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Equipping Students with Mobile Devices Sometimes Takes a Change of Cart

Background

Chesterfield County Public Schools is an award-winning school system in central Virginia. Over the past several years, like many other districts around the country, they’ve been working to upgrade their classrooms with 1:1 technology initiatives.

With device take-home programs in their middle schools and high schools, they hadn’t experienced much of a need for a central storage and distribution solution. However, a few years ago as they began introducing Chromebooks for elementary students in grades 2-6, that quickly changed. Their system of 58,000 students includes 38 elementary schools, which makes any mobile device deployment a very big undertaking.

Chesterfield_Student

Challenge

The district’s IT team knew carts would be an important part of the equation. Initially, they were drawn to LocknCharge Carrier Carts, designed for classroom Chromebook storage. Though solidly designed, and easy to maneuver, the Carrier was not the right fit. Literally. The top-sliding lid was not getting used as a work surface, so was instead just getting in the way in small classroom spaces. They went looking for a cart with a smaller footprint.

After some research, the team was drawn to another manufacturer’s cart that offered the lure of easy wiring. Each slot had a one-foot dongle for attaching multiple device types to the same power source. Then, when tips of chargers became damaged – as they inevitably do – the tech team would only have to replace that dongle, leaving the rest of the cord untouched in the backside of the cart. Sounds great, right? One problem: USB-C standards were updated and the carts were not – they were blowing up system boards. So the search for the perfect carts continued.

Solution

After firsthand experience with a variety of different makes and models, the IT department knew exactly what they were looking for. They found it with LocknCharge Joey Carts. Available in 30 or 40 device capacities with signature LocknCharge quality, the Joey had been newly redesigned in response to the evolving needs of classrooms just like those of Chesterfield County.

Smaller Footprint

Both sides of the double-door lid fold all the way down when open to give 360° access to the top-loading cart. It’s simple, but makes a big difference in a crowded classroom.

Easy to Wire & Manage Cables

Chesterfield County’s techs found the new “tool box” design of the Joey to have made for the easiest wiring of a charging cart they’ve experienced thus far. Its removable tray allows ultra-easy access to bricks, cords and cables. Side cable channels along with velcro straps keep cords neatly organized and prevent slipping and yanking so that you can maintain the ideal length of cable – no more, no less – for plugging devices in and out. 

Flexibility to Fit Multiple Device Types with Cases

Joey Carts come standard with Baskets by LocknCharge, but since their larger Chromebook cases required more room, Chesterfield County opted to swap the Baskets for device racks. Paired with the included stickers to label each slot, everything fits neatly in its place. 

Great Service

School Technology Coordinator Rick Mattes says, “service is key.” He’s had a great experience with LocknCharge – getting his questions answered, receiving product demos, and he appreciated the easy-to-follow setup video for wiring. The exceptional customer service is even matched with an exceptional lifetime warranty.

What's Next

Rick and the tech team began rolling out (no pun intended) their new Joey Carts right before the pandemic hit. With school shut down they’ve been spending this time unwiring old carts and wiring new ones. They are excited to be introducing 4,000 new Chromebooks for elementary school students in the coming year. And for all of the challenges this year has posed on teachers and students alike, having new technology and workflows that make life easier should be a very welcome surprise.

To download a PDF of this case study, click here.

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