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.