We’d Walk Across LEGOs for You

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Did you know that there’s an official Guinness World Record for farthest distance walking barefoot on LEGO® bricks? Sonny Molina walked a staggering 2.4 miles to break the record last year! What does this notable achievement have to do with us? At LocknCharge we think of you as more than just a customer, you’re family. We pride ourselves in treating you like we treat our own families, with care, attention and thoughtfulness. That means we’ll always go the extra mile for you, even if that extra mile is a walk across tiny interlocking toys! Here are some other ways we show how much we care:

We Build High-Quality, Long-Lasting Products

Our customers deserve products to be thoroughly tested and built to withstand heavy usage. Our design and manufacturing process ensures that our products meet the highest standards. Manufacturing facilities employ robust procedures to ensure that customers are getting a high-quality product that’s made to last. That’s why LocknCharge products are built in ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturing facilities.

“Supporting your product has been a breeze. Give my thanks to the team for being a great product with awesome support!” – Chris from Carlsbad, CA

"I have recommended LocknCharge to several people now based on my experience with you. Thanks for the great support and really nice product." – Matt, EdTech Network Administrator from CO

We Deliver Exceptional Customer Service and Support

It’s no secret that our widespread customer success is due in large part to our customer service staff. LocknCharge focuses on hiring extraordinary people who strive to do what’s best for the customer while also being extremely easy to work with, and fun too! They’re our expert problem solvers, providing the right answers to your inquiries in 48 hours or less—sometimes before you even know what questions to ask. They’re passionate about our products and know them inside and out. They’ll conduct research, proactively inquire and follow up, making sure our customers are always satisfied. It’s the reason they receive countless thank you emails covered in exclamation points.

Because we take the time to stay in touch, we get to know many of our customers on a very personal level. We don’t just care about how your LocknCharge products are working. We also care about your son’s playoff soccer game last weekend and how your new adorable puppy is fitting in with the family. We just have one expectation in return. Pictures! Send us lots of pictures!

“We’ve been a customer with LocknCharge for the past four years, and our customer experience has been incomparable to any other company. Willingness to work, flexibility, and always caring for the customer, LocknCharge is one of our valued strategic partners when it comes to the success of our students.” – Israel Oliveros from Coachella Valley Unified School District, CA

"Thank you so much. If I had known it was this simple, I would have contacted you long ago." – Carole, In School Intervention Program/Special Education from Texas

We Bring you Peace of Mind

From our Magical Unicorn Lifetime Warranty to our extremely secure solutions, you can rely on us to protect your devices and the data that’s on them. Our Carrier™ Charging Stations are made with high-quality welded steel and come with stainless steel locks and keys. An optional anchor kit locks the whole Joey™ Charging Cart to the floor or wall with a heavy-duty chain and keyed lock. And a built-in mechanical combination lock makes our Putnam™ 18 Tower charging station ultra-secure.

In addition, all of our products are now fully backed by a lifetime warranty on the main frame, electrical and all other components.* It’s a one-of-a-kind guarantee that’s as unique as a magical unicorn. This security gives CTOs, teachers and administrators peace of mind so that they can focus on what’s essential—giving students the best education.

“As a CTO for a school district, LocknCharge has really brought us peace of mind. We’ve had a couple of break-ins at school sites, but the best that they’ve been able to do is touch the cart and a couple of wires. No iPads have ever been stolen out of a LocknCharge cart. As the person in charge of 20,000 iPads in our school district, we feel peace of mind and safety and security with these carts in particular. We love them!” – Michelle Murphy, CTO Executive Director of Technology Services, Coachella Unified School District, CA

We’re dedicated to going above and beyond for you.

Everyone at LocknCharge is consistently focused on what matters to you. We each share a common philosophy that the customer comes first. Here are some examples of how we strive to go above and beyond for you.

“As a former teacher, I can understand the frustrations that go on in a classroom. I’m able to identify ways that LocknCharge can alleviate many of the struggles teachers face – and give them back the most important thing they need more of…time. I truly believe our solutions can improve efficiency in the classroom, which helps all aspects of a child’s education.”

– Courtney White, LocknCharge Customer Success Manager

“I love that we can be different. We treat our accounts like family. We know them well, so they’ll ask us things like, ‘how are your kids doing?’”

