Getting your Students Refocused After the Holiday

The weeks leading up to the holidays can be an extremely hectic time – especially at school. Students often lose focus on their school work – causing a chaotic classroom, leaving teachers to various tactics to keep their kids on task before the holiday break, as well as refocusing them once they return to school.

Read on to find out how a few teachers are keeping their students mindful during the busiest time of the year:

Justine Gillespie, Special Education Teacher

“Halfway through the school year students can become burnt out on specific apps they’ve been using over the first semester. Most notably, math apps. I try to introduce new apps after winter break to “catch” my students attention again and get them to buy into the learning.

The biggest thing that I base all of my teaching off of is the individual student, I try to tailor all of my teaching to the child’s interests. The kids are more apt to learning when it is something they’re interested in. If we are writing an essay, I give options for the essay topic and the way in which they write their essay (handwritten, on the iPad, on the computer, etc). This is much easier to do as a special education teacher than as a general education teacher. However, I feel many teachers can benefit from switching things up mid-year.

The kids can pick up on teacher’s energy. If the teacher is burnt out, the kids will be too. Teaching is a give and take and the more we can involve our students in the process of teaching the more they’re willing to participate in the learning process.

I also ask my students what I can do to help them. Kids have a powerful insight to their learning styles and it is essential to teach them that they have the power over what they take out of what is taught in school and how they develop as a learner. Again, easier to be done as a special education teacher than as a general education teacher, but crucial to the success of each student.”

Kate McNally, Elementary School Bilingual

“I like to give students opportunities to have movement breaks throughout the day which helps them stay focused and engaged right before and after holiday breaks! This really helps retain their focus when the excitement of break is still on their minds. For example, we might spend 5-7 minutes doing a breathing exercise or a short Zumba session. I also like to change the seating charts or scenery in the classroom. It gives them a new and exciting environment to look forward to once they return to school!”

Katie O’Connor, Middle School English Teacher

“Get students involved in their learning! My students love using Kahoots and Peardecks on their devices, which allow them to be creative and see their results compared to their classmates in minutes!

Set up games in your classroom. Getting students involved in games such as Jeopardy online or a vocabulary challenge, to allow students to have fun while they learn a new topic or review something they learned during the first half of the year. Let them talk! I think that in the second half of the year, students will start showing how much they have grown since the beginning of the year: so listen to them!

Give them the opportunity and chance to share their thoughts and ideas with you and their classmates in any way possible! Debates, conversations, think.pair.share, and presentations.”

Rachel Rohland, Special Education Teacher

“I’ve found success by offering rewards, incentives, and class prizes. Some examples might be a party at the end of the week, 30 minutes of free time, or time to play learning games on our classroom iPad. Even something as simple as using stickers as a reward system has been a great way to keep kids on task and learning-focused.

One trick, unique to January, was our New Year Resolution day. My fellow educators and I went over what a “resolution” was this morning and each student named one that they would work on in school. Throughout the month, we can continue to remind them of their resolutions and keep them on track to success!”

Megan Cagney, 1st Grade Teacher

“Something I’ve started doing more all year with the students but definitely try to make sure I do after coming back from break is to involve them in goal setting, personal and academic. The personal goal would be like a New Years resolution which we usually write those out and post them on a bulletin board either in our classroom or in the hallway. I talk about involving others in your goals so that they can hold you accountable and help you reach your goals. The academic goal, I make kid-friendly sheets to track data, such as their sight words and reading level or certain reading skills we are working on. I show them the end of the year goal, where they are at currently, and then together we decide what they can work on for the next month or two to reach their personal academic goals. It motivates them, it’s visual and tangible, it makes it seem more doable to them if we work on it together to come up with a realistic goal based on each student’s needs and abilities.

It also helps to start out coming back from break with very interactive lessons that are guided by the students’ interests to some extent. We planned it so that our writing unit when we come back will be a nonfiction writing unit. The students will use books, Chromebooks, and iPads to do research on an animal and then an insect that they’re interested in learning more about. The first week or two back is all about research, learning as much as you can about your topic to become an “expert” and then we work on taking organized notes. Then we will transition into writing about our animal/insect. We create big books full of diagrams, labels, pictures, and info. At the end of the unit, we invite a Kindergarten class in to read the students’ nonfiction books they wrote.

In addition, we will be working on our nonfiction reading unit which again encourages students to read a lot about topics to become experts so that they can be “reporters” on their topic. We watch kid-friendly documentaries and then the students actually create their own mini-documentary on their topic. We will record it with iPads and create little videos to send to parents, watch as a class, and send to other classrooms as well.”

