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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Which Type of Mobile Device Charging Station or Charging Cart Is Best for Your Schools? Here’s a Quick Guide:

There are many options for deploying mobile devices to students and choosing which model makes the most sense for your schools can be hard.

Do you want to give every student a digital device to take home? Have students use devices that stay in each classroom? Distribute mobile devices to students through a shared cart approach? Or let students bring their own devices from home? Each of these scenarios has its own benefits and challenges.

Whichever method you choose, you’ll need a way to store, charge, and/or sync devices. The type of mobile device charging station or charging cart you use will depend on how you’re deploying mobile devices to students.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of each approach.

1:1 programs in which devices stay in the classroom

Benefits: This model creates consistency and uniformity, making it easier for IT staff to support the devices. Because everyone is using the same type of device with the same platform, teachers know that whatever apps they use will work on students’ devices. And since the devices remain at school, teachers don’t have to worry about students leaving their devices at home or forgetting to charge them.

Challenges: Many schools might lack the funding needed to deploy a 1:1 program—and it can be hard to find the space needed to store devices in the classroom.

Ideal charging station:
Because devices don’t need to be moved from one classroom to another in a full 1:1 environment, a wall charging station is a fitting option. These units take up less space and typically cost less than a cart, leaving more money to buy the devices themselves.

When you’re distributing devices to students at the start of class each day, time is at a premium. The unique basket design of our Carrier 10 and iQ 10 charging stations make this process much easier and more efficient—which saves valuable class time for instruction.

Another option is the Putnam 16. While these aren’t basket-compatible, they are perfect for 1:1 “stay at school” programs that use tablets. As an added bonus, the stations’ external LED display makes it easy to know if all devices have been put away at the end of the day.

1:1 programs in which students take devices home

Benefits: Letting students take school-owned devices home creates a “classroom without walls,” enabling 24-7 learning. It also addresses the digital divide and the so-called “homework gap,” ensuring that all students have equitable access to learning opportunities.

Challenges: Besides the obvious funding hurdles, take-home 1:1 programs come with an increased risk of devices being damaged, lost, or stolen. It can be harder for schools to manage the devices, as students might be downloading apps or using devices in a way they weren’t intended. What’s more, students might forget to charge their device or bring it to school.

Ideal charging station:
To make sure a dead battery doesn’t disrupt learning, students will need a secure way to store and charge their device while at school. The Carrier or iQ charging station is one solution. Another is the FUYL Tower, which includes 15 individually lockable compartments that can store and charge any mobile device.

Many schools are placing FUYL Towers in common spaces or media centers so that students can securely charge their devices between classes, during classes that don’t require the use of a mobile device or during lunch. The individually lockable compartments work like a hotel safe, creating less work for educators because students can manage the charging of their devices at school without any assistance.

Some schools are also using FUYL Towers for device “loaner” programs. In these scenarios, they’re fully stocking a tower with extra devices so that if a device is broken, or if a student forgets to bring his device from home, the student can be given a PIN to retrieve a loaner device without IT staff having to intervene.

Shared cart environments

Benefits: Having classrooms share devices allows schools to keep costs down and extend their resources further. A shared-use environment can be much less expensive than a full 1:1 program, and with fewer devices to support, IT staff aren’t as stretched thin.

Challenges: Teachers have to schedule their use of a cart, and students won’t have daily access to the devices for learning. These factors may discourage teachers from using technology for instruction. In addition, the apps that students use for learning will vary from one classroom to the next, so teachers will need an easy way to set up and customize shared devices for their students.

Ideal tablet charging cart or laptop charging cart:
Our Carrier and Joey charging carts easily travel from classroom to classroom, and they include our innovative basket design. These baskets, along with the top-loading design of the carts, cut the time it takes to distribute and collect devices in half. What’s more, teachers can use the baskets themselves to transport devices between classrooms safely and efficiently.

Most schools will be able to sync devices using a Mobile Device Management solution, but in cases where Wi-Fi isn’t fast enough, the iQ 20 or iQ 30 will sync and charge tablet devices simultaneously. And our unique basket design can save schools money as well, because schools only have to buy one syncing cart. With the baskets, educators can easily remove devices from a charge-only cart and place them into a cart with syncing capabilities when the devices need to be synced.

Another cost-effective syncing solution is the iQ 16 Sync Charge Box, which can charge and sync up to 16 iOS or Samsung devices simultaneously.

Bring your own device (BYOD) programs

Benefits: BYOD programs are the least expensive way to use technology for teaching and learning because schools can leverage the devices students already own. What’s more, students are already comfortable with their own device, so there’s no learning curve associated with the technology.

Challenges: Teaching in a mixed-device environment can be difficult. For instance, teachers have to make sure the learning materials they use are accessible across a wide range of platforms. And because student-owned devices contain personal apps, there is more potential for distraction. Also, variations in the age, speed, and processing power of devices could lead to inequities in how students learn.

Ideal charging station:
Even though students are bringing their own devices from home, they’ll still need a way to charge and store these devices securely when not using them. A solution that can store and charge a wide variety of device types—such as the FUYL Tower– which contains 15 individually lockable compartments—is ideal.

Students will find any outlet they can to charge their devices during the school day, often leaving them unattended. The FUYL Charging Stations significantly cut back on missing or stolen devices because students don’t have to take the risk of leaving their device out in the open while charging.

For more information about our charging solutions for education, 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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