– Jason Zelhofer, LocknCharge Warranty and Customer Support Manager

“No matter who answers the phone or what the issue is, everyone at LocknCharge is willing to assist.”

– Amy Perkel, LocknCharge Customer Success Manger

“Every time I am with a customer or partner, I interact the same way I would with my best friends or family. I want customers to experience an authentic view of who I am and the company I represent–that we are a people-first organization, and we care about others. I want people to feel as comfortable talking about mobile deployments with us as they are talking about anything else that is on their mind. It’s that freedom to be who we all really are that lets our new ideas soar for someone’s organization and even for our own organization."

– Stephanie Gassen  Global Vice President of Marketing & Americas K12 Sales Director

“I’m always willing to make time and show a sense of urgency for our customers. One year, I’ve spent my birthday out of state with one of my favorite customers. On another occasion, I remember exchanging text messages with a customer while my four-year-old rode my shoulders at the Wisconsin State Fair. I’ve even shared tips with a customer to help relieve their baby of gas pain–because it takes a village.”

– Kyle Jacobson, LocknCharge Channel Manager

“Finding solutions to other people’s problems gives me real satisfaction. Getting to the real root of the issue is the most challenging part, but it’s also the most rewarding. And in an industry where everything is quantified and analyzed, LocknCharge looks beyond statistics to define their employees’ success. We’re measured on making customers happy,”

– Kevin Rezac, LocknCharge Technical Customer Service & Warranty Associate

“LocknCharge gives us a lot of autonomy to always make it right for the customer.”

– Chris Ledbetter, Technical Customer Service & Warranty Associate

“Finding the right solution can be challenging, but you can be sure that we will take the time to talk through every option to find one that fits best.”

– Tyler Oren, LocknCharge Account Manager

“Our partnerships aren’t just something that we use once and toss out. These relationships really do resemble a family. That’s why I am always asking what I can be doing to make our partners’ jobs easier. A small extra step for me could save them a lot of time, so it’s totally worth it in the large scheme of things.”

– Mark Cochran, LocknCharge Sales Operations Specialist

Do you have a brother you can always depend on to give you a ride to the airport? Or a cousin who brings those delicious pies to a holiday dinner year after year? What about a father who tells dad jokes that are so corny you just have to laugh? We’d like you to think of us as another dependable member of the family. We’d like you to think of us as another dependable member of the family. You can rely on us in tough situations to make your life easier and bring a smile to your face to brighten your day. And if we have to walk across a few LEGOs to prove it, we’ll be here waiting with our shoes off.

*Click here for full warranty details.

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Three Solutions to Alleviate IT Staff Stress

Handheld technology in classrooms has come a long way since the introduction of calculators nearly fifty years ago. A new global survey from Cambridge International found that the use of technology in schools worldwide continues to evolve rapidly, with 42% of students reporting they use smartphones in the classroom and 20% using tablets. The number of smartphones used jumps to nearly three-quarters of all U.S. students.[1]

This rise of technology has profoundly impacted the daily lives of all education professionals, but perhaps none more than teachers and IT staff. From CIOs to edtech specialists, school technology staff is facing growing cybersecurity threats and increased student data privacy concerns along with the digitization of curriculum. Add to that the fact that many IT workers are taking on more responsibilities than ever before with fewer resources and you have a recipe for more stress and employee dissatisfaction across a variety of industries:

  • 46% of IT workers consider their job stressful, 18% report their job was more stressful this year than the previous year.[2]
  • 65% of IT and security professionals consider quitting due to burnout.[3]
  • 36% of CIOs interviewed said bigger workloads are the greatest source of stress for their teams, 22% cited the pace of new technology as the most significant stressor.[4]

Finding a way to juggle increased workloads while reducing frustration may be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Let’s explore three key ways IT staff can decrease stress levels by guarding the privacy of student and personal data, making daily workflows and processes more efficient, and increasing awareness and recognition.

Stay Ahead of Cybersecurity Threats and Data Privacy Protection

41% of data breaches are due to lost and stolen mobile devices. As the use of technology in education increases, the critical oversight of not protecting your devices when not in use can create painful hassles for IT staff. It’s essential to protect your students and your school by securing devices with both digital security and physical security when not in use.

