When Hythe House Support was founded in 2003, the aim was to establish an agency that would offer children and young people a professional, high-quality fostering service. However, it has developed into much more than that.
For many young people in care, attending mainstream school may not be the best option, or in some cases, even possible. Where education has been disrupted, or a great deal of school has been missed, Hythe House Education can provide the specialist intervention to get a child’s education back on track. This may be on a short-term basis until an appropriate mainstream provision is identified for the young person.
The private, independent school is based on the Isle of Sheppey, near Sittingbourne. Located opposite the beach, it provides a safe, enjoyable learning environment with very small class sizes and an ethos of supporting every child individually to reach their full potential.
The primary goal is to ensure that children are not only provided with care in a safe and homey environment but also that this is given by caregivers who really care about the task of fostering and most importantly about the children who are placed in their homes.
Hythe House School provides education for boys and girls aged between 11 and 16 years who may have experienced emotional, behavioral and social difficulties. They will be supported in the transition onto College, further education, apprenticeships or into full-time employment.
At a Glance
- Needed a simple solution to uncharged iPads.
- Needed an effective storage solution
In the classroom, teachers use Apple iPad mini tablets as tools to support the students. However, in the beginning, this created some difficulties between students and classroom management.
Nicolette Duffy from Hythe House says, “We simply had a spare desk in the classroom to store the iPads, which were then connected to numerous power sockets. We found increasingly that the students didn’t remember to plug in their iPads at the end of the day.
“We found that those students that had not charged their own iPads would then try and take someone else’s. The tablets looked untidy and were subject to being moved and misplaced by other students.”
After seeing the CarryOn™ unit, a tablet and iPad Charging Station, in an Educational IT magazine, Nicolette recognized the potential of the portable tablet charging station within the school environment. The CarryOn™ Charging Station offers efficient USB charging, and with up to 2.4 amps of power at each port, you can simultaneously charge five devices in the same amount of time as just one. The Charging Station allows you to carry five devices, together with all the charging hardware and cables in one neat and compact unit.
“The CarryOn™ tablet charging station is neat and tidy. All students have a labeled portal area and now know they only put their iPad in that portal. The iPads can also be safely locked away so that the students do not mess around with them either.”
And with the small footprint, the charging station can be stored almost anywhere, including being used as a portable device or fixed to a wall area with the bracket included.
Results to Date
“The charging station sits behinds the Headteacher’s desk at school where he teaches in the main classroom and this is its permanent home. I would definitely recommend the CarryOn™, and in fact, have done so to another school as they were having problems with students taking iPads home and forgetting to charge them. We have found that the CarryOn™ has made students much more organized.”
For more information about our multi device charging stations, click here.
To download a PDF of the Case Study, click here.
With a little ingenuity, LocknCharge laptop carts can easily be transformed into mobile STEM labs.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is critical for the nation’s competitiveness, and it can help inspire students on a path to a successful career. According to one analysis, in 2016 there were more than a dozen STEM-related job openings posted online for every available STEM worker in the United States, which points to the dire need for more STEM professionals. What’s more, many jobs of the future will require at least some knowledge of key STEM concepts.
For these reasons, many educators are looking for creative ways to approach STEM education in their classrooms by engaging students with hands-on projects and learning activities. Technologies such as virtual reality headsets, 360-degree cameras, robotics kits, and 3D printers allow students to design, tinker, program, build, test, and troubleshoot as they put important STEM skills and concepts into practice.
These technologies can be expensive to buy for all classrooms. But an idea that’s catching on in a growing number of schools could help deliver hands-on STEM education tools to more students in a cost-effective way: mobile STEM labs.
Mobile STEM labs can be wheeled from classroom to classroom as needed. This lets K-12 leaders buy enough VR headsets, robotics kits, or other technologies for a single class—and then share the equipment among multiple classes within a single building, grade level, or department.
Some manufacturers offer specialized carts for transporting their STEM-related technologies, but again, these carts tend to be expensive. At LocknCharge, we’d like to suggest a more budget-friendly solution: By thinking “inside the box,” educators can easily transform LocknCharge laptop carts into mobile STEM labs that can transport mobile computing devices for students and hands-on STEM technologies at the same time.