If you would like a quote on a LocknCharge solution, click here.

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Talking to Experts Before Investing in a Charging Program

Why It’s Important to do Thorough Research on Charging Solutions–Including Talking to Experts–Before Investing in a Charging Program

When you’re just trying to run your own business, it can be difficult to find the time and energy to select vendors to help your business run smoothly. You are likely getting tons of pamphlets, emails, and calls from potential vendors hoping to earn their place in your business. Picking the right vendors can be stressful, especially when you’re investing in a mobile device deployment that will change the future of how your business operates.

Here are a few tips on how to pick the right business partners and vendors:

  • Make a pro and con list to vet vendors. Find the vendors who align most closely with the values of your organization as well as the goals of your project. Finding a company who is focused on the same things you are and is dedicated to helping you reach your goals will give you peace of mind that you’ve made the right choice.
  • Make sure there is a good customer support system that allows for customer support and trust between you and the company. Having access to experts is of utmost importance!  
  • Research durability of the products and make sure they’ll be worth your investment. A mobile device deployment is a big investment, and you will want your purchases to last a very long time.
  • Talk to others who have done the same search you have, and learn from those who have been there.

Thousands of customers around the world have relied on and will continue to rely on LocknCharge for successful mobile device deployments for years to come. You may browse our website and think you know which products you want for your deployment, but you might change your mind after receiving information about how your goals align with each solution.

Talking to a charging expert is vital, and luckily, LocknCharge has multiple experts to help you navigate which system is right for your mobile device deployment. We are the experts in mobile device deployments and will help guide you to the perfect option for your unique use case. While we have products for just about any deployment, we won’t convince you to invest in something that isn’t the right fit for you if we don’t have it. We are here to make your life easier; that’s our mission.

If you would like a quote on a LocknCharge solution, click here.

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What it Actually Means to be an Innovative Company

The word “innovative” is tossed around so frequently these days that it’s becoming downright ubiquitous. Every startup seems to be “innovative,” which, while this may be true for each company in its own way, the word is starting to lose its meaning. Good ideas come from everywhere in companies, from the 21-year-old intern to the 65-year-old almost retiree. Having a CEO who listens to everyone in the company is crucial to making sure good ideas don’t slip through the cracks.

At LocknCharge, we recently did a hackathon to drive internal innovation. We broke into groups of 5-6 people each, and each group had 60 minutes to brainstorm and write a presentation on a new and innovative product for LocknCharge that doesn’t currently exist… yet. We learned quickly that seeking insight from every area of the business is of utmost importance. Because of our success with in-house innovation, we thought we’d share some advice on driving innovation in your company:

  1. Encourage employees to speak up about their ideas in things like hackathons, innovation forums, or even simply 1:1 meetings. No idea should be considered outlandish, stupid, or silly. “Employees universally feel safer going with the status quo than attempting innovation, because it’s less likely to lead to visible errors. So if you want employees to experiment, they have to know that their innovative efforts will be free from repercussion,” says Micah Solomon in an article for Forbes.
  2. Leaders should practice what they preach. If you want to have employees who are innovators, they should have leaders who set a good example in that way. You should also have managers who empower their employees; two of Google’s 8 Qualities of Great Managers are that they empower their team and don’t micro-manage, and that they’re good communicators and they listen to the team.
  3. Think ahead of your competitors. It’s easy to get into your own way of doing things and not worry about the competition–however, if you are encouraging your employees to be innovative, you will always be a few steps ahead.
  4. Dare to do what’s never been done before. Taking calculated risks is all a part of business, and you never know if a failed idea could turn into something better. Take the story of Slack, for instance, which started out of a failed project and turned into a $1B company in a matter of a few years.
  5. Have an authentic company culture. Employees won’t feel motivated if they feel like they’re working somewhere phony. Work with HR to foster a company culture that feels real, and where the employees feel as much as part of the success of the company as the CEO. A survey by Deloitte in 2016 found that “millennials place a strong emphasis on their personal values when choosing a potential employer, with 56% ruling out working for certain organizations. Even if you have the best of the best applying at your company, if they don’t fit the culture you won’t see the expected returns in the long run.”
  6. Treat your employees with respect. Employees who don’t feel like they are respected are less likely to come forward with new ideas; and they might just leave and take their ideas and talents somewhere they do.

At LocknCharge, we are proud to call ourselves an innovative company – and were recently recognized as Madison’s Most Innovative Company 2018!

If you would like a quote on a LocknCharge solution, click here.