LocknCharge Solution: Implementing durable, secure charging stations will protect devices and the data that’s on them. Not to mention decrease costs. As careful as educators try to be with their hardware, 10% of mobile devices break or go missing in the first year of a smart classroom deployment. A centralized point of secure charging helps schools provide a repository for tablets and laptops, reducing breakage and loss as well as provide protection for data, so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Help Manage a Bigger Workload with Fewer Employees

In a time of budget challenges and cutbacks, increasing staff is a costly way to manage the extra workload of your school’s IT department. Also, simply asking your team to work faster and harder won’t solve your problems, and will lead to more stress and dissatisfaction.

 LocknCharge Solution: Many school-owned smartphones and tablets will inevitably need repair or maintenance during the school year. Get devices back in the hands of the student faster—and save your tech teams serious time with LocknCharge carts and stations, which can be set up in one-third of the time of traditional systems. Also, by designating a smart charging locker as a device repair drop point, you’ll eliminate slow, manual processes by streamlining maintenance and your loaner device program. As a bonus, admins can monitor and record the activity of the lockers, which reduces the need for extra human capital to manage this workflow. These scenarios lighten IT staff workload and keep the day on track.

Show Your Support and Appreciation

In its research, Jobsite found that 67% of IT professionals felt that colleagues did not appreciate the complexity of their work.[5]

LocknCharge Solution: If technical support team members are only brought in when something goes wrong, that means their best work is likely going unnoticed by teachers and the administration. It’s essential to raise awareness about the evolving role of the technology department as technology enablers. One way to increase recognition is to bring IT staff and teachers together to collaborate on tech initiatives. The EdTech demo room at the University of Oklahoma K20 Center is an excellent example of a district empowering group decision making and collaboration. The administration encourages ideas from all angles to be considered in a constructive manner, which makes everyone feel valued.

Learn how one school’s director of technology found tremendous value in the flexibility of LocknCharge Carts. Reduction in cart set-up times and exceptional customer service made LocknCharge the perfect partner for the deployment of 34,000 student and staff devices. Watch the Grand Prairie Testimonial.


Sources:

[1] Global Education Census Report – Cambridge Assessment International Education

[2] IT Salary Survey 2017: Highlights – Computerworld

[3]  Improving the Effectiveness of the SOC – Ponemon Institute 

[4] Workplace Stress Increases Tension for IT Workers – Government Technology

[5] Office workers don’t appreciate the complexities facing IT staff – ComputerWeekly.com

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Improve Teacher Satisfaction with Innovative Charging Solutions

Many schools and districts around the world struggle with retaining qualified teachers. Check out these concerning findings:

  • Almost half of the teachers in the U.S. are actively looking for a different job or watching for opportunities.[1]
  • In Germany and France, less than 5% of teachers leave schools within the first five years. However, in Sweden, national statistics show that 32% of recently graduated teachers are no longer active in Swedish schools after five years. This percentage jumps to between 30% and 50% in the U.S. and U.K.[2]
  • On average, districts in the U.S. spend more than $20,000 on each new hire. This revolving door costs public schools up to $2.2 billion annually.[3]

Addressing teacher churn matters because it is not only is costly; it has serious consequences for student achievement. Retaining high-performing teachers is critical to a productive classroom. Research published in the American Education Research Journal found that “students in grade levels with higher turnover score lower in both English language arts (ELA) and math.”[4] This negative impact doesn’t just affect the students in the new teachers’ classrooms, but all students in a school with high teacher turnover rates.[5]

While some countries are focused on increasing recruitment into the teaching profession, others believe a more efficient strategy is to instead concentrate on retaining and supporting active teachers. According to the leading expert Dr. Richard Ingersoll, “Putting it metaphorically, it is better to patch the holes in the bucket before trying to fill it up.”[6]

Solutions to Reduce Teacher Burnout

While many factors can cause teacher burnout, the number one reason teachers leave the profession is due to dissatisfaction. Research recommends that supporting and valuing teachers is just as vital as tackling workload and long working hours to keep job fulfillment high and improve retention.[7] Let’s review two common causes of dissatisfaction and how LocknCharge provides solutions to help patch your bucket before your school loses more water:

Teachers are Working Harder than Ever Before

Educators in the U.S. reported spending more time teaching than those in other countries. U.S. teachers work longer than the contracted workday, spending more than 50 hours per week on instructional duties.[8] In England, teachers are working 46 hours per week. Both are well above the international average of 38 hours each week, with 20 hours spent teaching.[9]

