money! This is something teachers could buy themselves, although teacher’s shouldn’t have to spend their own money on teaching resources where possible. I would strongly recommend for individuals interested in this time saving device to speak with your line manager; sell the idea of this amazing educational tech tool to them and ask if there is a potential for these to be bought within the department’s budget. However, this would depend on the size of the educational provision and department within which you work as it might not be a financially viable option, although there is no harm in asking!
For more information about Teacher Fast Feedback please see their website: https://teacherfastfeedback.com/
Follow me on Twitter @ElizabethJRowan