Supporting Madison’s Innovation, It’s a Win-Win

It’s Forward Fest time, and LocknCharge is ready! We’re returning to the scene of our win on Tuesday, Aug. 27 at the Overture Center – this year as a Hub sponsor of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce neXXpo event.

Now, before we go Forward, let’s back up. Last year LocknCharge and our sister brand, TechDen™ competed at neXXpo. Through two rounds and a pool of 30+ other amazing companies we prevailed, earning the title of Madison’s Most Innovative Company. Pretty cool, right? We think so. In fact, to quote our own words, “We are humbled by this award and will continue to work hard to drive innovation into Madison and around the world.”

We’re holding ourselves to that. Not just through our own work, but in our support of other local innovators, too. It’s important to us to promote and engage with fellow businesses that are making a difference in our community. Which brings us back to The Forward Festival.

Now in its 10th year, Forward Fest is an 8-day celebration made up of more than 40 events and 5,000 attendees. The whole idea is to bring tech and startup communities together to learn, share, have fun and promote Madison and the Midwest as a leading region in innovation and entrepreneurship.

neXXpo is one of those events. Attendees walk through seven “innovation hubs” made up of five creative, cutting-edge businesses competing for their votes. Seven finalists are selected to present at the Chamber’s nex7 Stage event later in the year, where one will earn the Most Innovative Company award.

Here’s a sneak peek at the exhibitors in our Hub:

Imbed Biosciences: a medical device company emerging as a leader in the development of advanced therapies for the treatment of burns, chronic ulcers, gastro-intestinal defects, and soft-tissue repair.
Pasture and Plenty: a meal kit service and farm-to-table deli and catering company committed to making high quality, all natural, plant-based or pasture-raised foods.
Trinity GunShot Alarm Systems LLC: designer of proprietary gunshot-detection systems with multiple applications, including schools, municipal buildings, business, warehouses, medical facilities, houses of worship, and more.
Ian’s Pizza: a Madison pizza institution since 2001. Serving up unique pizza by the slice is just the beginning. One of the company’s main goals was to create an environment where his workers could become business owners. One of the proudest achievements to date is the work they have done to make Ian’s United an environmentally friendly entity.

We’re really looking Forward to it. Hope to see you there.

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LocknCharge CEO Honored with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award

Perth, Australia – August 9, 2019 – James Symons, CEO of PC Locs and LocknCharge has been selected as a 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ regional winner. Symons is among an elite group of business talent in the Western Region who was recognized at a celebration dinner on Thursday, 8 August at Optus Stadium.

As the winner of the Disruptor Category, Symons is being acknowledged for helping to create and revolutionize his industry. He was selected by an independent panel of judges based on six global criteria: entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, innovation, national and global impact, personal integrity/influence, and strategic direction.

It is an honor to be recognized among some of the most inspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs in the state”, says Symons.

At the age of 19, Symons joined his father Paul in the budding family business, PC Locs. They worked out of a shed in the backyard, designing a locking system for desktop computers to combat the rising issue of theft Paul had witnessed as a former teacher. Global expansion became a focus for James Symons, and now 20 years later, the company has 3 brands, 9 offices worldwide and sells to more than 20 countries daily.

I have somehow convinced the incredible people that I work with that the journey is worth the sacrifice and I am so grateful for how loyal and passionate they are. They literally do the hard work. Having the support of my Dad as co-owner and business partner is more than I could ever ask for. He is the ultimate visionary, inventor and entrepreneur, and I am privileged to carry on what he started”.

PC Locs and LocknCharge employ 18 research and development employees in order to continuously evolve their cutting-edge product line and solve pain points for the end user. While the need for secure stations and carts that effectively store and charge mobile devices is still very prevalent, today the company also offers iOT-connected smart charging lockers and is investing in cloud technology to link multiple towers via a single portal from anywhere in the world. The newest brand, TechDen, weaves together a physical location for storing and charging personal devices with an app for parents and children to smoothly manage device usage and screen time together.

PC Locs and LocknCharge protect around two million devices for more than 22,000 business customers globally and has commercial relationships with some of the largest technology companies in the world, including Apple, Dell and Google.

EY describes the Entrepreneur Of The Year program as a chance to recognize and celebrate exceptional individuals who help shape the future. “By challenging orthodox methods and creating new markets for goods and services, entrepreneurs positively disrupt the way we do business and help enhance our quality of life.”