LocknCharge Solution: When compared to a LocknCharge top-loading Cart with Baskets, one cabinet-style cart can gobble up an additional 70+ hours of class time per year, simply in passing out and collecting devices. LocknCharge baskets have a profound impact on class time. Our unique and innovative basket designs not only keep tablets safe, but they also reduce the time spent by teachers in distributing devices, as well as the time spent by children queuing up to put them away. This means teaching can happen faster — saving over two weeks of instructional time per cart each year! Calculate the time savings of leveraging a durable, top-loading basket-based cart from LocknCharge.

Teachers Feel Unsupported and Undervalued

Even though they’re working harder, nearly two-thirds of teachers in developed countries still feel undervalued.[10] That number jumps to over 90% of teachers in France, Spain and Sweden who think their profession is not respected.

LocknCharge Solution: If teachers feel unsupported as new technology is introduced, their attitudes can quickly go from excitement to frustration. However, when educators feel supported by their district, they know that their personal well being is important.

  1. Include teachers in decision making. When teachers are included in big initiatives, they feel valued. One great example of collaboration is the University of Oklahoma K20 Center. The Center encourages a school or district to bring leadership members, IT staff, and teachers spanning different grade levels to their EdTech demo room as a way to empower decision making within the group. This encourages ideas from all angles to be considered in a constructive manner.
  2. Support teachers when new technology is introduced by deploying an efficient mobile device workflow in the classroom to mitigate that frustration and improve teacher satisfaction. Innovative features in a charging solution like charging status indicator lights and mobile device baskets can simplify daily device distribution — giving teachers more control over how they use their class time.
  3. Provide training for new technology. Study after study shows that teachers do not feel secure in their ability to incorporate high-level technology into their classrooms. By creating a roadmap and a training program for new tech, teachers are much more likely to adopt new ways of teaching through tech.
  4. Give teachers the opportunity to shine. For more reasons than we could ever count, teachers are incredible. They not only have high expectations for their students, but also for themselves. When teachers are given the time and space to use their talents, the sky is the limit for their curriculum and their students. What could your teachers accomplish if they were able to get back two weeks of class time per year?

Over the past 20 years, the needs of teachers and students have guided the designs of our mobile device charging carts and stations to relieve pain points that are specific to challenges in education. After talking to thousands of educators around the world, we’ve jotted down 9 Reasons Why Schools & Teachers Love LocknCharge.


Sources:

[1] Why Teachers Quit – WeAreTeachers

[2] Teacher attrition the first five years – A multifaceted image – ScienceDirect

[3] Teacher Attrition Costs United States Up to $2.2 Billion Annually – Alliance for Excellent Education

[4] How Teacher Turnover Harms Student Achievement – American Education Research Journal

[5] Why Addressing Teacher Turnover Matters – Learning Policy Institute

[6] Teacher attrition the first five years – A multifaceted image – ScienceDirect

[7] Improve job satisfaction to stop teachers quitting the classroom – Nuffield Foundation

[8] New Data Shows Educators Work 11 Hours Overtime per Week – Tsheets

[9] New teacher survey – LA School Report

[10] Two-thirds of teachers feel undervalued, says OECD study – BBC News

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A School Visit from Michelle Obama Ends with the Biggest Surprise of the Year

Ellen DeGeneres is taking pointers from the man in red by making a list and checking it twice with her new holiday tradition: Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways! For the three-night extravaganza, Ellen wanted to change people’s lives in a bigger way than the show ever imagined. She also wanted to inspire people to get in the spirit of giving this holiday season.

One life-changing giveaway featured former first lady Michelle Obama’s surprise visit to the Randle Highlands Elementary School in Washington, D.C. During the first episode, Mrs. Obama revealed plans for a new basketball court and presented the school with new Apple laptops, desktop computers, and enough iPads for every student. As the only globally exclusive provider of Apple charging station for multiple devices via charging carts and stations, the students and staff will also be using LocknCharge’s Apple exclusive charging carts. Our solutions are beloved by teachers and IT staff as they allow educators to spend less time deploying tech and more time doing what matters.

