Harton Academy Chooses LocknCharge Products

Harton Technology College Sign

Harton Academy, the winner of our £5,000 makeover, has chosen the FUYL Tower, Putnam 16 Charging Station and two iQ10 Charging Stations as their prize. The school has found four innovative ways to use iPads throughout the school and will be utilizing their new LocknCharge products to assist with their tablet deployment plans.

FUYL Tower

FUYL Tower inside Harton Academy's library.

The LocknCharge FUYL Tower Charging Locker, with 15 individually-lockable compartments, can now be found in their library and will serve two main purposes. The school plans to fill 7-8 bays with ready-to-use devices that can be issued to students by the librarian using a 4-digit pin. The remaining bays will remain empty and available so that students can securely charge their personal and school-issued devices throughout the day.


Putnam 16 Charging Station

LocknCharge Putnam 16 Charging Station inside Harton Academy's Music Department

The Putnam 16 Charging Station, a compact iPad Charging Station, will be housed inside their music department. The iPad devices within the music department will be replacing the need for piano sheet music.

iQ10 Charging Stations

Charging Station #1: PE Teachers at Harton Academy are creating digital lesson plans that are accessed on the sports fields via an iPad device. They will be using the iQ10 Charing Station to securely charge their devices between classes or at the end of each day.

Charging Station #2: Students who are struggling in a typical classroom setting will be using iPads within the Learning Resource Area–an alternate learning environment. These students will be able to securely charge their iPads at the end of each day inside the iQ10 Charging Station.


Stay tuned for more information about how Harton Academy innovative ideas for integrating iPad technology into their school for both students and teachers.

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The Evolution of the Computer Tablet

With 259 million tablets shipped worldwide from 2011-2018, it is hard to believe that before then, the tablet didn’t exist.  Or, did it.

Despite everyone thinking that the iPad was the start of the tablet revolution, there was actually “tablet talk” long before this time.  In fact, it could be said as long ago as 50 years ago!

Specialising in the Education field, the “KiddiComp concept”, envisioned by American computer scientist Alan Kay, is in line with our philosophies at LocknCharge. 

Developed in 1968, whilst still a PhD student, the Dynabook was designed to be a “personal computer for children of all ages”, and had the potential to become a portable device for educational settings that would offer the same function as a laptop or computer.  The idea was the Dynabook would be extremely light, with the best battery life you could get.  Although adults could use the Dynabook, the target audience was children.

However sadly, the Dynabook never made it to production.  For 50 years ago, the technology was far too ahead of its time, and it never caught on.  But Kay did not give up.  And the first prototype of the product was build 20 years after the initial idea was born.

The list below shows some examples of instrumental developments in the history of tablet computer innovation over the decades.


The Apple Graphics tablet: 

Interestingly, some features of the original 1979 version of the Apple graphics tablet were seen in the Apple iPad (2010 version):  https://www.computerworld.com/article/2519943/apple-mac/face-off–1979-apple-graphics-tablet-vs–2010-apple-ipad.html



A pen computing tablet built by GRiD Systems Corporation in 1989.


AT& T EO 440:

A portable, hand-held pen-only PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) computer system with handwriting-recognition technology which took around 6 years to develop and launch.


The Apple Newton MessagePad:

MessagePad was the first series of personal digital assistant devices developed by Apple Computer for the Newton platform in 1993.





The early PalmPilot was made popular because of their portability and Graffiti handwriting recognition. Using a PalmPilot, the user could keep notes, manage contacts, play games, and view and manage other documents.


Apple iPad (2010):

The first-generation iPad is a tablet computer designed and marketed by Apple Inc. as the first in the iPad line.  During the first 80 days, three million iPads were sold. By the launch of the iPad 2, Apple sold more than 15 million iPads.


Amazon Kindle Fire:

The Fire Tablet, formerly called the Kindle Fire, is a tablet computer developed by Amazon.com. Built with Quanta Computer, the Kindle Fire was first released in November 2011, featuring a colour 7-inch multi-touch display.


Barnes and Noble NOOK tablet:

The NOOK Tablet is produced by Barnes & Noble intended to compete with both e-book readers and tablet computers.  About 5 million units were sold by mid-October 2012, making the Nook Tablet the third bestselling tablet after Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire in 2012.


iPad Mini:

The iPad Mini family is a line of smaller sized tablets designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. It is based on the iPad line of tablets, with a reduced screen size of 7.9 inches, in contrast to the standard 9.7 inches.



The first Chromebook started shipping in 2011.  A Chromebook is like a standard laptop (browse the web, create documents, communicate via email). But in other ways, it’s an entirely new kind of portable device.

Running Google’s Chrome operating system, and calling upon Google applications on the Cloud, the machine is not dependent on software stored on the hard drive. Simple and secure, the Chromebook has made getting things done in and out of the classroom or work environment quick, easy, and affordable.

For more information about LocknCharge Tablet Charging Stations, click here.




Other sources:

With thanks to: Wikipedia




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Hythe House Uses CarryOn to Simplify Device Deployment


When Hythe House Support was founded in 2003, the aim was to establish an agency that would offer children and young people a professional, high-quality fostering service. However, it has developed into much more than that.  