James will join his fellow National finalists representing Western Australia at the regional national celebration dinner on October 24th in Sydney where National category winners and the 2019 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ will be announced.

About PC Locs and LocknCharge

PC Locs and LocknCharge are privately owned, multi-national brands, with the main headquarters in Perth, Australia. The vision is to be globally recognized as the most innovative and trusted brands in developing solutions for managing deployments and healthy use of mobile technology. The mission is to make peoples’​ lives easier ­– those managing deployments of mobile technology and those using it.

Learn more about the brands:

About EY Entrepreneur of the Year™

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ program, launched in Australia in 2001, is one of the country’s leading business awards programs. It has so far recognized over 1,500 leading Australians for their entrepreneurial business success and each year, through its global program, acknowledges thousands of entrepreneurs worldwide. Founded and produced worldwide by EY, the program in Australia is sponsored by Commonwealth Bank (Principal sponsor), Qantas (Sponsor) and Austrade (Supporter).

Further information about the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program can be found at

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Webinar: Saving Two Weeks of Class Time in CPS Classrooms

Are you forgetting to consider charging as part of your mobile device deployment success?

This webinar for Chicago Public Schools contains some great insight into the ever-changing tech ed landscape. You can view the webinar below to learn how your mobile device deployment can directly support your goal of improved student performance in the classroom. By leveraging LocknCharge charging solutions, you could save up to two weeks of class time, per class, per year. Check it out:


LocknCharge is a trusted partner by thousands of schools throughout the world, helping make life easier in the classroom.

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What Can Teachers Do with 3 Summer Months Off?

When it comes to the summer months, teachers seem to have it made! For three entire months, teachers get to have carefree vacation. Nothing sounds better than that, right?

If only that were true. It’s a common misconception to believe that teachers get to spend their summer vacation free of worries and responsibilities. While they may not be with students or in the classroom every single day, teachers still spend much of their summer prepping for the next school year. Below we’ve compiled what some of the best forward-thinking teachers are up to during the summer.

Lesson Planning

Just because they’re out of the classroom doesn’t mean teachers won’t spend countless hours updating and curating new lesson plans. Educators often spend a large chunk of their summer discovering new ways to get kids more engaged in learning through new lesson planning. Since education is constantly changing, it makes sense that many teachers spend their free time making plans for the upcoming school year. 

“Summer is when I get a bulk of my lesson plans down, especially for the first quarter or so. It is nice to have the freedom to take the time to find new activities and exercises for the kids to use the next year. Plus, it helps me keep things topical!” – Kate McNally, Bilingual Education

Professional Development 

Because of limited free time during the school year, these three summer months are the perfect opportunity for teachers to tackle professional development. From workshops to conferences, a lot of educators will spend June through August working on themselves as professionals while knocking out continuing education requirements needed for their teaching credentials or licenses.

Organizing the Classroom 

It’s safe to say a classroom refresh is needed after the long school year. After 180 days in the space, teachers often spend their summer reorganizing and redecorating. While decorating a classroom sounds kind of fun, it is also very pricey! Not only are they hanging up new charts and decorations, but teachers are spending their summer stockpiling school supplies and other items to last them throughout the next school year. 

“My classroom is an absolute mess by the end of the school year. I like taking the first few weeks of summer vacation to slowly organize things so I can take my time and make sure everything is perfect. It gives me peace of mind for the rest of the break!” – Rachel Rohland, Elementary Education

Learning & Launching New Tech 

The only constant thing about education technology is that it is constantly changing. Those three summer months are the perfect opportunity for educators to catch up on everything new! Many schools roll out new technology over the summer months so that it’s ready to go for the new school year. Whether it’s a new online program, setting up a mobile deployment plan or selecting a new classroom charging station, there’s a lot that can be explored and learned within three months.

Recharging Batteries 

During the school year, a teacher’s workday doesn’t end when they leave the classroom. Whether it’s weekends spent grading papers, or nights spent creating new lesson plans, teachers do more in a single day than they get credit for! Coupled with this, teachers are constantly “on,” during the day, shaping little minds to pave their futures. So if a teacher needs a little TLC during summer vacation, we certainly can’t blame them!

Teachers, how are you planning to spend your break this year?

