In-Person Learning Readiness: Tips for Transitioning Your 1:1 Device Program

digital tablet on table in classroom at school

Sped up by Coronavirus school closures and remote learning requirements, many districts reached their 1:1 device program goals years ahead of schedule. In the Newark school system, 98% of the district’s students now have access to laptops or tablets. Buffalo Public Schools hit a milestone late last year of a device for every student, up from an average of six devices per classroom. Even if all schools don’t yet have a device in the hands of every student in need, they have distributed millions more laptops, tablets and Chromebooks than ever before.  

The demand of parents working from home and kids learning remotely, coupled with component scarcity, have resulted in massive shortages of Chromebooks and laptops. As a result, acquiring a device for each student has not been easy. And that’s just the first step of a successful 1:1 device program. Many obstacles remain in areas related to teacher training, funding and internet access.  

Another hurdle districts will soon face—how to best transition back to in person learning. As EducationWeek explains, “At some point in the future, whenever it’s deemed safe for school buildings to reopen, students will be returning those loaner devices. Then, the process starts to transition tens of thousands of brand-new laptops into devices intended to provide a digital boost to learning inside school buildings.” 

Set Up Your School for Success this Fall 

Come fall, whether devices are staying in school or going home every night, the restrictions caused by COVID-19 have added a new set of challenges to laptop and tablet charging, storing and redistribution. You need proven classroom device management solutions to make 1:1 programs more efficient for students and less burdensome on school staff.

 
Challenge
Solution
Summer Vacation Are you faced with the daunting task of bringing all of your loaner devices back and servicing before starting the new school year? Arrange for safe drop off and pickup. With our robust online management portal for FUYL Tower, IT Admins can manage Smart Lockers remotely. Parents place devices in a compartment at a scheduled time; staff then tracks the activity to see when the compartment was accessed, reset PINs, open doors and more.
Return-to-School Planning When students return full-time to classrooms, does your faculty fear device storage, charging and redistribution for their new 1:1 device program? Are you stressed that devices won’t be charged when in-person learning resumes? Does the idea of cabling/unwiring all of your charging carts keep you up at night?  Invest in an open-concept charging cart. End your cabling nightmares and improve employee satisfaction with easy-to-cable open-concept charging carts. Joey Carts are super easy to cable, making setup a breeze. Baskets securely store and transport large numbers of laptops, tablets, and other technology when not in use. By placing the devices in baskets, devices are quickly loaded and unloaded into a cart, allowing them to be charged in batches very easily. 
Broken Devices Broken devices put an increased burden on school staff and resources. With 10% of devices going missing or broken during each year of mobile deployment, the burden can quickly compound. There’s no denying that your new school-owned devices will need repair during the school year. When students and faculty have equipment that breaks or is lost, you need a way to get it back without putting your staff or parents at risk. Streamline your break/fix program with a Smart Locker. By designating a smart locker as a device repair drop point, school staff no longer waste valuable time tracking down and collecting broken devices. Reduce device downtime by streamlining your frictionless break/fix workflow. Employees and students can easily drop a broken device in the FUYL Tower and retrieve a new device while theirs is being fixed. 
Cybersecurity Not using your pet’s name for a password is a great first step to securing your school’s digital assets. But an even better one is keeping devices out of the wrong hands in the first place. Did you know that 41% of data breaches are due to lost and stolen mobile devices? It’s essential to protect your students and your school by securing devices with digital security and physical security when not in use.  Secure your devices from physical attacks.  Implementing durable, secure charging stations will protect devices and the data on them—not to mention decrease costs. A centralized point of secure charging helps schools provide a repository for tablets and laptops, reducing breakage and loss. The critical oversight of not protecting your devices when not in use can create painful hassles for students, teachers and administrators alike. By using a secure device charging station, you’ll minimize per-student and per-educator device costs.
 

Check out more proven solutions to address 1:1 challenges such as forgotten or dead devices.  

Most experts express optimism that the majority of K-12 students will be back in-person full-time this fall. When students and educators return, classrooms won’t be the same as they were pre-pandemic. Be prepared to address the challenges of students and staff returning with their loaner devices too. Charging, securing and managing hundreds if not thousands of laptops and tablets may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. We specialize in facilitating deployment for 1:1 device programs and shared device programs, and we’re here to help. 

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Schedule a live video demo with a LocknCharge team member to get a closer look at how our products help make your life easier.

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Calculate Your Lost Productivity for Manual Broken Device Exchanges
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Calculate Your Lost Productivity for a Manual Check In/Out Device Workflow

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Empowering Students with Mobile Device Charging Stations for Public Charging at Deforest

DeForest Area School District adds four FUYL Towers to support an open learning environment

Administrators at DeForest Area School District in Wisconsin found themselves facing an interesting situation as they adjusted to students bringing their laptops, tablets and smartphones to school as part an informal BYOD initiative. District officials quickly realized that with students using devices all day, they needed a simple and safe way to store and charge the technology when it wasn’t in use.  

“You don’t always think about charging as a problem until you see the things students do to charge their devices throughout the day,” said Kim Bannigan, a learning information systems coordinator at DeForest Area School District. “Kids were leaving devices wherever there was an open outlet. At one point, an outlet in the cafeteria was being used so frequently that it disrupted the lunch line.”

Students needed better access to secure, easy-to-mange charging stations for the devices that supported their learning, so the district turned to LocknCharge for assistance.

Renovations support an open learning environment

As a part of renovations in the middle and high schools, administrators installed LocknCharge FUYL Towers, a remote charging station that secures and charges 15 devices using a digital locking system, to help students maintain their devices before, during and after school. Students have their own lock code that they can use in any of the slots to store their devices.