 

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iPad Charging Stations: 10 Reasons to Use Them

iPad Charging Stations: 10 Reasons why you should be using them

The future of learning in the classroom may be moving digitally, but do we have the necessary steps in place to support this and ensure iPads or other mobile and tech devices are effective, safe, secure and offer pupils a better education?  iPad charging stations can be a great solution to bring order to iPad management.  Read our ten reasons why they can benefit your school below.

  1. You can get back crucial class time

A recent video case study found that you can save up to a staggering 70 hours of class time each year just by choosing a suitable device management system for iPads or other tablet devices that includes baskets. 

The video was taken at the beginning of each lesson with a traditional style cabinet tablet storage cart.  The traditional cart took 10 minutes and 3 seconds to complete deployment of 30 units.  This was then repeated with a basket-based cart which took just 4 minutes and 50 seconds – saving a huge 5 minutes and 13 seconds out of just one lesson in teaching time.

  1. They can reduce theft of iPads

Schools using iPads make significant investments in not only devices but ensuring procedures are in place for them to be used successfully. 

This was certainly the case for Hove Park School when they had £37,000 worth of pupils’ iPads stolen from their school.  iPad charging stations and storage carts reduce the risk of theft and enhance security, not only from the risk of individual devices being stolen but from the risk of cables being lost and units being mislaid. 

  1. They can sync multiple devices

Charging stations for iPads, tablets and laptops can sync multiple devices at the same time, sometimes up to 40 units or more.  This not only saves time having to load devices individually but also ensures all pupils have the latest information ready to work with, and reduces the risk of Not syncing all of the devices, which can result in critical apps not being downloaded onto all devices and students being left out of projects. It can also prevent having students on varying versions of software by assuring they’re all updated at once.

  1. They can help to save money

 Not only can iPad charging stations help you save money in the long run by reducing theft but they can help save money by reducing the need for extra resources in order to manage and maintain the devices, loss of chargers and accessories or on breakages.  Many units are also portable, so can be moved from classroom to classroom meaning you need less iPads in total for your school, at less cost.  Starting at around £300 per device, this could save a tidy sum!

  1. They can encourage responsible learning

Charging stations not only ensure pupils are taking responsibility for iPads but can help provide many positive benefits to a classroom environment. One particular benefit of mobile device charging stations that include baskets is that they allow children to “own” and take responsibility for their dedicated devices and to gain independence from both using and distributing these devices.  Devices are not cheap, and schools need to ensure that they are looked after with care and compassion. By empowering children with tasks that they are capable of carrying out alone or with the help of their friends, tools like these baskets increase their self-esteem and encourage a great environment for learning.

  1. They keep accessories intact and tidy

 No more messy cable ties, or lack of plug sockets.  With an iPad charging station you can charge multiple units using just one plug, and keep leads and cables safe inside the charging station housing cabinet.  This not only reduces the likelihood of cables getting lost but provides a health and safety benefit for the user.

  1. They assist with classroom management

The seemingly simple task such as keeping order in the classroom generally accounts for 13% of all teachers’ time.  So teachers need to find ways to channel their resources. Charging stations can take time away from tasks to do what teachers do best, teach!

  1. They help free up classroom storage space

Charging stations can help to store iPads in one place, reducing space needed for wires, plugs and other equipment that would need to be in one place.  With compact or wall mountable designs, it provides extra space for additional desks or learning stations. Maximum efficiency, minimal space.  Many are also fully portable so can be moved into other office areas and transported from classroom to classroom safely and efficiently.

  1. They encourage safe distribution to students

Some charging units have unique ways in which to distribute iPads within the classroom, such as the innovative basket design from LocknCharge.  These allow deployment of up to 10 iPads in separate “mini” stations which mean there is less risk of damage through accidental error.  They also have the added benefit of easy collection at the end of a project and can be carried outside or wherever necessary. 

  1. They allow for learning outside of the classroom

Many charging stations are fully portable, meaning they can be stored outside the classroom and wheeled in when required.  Or with specialized basket designs, some charging stations encourage portable learning outside of the classroom environment.  With a battery that can last all day, and integration with iCloud you can work from anywhere and not be limited to just the classroom. Baskets allow students to transport iPads outdoors – on school trips, to the playground, conservation areas – wherever their imagination takes them!

For more information or to request a quote on suitable iPad charging stations, visit LocknCharge at www.lockncharge.com

 

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Customer Experience Made Easy by Brompton Bicycle

Who Are Brompton

Brompton Bicycle is the manufacturer of the iconic folding bike. They manufacture 45,000 bikes per year, selling bikes in over 1,500 stores globally (selling in 44 countries). Additionally, they have 13 Brompton Junction flagship stores, with stores in China, Japan, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Munich, Paris and Covent Garden London.

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