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Going Green in the Classroom

Trying to reduce the carbon footprint in your classroom? If not, you should be! There are countless long-term and short-term benefits of going green in the classroom. Not only do green initiatives teach our students about the problems facing our planet, but it teaches students how they can make a difference in the world. By encouraging eco-conscious behaviors with our students, we instill a sense of connection to nature and our planet.

So what’s stopping you? Here are some easy ways to go green this upcoming school year.

Start a Recycling Club

By now, recycling should be a no-brainer. But did you know that approximately 75% of school waste can be composted or recycled? Whether it’s paper, plastic, or cardboard, it’s important to encourage students to be mindful of their refuse and how they can properly dispose of it. By starting a recycling club, students are able to learn the basics of recycling and upcycling and how their small actions can make a difference in the classroom and the world.

In addition to recycling, there are a number of ways you can teach your students to go green through this club. From celebrating Earth Day together, to planting trees at your school, there is no limit to what this extracurricular can do.

Power Down

An easy way to encourage you and your students to go green is to power down. When you’re not using electronics, or leaving the classroom to go to gym class, turn off all lights and electronics. Another great way to go green by shutting off is implementing a “Power Down Hour” each day where all electronics and lights are shut off for an hour. This is great to do during silent reading or silent work as it encourages students to focus more too.

Green Your Supplies

While you can’t control how green your entire school is, you do have control over how green your classroom is! Choosing environmentally-friendly products is an easy way to go green this upcoming school year. While they can be more expensive, there are a lot of tricks and hacks to help lighten the cost. For example, you can collect gently used school supplies from students at the end of the year to reuse next year, make a lot of your own materials and more. Also, donating any old classroom materials you no longer need is a great way to go green too! Groups like Develop Africa and SCARCE are always accepting donations of new and gently-used items.

While you’re out replacing your notebooks and pencils, don’t forget to green your electronics too. One of the first changes you should make in your classroom is switching over to energy efficient light bulbs. Not only do these light bulbs tend to shine brighter, but they also last longer and reduce the amount of energy needed to power them. Talk about a win! Another great tech change to make is to stock up on reusable batteries. Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to just throw out their batteries once they’re done. When batteries end up in landfills, the casing corrodes and soon the chemicals leak into the soil and water. Reusable batteries help prevent waste because they can be recharged and reused countless times.

Donate Electronics

Don’t forget about e-waste when going green!

Have old computers or tablets taking up space in your classroom? Or are you planning to implement new tech this upcoming school year? Donate those old devices! There are tons of nonprofit organizations and local communities that offer options to help you recycle old electronics.

Conserve Water

“1, 2, 3 – that’s enough for me!” How many of you grew up saying this phrase at the drinking fountain? Water conservation is an important unit to teach your students and easy to implement too! Whether it’s catchy rhymes at the water fountain, talking about ways to save water, or encouraging your students to bring reusable water bottles, the possibilities are endless.

You can also conserve water in the classroom without your students even knowing! Installing a simple faucet aerator is a quick and easy way to limit the water use in your classroom. Water aerators are one of the most environmentally-friendly plumbing parts on the market. They are small mesh screens that break up the flow of water, adding air into the stream, so you end up using less. You can find one at your local hardware store for just dollars.

Reduce Paper Use

According to the New York City government, the paper discarded during one school year at a NYC school was equal to about 28 pounds per student, staff member, and teacher. That means a classroom of 30 students can easily use around 840 pounds of paper each and every school year. Reducing your use of paper is an easy way to go green this upcoming school year. We recommend taking notes and teaching lessons on devices like iPads, laptops, or other tablets as an easy way to reduce paper use. Equally, creating lessons and units that can be taught electronically is another great way to reduce paper use.

While employing a mobile device program can seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be! All of our products are designed to facilitate your iPad, Chromebook, Laptop or Tablet deployments. These universal charging stations boast durable construction, yet adaptable designs to ensure that your multi-device charging station lasts well into the future. See which charging station or cart  is right for you here.

Another easy way to go green is to cut down on paper towel use in your classroom. From drying hands to cleaning up spills, it’s not hard for a classroom to go through a roll of paper towels! There are lots of reusable paper towel options available, as well as ones made from recycled materials. While this may seem like a small change, it can make a big impact!

Teachers, how do you plan to go green for the 2019-2020 school year?

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