The open design of our laptop carts allows educators to reconfigure the carts to transport many different kinds of technologies. Imagine wheeling a Carrier 30 Cart into your classroom that contains baskets of iPads and a charging case with six Sphero SPRK+ programmable robots. Students break into groups of four; each group has its own Sphero robot that students can program using the iPads from the cart’s baskets. Talk about a recipe for fun, engaging STEM learning!
Take a peek inside our Carrier 30 Cart with a Sphero Charging Case that fits nicely inside.
A robotics-themed mobile STEM lab isn’t the only configuration possible with our laptop carts. Here are some other great ideas:
Virtual Reality Cart: This would include a classroom set of virtual reality headsets (like Google Cardboard or the Samsung Gear VR) and mobile devices that fit inside the viewers. Using apps like Google Expeditions, Titans of Space, or Anatomyou, students could be transported on immersive journeys to places like Antarctica, the International Space Station, the planets of our solar system, or the inside of the human body. And if you add a 360-degree camera, students could use software like Wonda, Unity, or InstaVR to create their own immersive VR experiences!
Engineering Cart: This would contain a 3D printer and tablet or laptop computers for creating three-dimensional renderings (using software like Tinkercad or SketchUp) that students would bring alive with the printer.
Every day we read about how our Oceans are becoming more polluted, and how sea creatures are now mistaking plastic and waste as food sources, leading to huge problems in the waters. We hear about climate change and global warming. In recent news, 2.7 trillion tons of ice have been lost in Antarctica due to global warming, resulting in raising sea levels by as much as a centimeter.
There is debate over how much we can do as individuals to stop these changes to our planet, but one thing is for sure – most Countries, Government organizations, and responsible humans are pushing towards a more sustainable future.
As part of this, a lot of businesses are coming up with ways of making their everyday work processes more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Just simplifying processes, such as reducing their paper consumption with a paperless workflow, can go a long way to help the cause.
To give you a better idea of paper usage, one carton (10 reams) of 100% virgin copier paper uses 0.6 trees. One tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8,333 sheets, which means that one ream (500 sheets) of paper uses 6% of a tree.
When you think about the amount of paper an office worker uses in just one day, that leads to a colossal amount of trees being cut down each year, just to make provisions for one business.
For years, manufacturers have been searching for something to replace paper. But what are the alternatives?
According to a study by Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, USA, paper must be made from a fibrous material. Fibers can be found in biomass other than wood. Some examples are Kenaf (a plant originating from Africa), Industrial hemp cotton, and some other fibers. However all of these options come with problems, for example, hemp is currently illegal in the United States of America.
Rather than replacing existing paper with new paper made using a different method or material, the advice from the college is to make efforts to go paperless wherever and whenever we can. This includes performing banking and other transactions using the internet, communicating by email instead of regular mail, using digital marketing instead of brochures, reading newspapers or magazines on screen, and archiving/organizing files digitally, rather than using books or printed folders.
The WWF (World Wildlife Fund), the leading World fund for nature, also believes there are many easy ways for individuals and businesses to reduce their paper use and costs. In fact, they believe that reductions of 20% or more are possible in most offices.
These reductions are not solely limited to environmental benefits but also offer cost benefits to an organization.
They believe that potential monetary savings are up to 10 times the costs of paper by reducing the cost of storage, toner, printing, labor, postage and disposal. Estimates show that offices specifically can further make a 10-30% reduction in paper usage with appropriate use of available technology.
One example of an organization who has seen the real-life benefits of becoming a paperless office is The Bank of America. The largest bank in the USA has been reported to have reduced its paper consumption dramatically through online reports and forms, e-mail, double-sided copying, and lighter-weight papers. The total tonnage of paper used for internal operations decreased 32% between 2000 and 2004 (by over a billion sheets of paper).