Watch the heartwarming feature, and you’re sure to be inspired by the joy Ellen and Mrs. Obama brought students of all ages at Randle Highlands Elementary:

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5 Tips to Guide Education Technology Investments

For nearly a decade, government spending on education has been falling. In the UK, new figures show schoolchildren are “paying the price for austerity,” with funding slashed by more than £7bn since 2011. In the US, public investment in K-12 schools has also declined dramatically in many states. For the 2017/2018 school year, 12 states have cut funding by seven percent or more compared with 2008.

Schools that have succeeded over the years despite budget challenges and cutbacks have a commitment to a singular vision—giving students the best education. All education spending should be tracked back to this vision, especially technology funding. With school budgets an ongoing issue, it’s critical to ensure that students benefit from every edtech investment. Follow these tips to determine if your school is making the best use of its technology funds.

Seek to Simplify

Teacher’s need tools that help streamline communication, make data collection quicker and increase their capacity to focus on individual students — all without additional effort. One significant benefit that technology gives teachers is the ability to personalize their lessons more easily. “Instead of carrying a group of students through the curriculum at the same speed, regardless of each individual student’s capacity, background, and engagement with each topic, new tools allow teachers to follow each student individually, and to approach lessons in a way that lets them help each one learn every topic in a comprehensive way,” writes Tomas Franceschein in Edu4.me.[1]

Invest in Sustainable, Scalable and Durable Technology

Avoid additional expenses by choosing solutions that can grow and adapt along with technological innovation. For example, while charging solutions may account for a significant portion of a school’s mobile device budget, your school will save time and costs if you don’t need to replace your charging solutions every time you roll out new mobile devices. We call this concept, “future-proof charging.” Future-proof charging solutions combine universal charging, open-concept designs and durable products to save schools money.

Calculate the Hidden Time Savings

How much is your staff’s time worth? By eliminating repetitive or mundane day-to-day duties, your teachers will get more control over how they use their class time and the knowledge that their time is valued. Research by Scholastic, Inc. shows that teachers spend up to 95 minutes per week grading papers and preparing classes. Apps and assessment software can reduce that time by automating the process of grading assignments.  Another time-saving tool is related to a solution for mobile device distribution. Baskets by LocknCharge allow teachers and students to quickly and safely distribute tablets or iPads, putting up to two weeks of class time back into the hands of teachers every year.

Don’t Neglect Your Infrastructure

To make the most out of your IT spend, work with technology service providers that will help guide the infrastructure needed to ensure a smooth technology deployment. Often infrastructure plays second fiddle to curriculum and budget, but in our experience, it plays a critical role in enabling a successful technology rollout.

Teach the Teachers

Studies reveal that teachers feel unprepared and want more training. An alarming 78% of US teachers surveyed by SAM Labs reported that they hadn’t received the training they need to teach with technology in the classroom.2 If we are going to give teachers extra responsibility for incorporating new technologies into their curriculum, we need to provide them with additional support. [2] Check out these three real-world ideas for effective practices to teach the teachers.

  • EdTech recommends, “Rather than demonstrating technology at offsite training sessions, let teachers try it themselves in their own classrooms, with appropriate support where needed.”[3]
  • Superintendent Darryl Adams of California championed a first-of-its-kind technology bond to fund iPads for each of the district’s students. Not only was a portion of the budget set aside for teacher training, but Adams claims the key was training teachers before the students received their devices.[4]
  • “Show, don’t tell,” recommends instructional tech director Monique Flickinger. “Our technology tech trainers create three-minute video podcasts that show teachers in action using the new technology at the front of their classrooms. We also include pictures of the lesson plan, rubrics and students’ work at the end and link it to the state standards so that new teachers can easily steal ideas.”[5]

Whether your school or business is deploying five mobile devices or 50,000 mobile devices, LocknCharge can help guide your investment to make sure you’re making the best use of your technology funds. Get in touch today!


Sources:

[1] How Can Technology Help Empower Teachers – edu4me

[2] “Still? Most teachers feel unprepared to use technology in the classroom” – SAM Labs

[3] How stronger professional development can boost ed-tech success – EdTech

[4] Darryl Adams Got iPads, Wi-Fi for Every Student in High-Needs Calif. District –THE 74

[5] Ten Ideas for Teaching Teachers Technology – edutopia

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