Three out of four U.S. students now use smartphones as educational technology aides in the classroom. More than half of K-12 teachers report the use of edtech solutions, including laptop computers and tablets in a typical week. That means tens of millions of electronic devices are losing their charge throughout schools every day. The obvious solution is to plug those devices into an outlet when they’re need of recharging. However, if you’ve spent any time in an airport with your phone’s battery on one percent, you know that not all buildings are outfitted with enough outlets to serve our growing demand for power. The technology infrastructure in schools is no different. Most classrooms average more than twenty students; it’s highly unlikely there’s an available outlet for each student, not to mention one for teachers, aides and other support staff.
“You don’t always think about charging as a problem until you see the things students do to charge their devices throughout the day. 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.”
Kim Bannigan - Deforest Area School Distrcit
Kim Bannigan, a learning information systems coordinator at DeForest Area School District, is all too familiar with this issue. “You don’t always think about charging as a problem until you see the things students do to charge their devices throughout the day,” she explains. “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.”
In addition to outlets being hard to come by in schools, they also don’t protect against breakage or theft. As you can imagine, a school’s cafeteria is not the safest spot to store a device.
School Infrastructure Report Card
The next obvious solution to meet the charging needs of students and their devices is to install additional outlets. But infrastructure updates are costly, and education funding is often limited. In 2017, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave public schools a D+ in its annual infrastructure report card and estimated that the cost to bring all U.S. schools into better condition would be approximately $200 billion. With the average cost of adding a new electric outlet at around $350, additional outlets may not be the highest priority when more than half of schools need to invest in repairs, renovations and modernizations to even be considered in ‘good’ condition. ,
One Low-Cost Step towards Modernization
A wide range of creative ideas is required to tackle the enormous task of modernizing schools. Deploying on-demand, centralized and secure charging towers is an innovative smart classroom management solution that will get your school one step closer to improving its infrastructure grade. Charging towers and charging carts offer modern convenience without expensive facilities updates, bringing your school into the 21st century at a low cost. Check out these seven benefits of secure charging towers for schools:
- Save money on infrastructure updates: Eliminate the need for new outlets. An optional pedestal for the Putnam 18 Tower allows you to charge 36 Chromebook, small laptop or tablet devices in two stacked charging stations with one outlet plug.
- Prevent electrical overload: Finding a spot to charge tens, hundreds, or even thousands of devices at once can be daunting. It can also put a severe strain on an outdated school building’s electrical capabilities. Our solutions are equipped with an ECO Safe Charge, so you won’t have to worry about electrical overload while charging multiple devices at one outlet.
- Safely store devices: Because students have their own code to access LocknCharge towers, they’re more secure than a regular locker, a classroom and especially a cafeteria.
- Secure Charging on Demand. FUYL Towers can be stationed in open areas where they’re needed most – library media centers, hallways, lunchrooms, etc. Even when they’re deployed in public spaces, nobody has to watch them. Devices can be accessed anytime students need them, such as during passing times, lunch, or before or after school.
- Reduce BYOD challenges: One of the biggest challenges of a “bring your own device” program is students leaving their device at home. Students are notorious for being forgetful. The distractions that come from a forgotten device have the potential to halt or alter your class for the entire day, not to mention putting students a day behind in classwork. No more “I left my laptop at home” excuses.
- Keep devices charged: Guess what, those forgetful students are probably not going to remember to charge their laptops and tablets before class. Similar to showing up with no device, a dead device has the same capacity to disrupt learning time.
- Cut additional expenses: 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 grow and adapt along with technological innovation and combine universal charging, open-concept designs and durable products to save schools money.
All students and teachers deserve schools that are modernized and capable of supporting the latest education programming. Contact LocknCharge, and we’ll help you design a proactive solution for your infrastructure challenges.