For many young people in care, attending mainstream school may not be the best option, or in some cases, even possible. Where education has been disrupted, or a great deal of school has been missed, Hythe House Education can provide the specialist intervention to get a child’s education back on track. This may be on a short-term basis until an appropriate mainstream provision is identified for the young person.

The private, independent school is based on the Isle of Sheppey, near Sittingbourne. Located opposite the beach, it provides a safe, enjoyable learning environment with very small class sizes and an ethos of supporting every child individually to reach their full potential.


The primary goal is to ensure that children are not only provided with care in a safe and homey environment but also that this is given by caregivers who really care about the task of fostering and most importantly about the children who are placed in their homes.

Hythe House School provides education for boys and girls aged between 11 and 16 years who may have experienced emotional, behavioural and social difficulties. They will be supported in the transition onto College, further education, apprenticeships or into full-time employment.

At a Glance

The school:

  1. Needed a simple solution to uncharged iPads.
  2. Needed an effective storage solution

In the classroom, teachers use Apple iPad mini tablets as tools to support the students.  However, in the beginning, this created some difficulties between students and classroom management.

Nicolette Duffy from Hythe House says, “We simply had a spare desk in the classroom to store the iPads, which were then connected to numerous power sockets. We found increasingly that the students didn’t remember to plug in their iPads at the end of the day.

“We found that those students that had not charged their own iPads would then try and take someone else’s.  The tablets looked untidy and were subject to being moved and misplaced by other students.”

Deploying Devices

After seeing the CarryOn™ tablet and iPad Charging Station in an Educational IT magazine, Nicolette recognised the potential of the portable tablet charging station within the school environment. The CarryOn™ Charging Station offers efficient USB charging, and with up to 2.4 amps of power at each port, you can simultaneously charge five devices in the same amount of time as just one. The Charging Station allows you to carry five devices, together with all the charging hardware and cables in one neat and compact unit.

“The CarryOn™ tablet charging station is neat and tidy.  All students have a labelled portal area and now know they only put their iPad in that portal.  The iPads can also be safely locked away so that the students do not mess around with them either.”

And with the small footprint, the charging station can be stored almost anywhere, including being used as a portable device or fixed to a wall area with the bracket included.

Results to Date

“The charging station sits behinds the Headteacher’s desk at school where he teaches in the main classroom and this is its permanent home. I would definitely recommend the CarryOn™, and in fact, have done so to another school as they were having problems with students taking iPads home and forgetting to charge them. We have found that the CarryOn™ has made students much more organised.”

For more information about our charging stations, click here.

To download a PDF of the Case Study, click here.

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Thinking Inside the Box

With a little ingenuity, LocknCharge laptop carts can easily be transformed into mobile STEM labs.

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is critical for the nation’s competitiveness, and it can help inspire students on a path to a successful career. According to one analysis, in 2016 there were more than a dozen STEM-related job openings posted online for every available STEM worker in the United States, which points to the dire need for more STEM professionals. What’s more, many jobs of the future will require at least some knowledge of key STEM concepts.

For these reasons, many educators are looking for creative ways to approach STEM education in their classrooms by engaging students with hands-on projects and learning activities. Technologies such as virtual reality headsets, 360-degree cameras, robotics kits, and 3D printers allow students to design, tinker, program, build, test, and troubleshoot as they put important STEM skills and concepts into practice.

These technologies can be expensive to buy for all classrooms. But an idea that’s catching on in a growing number of schools could help deliver hands-on STEM education tools to more students in a cost-effective way: mobile STEM labs.

Mobile STEM labs can be wheeled from classroom to classroom as needed. This lets K-12 leaders buy enough VR headsets, robotics kits, or other technologies for a single class—and then share the equipment among multiple classes within a single building, grade level, or department.

Some manufacturers offer specialized carts for transporting their STEM-related technologies, but again, these carts tend to be expensive. At LocknCharge, we’d like to suggest a more budget-friendly solution: By thinking “inside the box,” educators can easily transform LocknCharge laptop carts into mobile STEM labs that can transport mobile computing devices for students and hands-on STEM technologies at the same time.

The open design of our laptop carts allows educators to reconfigure the carts to transport many different kinds of technologies. Imagine wheeling a Carrier 30 Cart into your classroom that contains baskets of iPads and a charging case with six Sphero SPRK+ programmable robots. Students break into groups of four; each group has its own Sphero robot that students can program using the iPads from the cart’s baskets. Talk about a recipe for fun, engaging STEM learning!

Take a peek inside our Carrier 30 Cart with a Sphero Charging Case that fits nicely inside.