A new addition to the high school includes a collaboration area near STEAM classrooms, where students can gather, study and work on assignments together. Open seating, walls with idea paint and other collaboration tools are available to students. Students can utilize the collaboration space during free time, for sports and club meetings, and for study groups.

The introduction of two LocknCharge FUYL Towers to the collaboration space is a central focus of DeForest Area School District’s commitment to providing a more open learning environment for students.

“In our new collaboration space, we wanted students to have a creative place to work together and use technology,” Bannigan said. “FUYL Towers make that possible and help students feel accountable for their learning and responsible for their devices.  

Safety, ease-of-access appeal to students

The open nature of the collaboration area leaves students free to use the FUYL Towers whenever they need them, even before or after school. “If you’re on the tennis team, you can walk right out and drop it off in the tower, go to tennis, and pick it up once you’re done with practice,” Bannigan said.

Because students have their own code to access the FUYL Tower, it’s more secure than a regular locker. Parents and educators don’t have to worry about how the students are storing their devices while they’re not using them.

Giving students control

The biggest change for the DeForest Area School District is that the students have become responsible for the devices that they bring to school. The positive response from students and staff after the introduction of one FUYL Tower led to the district purchasing three more.

“Students like them because they’re safe and secure. It’s safer than leaving a tablet in someone’s classroom,” Bannigan said. “They can really manage themselves without the library media specialist or a teacher looking over them.”

Having FUYL Towers in the middle and high school library media centers allows students to charge their devices throughout the day. “The FUYL Towers can be put in open areas, and nobody has to watch them,” Bannigan said. “When students get to be in control of their devices, they can be more self-directed their learning.”

The addition of the FUYL Towers to the DeForest Area School District has given students a safe, efficient way to bring their devices to school. As the district seeks to continue fostering a collaborative learning environment, administrators, teachers and students can rely on the FUYL Towers to help bring that notion to life.

For more information about BYOD solutions by LocknCharge, click here.

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How Do I Sync Multiple Tablets?

There are two ways that you can sync multiple tablets:

  1. Plug each tablet into the computer individually
  2. Get a device which allows you to plug in multiple tablets

As you can probably guess, the former takes an awfully long time. Say you have 15 tablets which all need to be synced with the same data, doing each one individually is a long, laborious task. However, there is a way around this. In order to successfully sync multiple tablets at once, there are two things you need (other than the tablets themselves and a host computer that is): hardware and software.

Software

Let’s start with the software side of things. If the tablets in question are iPads, things are a lot easier as there is one piece of software which is readily available and commonly used.   This is Apple Configurator which runs on Macs. If you do not have a Mac, then don’t worry, you can still manage your iPads through a piece of software called iPhone Configuration Utility (iPCU). I know the name implies it only works with iPhones, but it does work with iPads and iPod Touches as well. iPCU is essentially a reduced version of the Apple Configurator. Although you can install configuration profiles and apps on the iPads, you can not supervise them or back them up. Unlike Apple Configurator, iPCU does not let you synchronously apply settings to multiple iPads. Furthermore, iPCU has not been updated in over a year for Macs and more like 2 years for Windows. Therefore, I’d probably advise biting the bullet and getting a Mac so that you can use Apple Configurator.

Apple Configurator vs. iPhone Configuration Utility

 

Apple Configurator

iPCU

Can create iOS configuration profiles

YES

YES

Can automatically update iOS and configuration profiles

YES

NO

Can backup devices

YES

NO

Can apply configuration profiles and apps to multiple iPads at once

YES

NO

Can run on Windows

NO

YES

Configuration profiles can be password protected to prevent removal

YES

NO

Can Supervise iPads

YES

NO

Range of configuration profile options available

All Options

Limited Options

If you’re using a tablet which runs on Android, things start to get a bit more complicated. Unlike with Apple, there is not one singular piece of software that is the only one which can be used. Having scoured the internet, there is no piece of software which really jumps out as the obvious choice. If you’re using apps from Google Play, if you go into My Apps page, select the app, click on the button that says “Install” or “Installed” and then select the device which you want to install it on. If it’s files that need to be synced across multiple devices, you can just copy them across as you would on a memory stick. If you know of a good piece of software which allows you to sync multiple tablets, please let us know and we’ll try and test it.

Hardware

As you’ve probably realized, there aren’t that many USB ports in the average laptop/computer. The most I’ve ever had is four. So if you have say 15 tablets which all need to be plugged in, that can cause a slight problem. That’s where we come in! We offer a range of products from hand-held iQ 16 Sync Charge Boxes to complete all-in-one charging stations and carts/trolleys. In addition, a fair few of them are “future-proof”. We’ve manage this through having firmware which is updateable. Every now and then, as new devices come about, we’ll release a new version of the firmware. This way, when new technology comes out, you don’t have to worry about upgrading your hardware as well as upgrading your tablets.

Sync and Charge Cart:

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iQ 30 Cart – secure syncing and charging cart that is compatible with iPads and other USB tablets that have syncing software. The iQ 30 Cart is also equipped with small Baskets by LocknCharge to help with device distribution – particularly beneficial in classroom and training settings.

Schedule a Live Product Demo

Schedule a live video demo with a LocknCharge team member to get a closer look at how our products help make your life easier.

For a full list of products, including charge only products such as Carrier Charging Stations that was mentioned above, please refer to our products page or contact us directly.

Source: Cambrionix (by Kirsten Thompson)

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