At LocknCharge we have also found that a lot of customers are now using iPads or tablets paired with charging stations to go paperless in the office. In fact, one of our customers at Inflight Pilot Training actually cut back on 40,000 pages of flight manuals by going paperless with the FUYL Tower and iPads. They needed a way of making sure all iPads were charged fully before taking to the air, and the FUYL Tower met this need.
The FUYL Tower is a charging station made up of 15 individual lockers, each of which is equipped with one fully-charged iPad. The individual locker is opened with an admin-assigned pin number, entered on the tower’s keypad by the pilot. This allows approved pilots and flight instructors to check out a plane, during or after office hours, without talking to a single staff member.
And it is not just private businesses that can benefit from becoming a paperless company either.
Back in 2011, Ben Johnson, a career educator with recent experience on the campus level and district office level, found that some teachers are given paper allotments for the entire year at their school sites.
Ben says, “Let's say that in a school of 100 teachers, each teacher gets a 50-ream allotment. Each ream of paper holds 500 sheets, so per teacher, that would be 25,000 pieces of paper. In a class of 30 students that is 833 pieces of paper per student per year. This would mean at a school of 100 teachers, that school would use 250,000 pieces of paper annually. With that, a school like this would spend approximately $7,500 per year on printing on this paper and paper itself costs $25,000, not to mention costs of copy toner and service agreements. So, I'm thinking that every school could use an extra $30,000 to $50,000. Perhaps this would be enough to invest in technology that inscribes indelible information in the brain instead of on paper.”
"...a school of 100 teachers, that school would use 250,000 pieces of paper annually...a school like this would spend approximately $7,500 per year on printing on this paper and paper itself costs $25,000, not to mention costs of copy toner and service agreements. So, I'm thinking that every school could use an extra $30,000 to $50,000. Perhaps this would be enough to invest in technology that inscribes indelible information in the brain instead of on paper.”
- Ben Johnson, career educator with recent experience on the campus level and district office level
Whatever your individual view on sustainability, paperless office solutions such as the use of tablets and iPads, are giving solutions to businesses and organizations that want to show a commitment to not only the environment but also reduce their business overheads. And that can’t be bad.
To view the FUYL Tower from LocknCharge and see how it can help your business, click here.
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The past few years have tested many school districts like never before, but within what sometimes seemed like chaos, opportunities emerged. Both remote learning programs and mobile device programs skyrocketed, and along with them, the need for secure, reliable mobile device charging stations.
Schools quickly learned that there are many options for deploying mobile devices—and that each model comes with its own set of device management challenges. Choosing what makes the most sense for your district can be hard.
Do you want to give every student a digital device to take home? Provide students with devices that stay in each classroom? Distribute mobile devices to students through a shared cart approach? Or let students bring their own devices from home?
The way you store, charge and manage devices will depend on the model you choose for deploying mobile devices to students. Read on to learn the pros and cons of the best mobile device charging stations for schools.
1:1 Programs - Devices Stay in the Classroom
Benefits: This model creates consistency and uniformity, making it easier for IT staff to support the devices. Because everyone is using the same type of device with the same platform, teachers know that whatever apps they use will work on students’ devices. And since the devices remain at school, teachers don’t have to worry about students leaving their devices at home or forgetting to charge them. It’s also the smartest investment for schools on a tight budget.
Challenges: When students leave devices at school, they’re not able to use them for homework. This type of program also doesn't allow for distance learning, should schools ever close again in the future.
Best Mobile Device Charging Stations
Because devices don’t need to be moved from one classroom to another in a full 1:1 environment, a wall charging station is a fitting option. These units take up less space and typically cost less than a cart, leaving more money to spend on other tech tools.
When you’re distributing devices to students at the start of class each day, time is at a premium. The best charging stations for schools make this process much easier and more efficient, which saves valuable class time for instruction. That’s why we created the unique basket design of our Carrier 10 and 15 and iQ 10 charging stations.
Another option is the Putnam 8 or 16. While these aren’t basket-compatible, they are perfect for 1:1 “stay at school” programs that use tablets. As an added bonus, the station’s external LED display makes it easy to know if all devices have been put away at the end of the day, and they come pre-wired with MFI-approved lightning cables, making setup a breeze.