A robotics-themed mobile STEM lab isn’t the only configuration possible with our laptop carts. Here are some other great ideas:

  • Virtual Reality Cart: This would include a classroom set of virtual reality headsets (like Google Cardboard or the Samsung Gear VR) and mobile devices that fit inside the viewers. Using apps like Google Expeditions, Titans of Space, or Anatomyou, students could be transported on immersive journeys to places like Antarctica, the International Space Station, the planets of our solar system, or the inside of the human body. And if you add a 360-degree camera, students could use software like Wonda, Unity, or InstaVR to create their own immersive VR experiences!
  • Engineering Cart: This would contain a 3D printer and tablet or laptop computers for creating three-dimensional renderings (using software like Tinkercad or SketchUp) that students would bring alive with the printer.  

For more information about LocknCharge products, click here.

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Go Paperless: Benefits of A Paperless Office

Every day we read about how our Oceans are becoming more polluted, and how sea creatures are now mistaking plastic and waste as food sources, leading to huge problems in the waters.  We hear about climate change and global warming.  In recent news, 2.7 trillion tons of ice have been lost in Antarctica due to global warming, resulting in raising sea levels by as much as a centimetre.

There is debate over how much we can do as individuals to stop these changes to our planet, but one thing is for sure – most Countries, Government organisations, and responsible humans are pushing towards a more sustainable future.

As part of this, a lot of businesses are coming up with ways of making their everyday work processes more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Just simplifying processes, such as reducing their paper consumption with a paperless workflow, can go a long way to help the cause.

To give you a better idea of paper usage, one carton (10 reams) of 100% virgin copier paper uses 0.6 trees.  One tree makes 16.67 reams of copy paper or 8,333 sheets, which means that one ream (500 sheets) of paper uses 6% of a tree!

When you think about the amount of paper an office worker uses in just one day, that leads to a colossal amount of trees being cut down each year, just to make provisions for one business!

For years, manufacturers have been searching for something to replace paper.  But what are the alternatives?

According to a study by Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, USA, paper must be made from a fibrous material. Fibres can be found in biomass other than wood. Some examples are Kenaf (a plant originating from Africa), Industrial hemp cotton, and some other fibres.  However all of these options come with problems, for example, hemp is currently illegal in the United States of America.

Rather than replacing existing paper with new paper made using a different method or material, the advice from the college is to make efforts to go paperless wherever and whenever we can.  This includes performing banking and other transactions using the internet, communicating by email instead of regular mail, using digital marketing instead of brochures, reading newspapers or magazines on screen, and archiving/organizing files digitally, rather than using books or printed folders.

The WWF (World Wildlife Fund), the leading World fund for nature, also believes there are many easy ways for individuals and businesses to reduce their paper use and costs. In fact they believe that reductions of 20% or more are possible in most offices. 

These reductions are not solely limited to environmental benefits but also offer cost benefits to an organisation.

They believe that potential monetary savings are up to 10 times the costs of paper by reducing the cost of storage, toner, printing, labour, postage and disposal.  Estimates show that offices specifically can further make a 10-30% reduction in paper usage with appropriate use of available technology.

One example of an organisation who has seen the real-life benefits of becoming a paperless office is The Bank of America.  The largest bank in the USA has been reported to have reduced its paper consumption dramatically through online reports and forms, e-mail, double-sided copying, and lighter-weight papers. The total tonnage of paper used for internal operations decreased 32% between 2000 and 2004 (by over a billion sheets of paper).

At LocknCharge we have also found that a lot of customers are now using iPads or tablets paired with charging stations to go paperless in the office. In fact, one of our customers at Inflight Pilot Training actually cut back on 40,000 pages of flight manuals by going paperless with the FUYL Tower and iPads.  They needed a way of making sure all iPads were charged fully before taking to the air, and the FUYL Tower met this need.

The FUYL Tower is a charging station made up of 15 individual lockers, each of which is equipped with one fully-charged iPad. The individual locker is opened with an admin-assigned pin number, entered on the tower’s keypad by the pilot. This allows approved pilots and flight instructors to check out a plane, during or after office hours, without talking to a single staff member.

And it is not just private businesses that can benefit from becoming a paperless company either.

Back in 2011, Ben Johnson, a career educator with recent experience on the campus level and district office level, found that some teachers are given paper allotments for the entire year at their school sites.

Ben says, “Let’s say that in a school of 100 teachers, each teacher gets a 50-ream allotment. Each ream of paper holds 500 sheets, so per teacher, that would be 25,000 pieces of paper. In a class of 30 students that is 833 pieces of paper per student per year. This would mean at a school of 100 teachers, that school would use 250,000 pieces of paper annually. With that, a school like this would spend approximately $7,500 per year on printing on this paper and paper itself costs $25,000, not to mention costs of copy toner and service agreements. So, I’m thinking that every school could use an extra $30,000 to $50,000. Perhaps this would be enough to invest in technology that inscribes indelible information in the brain instead of on paper.”

Whatever your individual view on sustainability, paperless office solutions such as the use of tablets and iPads, are giving solutions to businesses and organisations that want to show a commitment to not only the environment but also reduce their business overheads.  And that can’t be bad.

To view the FUYL Tower from LocknCharge and see how it can help your business, click here.


For more information or to read more of the research in this article please use the links below:

See here for the full study from Dartmouth College.
See more about the WWF here.
To read more about Inflight Pilot, click here.
Read the article by Ben Johnson here.

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