1:1 Programs - Students Take Devices Home
Benefits: Letting students take school-owned devices home creates a “classroom without walls,” enabling 24-7 learning. It also addresses the digital divide and the so-called “homework gap,” ensuring that all students have equitable access to learning opportunities and their teachers.
Challenges: Besides the obvious funding hurdles, take-home 1:1 programs come with an increased risk of devices being damaged, lost or stolen. It can be harder for schools to manage the devices, as students might be downloading apps or using devices in unintended ways. What’s more, students might forget to charge their device or forget to bring their device altogether. Another challenge that often comes up is how to store and charge devices over the summer when all of the devices are returned to school.
Best Mobile Device Charging Stations
An excellent solution is the FUYL Tower, which includes 5 or 15 individually-lockable compartments that can store and charge any mobile device. Many schools are placing FUYL Towers in common spaces or media centers so that students can securely charge their devices between classes, during classes that don’t require the use of a mobile device or during lunch. The individually lockable compartments work like a hotel safe, creating less work for educators because students can manage their devices at school without any assistance.
Some schools are also using FUYL Towers for device “loaner” programs or break/fix programs. In these scenarios, they’re fully stocking a Tower with extra devices so that if a device is broken, or if a student forgets to bring his device from home, the student can be given a PIN to retrieve a loaner device without IT staff having to intervene. They have also been extremely useful in distributing devices to students or teachers during distance learning.
Another option is to install secure charging stations for schools to help make sure a dead battery doesn’t disrupt learning. The Carrier Charging Station or iQ Charging Station can be easily mounted to a wall in a library or classroom, and both take up only minimal space.
Shared Device Environments
Benefits: Having classrooms share devices allows schools to keep costs down and extend their resources further. A shared-use environment can be much less expensive than a full 1:1 program, and with fewer devices to support, IT staff aren’t as stretched thin. Shared carts are also great for specialized or expensive equipment, like the devices used for STEM or gaming programs.
Challenges: Teachers have to schedule their use of carts and mobile device charging stations, and students won’t have daily access to the devices for learning. These factors may discourage teachers from using technology for instruction. In addition, the apps that students use for learning will vary from one classroom to the next, so teachers will need an easy way to set up and customize shared devices for their students.
Best Mobile Device Charging Stations
Our Carrier Charging Carts and Joey Charging Carts easily travel from classroom to classroom, and they include our innovative device distribution baskets. These baskets, along with the top-loading design of the carts, cut the time it takes to distribute and collect devices in half. What’s more, teachers can use the baskets themselves to transport devices between classrooms safely and efficiently, or they can enlist the help of students.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Programs
Benefits: BYOD programs are the least expensive way to use technology for teaching and learning because schools can leverage the devices students already own. What’s more, students are already comfortable with their own device, so there’s no learning curve associated with the technology.
Challenges: Teaching in a mixed-device environment can be difficult. Teachers have to make sure the learning materials they use are accessible across a wide range of platforms. There is more potential for distraction because devices contain personal apps, and variations in the age, speed, and processing power of devices—or a lack of resources to purchase their own device at all—could lead to inequities in how students learn.
Best Mobile Device Charging Stations
Even though students are bringing their own devices from home, you’ll still need secure charging stations for schools. A solution that can store and charge a wide variety of device types—such as the FUYL Tower Smart Locker, which contains 5 or 15 individually-lockable compartments—is ideal.
Students will find any outlet they can to charge their devices during the school day, often leaving them unattended. FUYL Towers significantly cut back on missing or stolen devices because students don’t have to leave their device out in the open while charging. FUYL Towers are also extremely flexible. They have two modes, which allows you to facilitate a break/fix program or loaner device program as well as public charging.
While the best mobile device charging stations, charging carts and smart lockers for your school or district depends on the type of program you implement, LocknCharge has a variety of solutions to fit all needs. Contact us today and we’ll work with you to find your perfect charging solution.