Ways a LocknCharge Charging Station or Cart will Improve Culinary Classroom Workflow

using tablets in charging stations to improve culinary classroom workflow

Improve your classroom’s culinary workflow by implementing a LocknCharge mobile device charging station. LocknCharge Charging Stations and Carts are designed with many useful features – the most important being that our products make life easier for those who use mobile technology, whether in or out of the traditional classroom setting. Many culinary training programs, like the Culinary Arts and Pastry & Baking Arts at ICE, are deploying tablet and mobile tech into their daily curriculum and need secure stations to keep devices safe, centrally-located, and fully charged. Check out the variety of ways our charging stations can benefit workflow in the kitchen or classroom.

Save time

The biggest benefit from adding LocknCharge Mobile Device Charging Stations to a culinary classroom is the amount of time it will save students and teachers. By utilizing a Charging Station, classrooms will decrease device hand-out/pack-up time, and it will allow students to get to cooking faster. Reducing device pack-up and handout time through the use of a LocknCharge Cart and Baskets can save up to 2 weeks of class time, per class, each year in comparison to a traditional front-loading, cabinet-style cart. Current LocknCharge customer and Director of Instructional Technology at Putnam City Schools, Charri Stratton, said on the topic of efficiency: “Instructional time is so important in the classroom. Every minute counts, and just being able to look at the cabinet and know that all of the iPads are there, and they’re all charging, saves 5-10 minutes per day… over a semester that’s a huge amount of instructional time.” Students have limited time in the kitchen or classroom, and anything that increases efficiency becomes key to a well-functioning program.

Devices will be kept safe

LocknCharge Charging Stations are best-known for securing and protecting devices from theft and breakage. Their high-quality design ensures a safe spot to secure numerous mobile devices. This allows students and teachers to rest easy when leaving their kitchen and classroom at the end of the day. With so many students coming in and out of the workspace, this is crucial to seamless device deployment. Plus, in a kitchen where materials such as oil and hot water can be dangerous to device longevity, LocknCharge products provide a secure point of storage so technology remains locked up and safely out of the way when not in use. This saves the program time and money and greatly reduces the need to replace damaged devices.

Students will be prepared

Classrooms can ensure that devices are charged and ready to use at the beginning of every day by utilizing a centralized, secure Charging Station. Baskets enable students to take part in classroom responsibility, allowing teachers to focus on teaching and empowering students to take the reins on classroom management. Teachers and program leaders can rest assured that devices are always ready to use when the need arises.

Easy mobility

Carts and Baskets offer mobility throughout a classroom, throughout a building or between facilities. This is perfect if devices need to be shared between classrooms or stored in different rooms. For culinary programs that share time between the kitchen and traditional classroom setting, Baskets and Mobile Charging Stations provide flexible, efficient and safe transport of devices so that teachers experience stress-free transitions from one location to another. In fact, without a LocknCharge Charging Station, your breakage rate of devices is about 10%. With a LocknCharge Charging Station, we’ve seen customers experience a breakage rate of only .002.

Have more space in the classroom

The compact sizes of Charging Stations mean less space is eaten up in the classroom or kitchen. This makes them great for space-strapped environments. Having a centralized storage point will also allow students and teachers to know where to go when they need to use a device. For students who store recipes and inventory information electronically, having access to fully-charged mobile or tablet devices allows them to rid their culinary station of paper, books, and other bulky, unnecessary items.

Ultimately, there are a variety of reasons why charging stations should be utilized in the classroom and training kitchen. We make life easier and allow students to spend less time charging and more time cooking.

To talk to an Expert Problem Solver at LocknCharge about which products might be right for your school or business, click here.


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Fighting Poverty in Schools

We often see appeals for overseas aid or funding, and requests for donations to charitable organisation away from home.  But there are money issues and economic problems in every country, and if you look closely enough in every town.

Last Christmas, a shocking 120,000 children were homeless in the UK*. That’s four children in every school.  In addition, a staggering 4 million children live in persistent and severe poverty. 

For these children from deprived families or poorer neighbourhoods, it can be hard to get access to basic necessities in life such as food and clothing.  Let alone digital technology, computers or iPads.

Yet according to a study dating back to 2014 named “At What Cost: Exposing the impact of poverty on school life”, families were found to be on average spending £800 each year per child on additional school costs.   This was despite the free government schooling the children were receiving. (See the full report here.)

Children were also found to be struggling with the cost of the increased requirement to use computers, with a third of children living in the poorest families saying they had fallen behind at school because their family couldn’t afford the computer or internet facilities. The effect of this on a child at an impressionable age is unimaginable, and it is no surprise that this has not only led to some of these children becoming embarrassed but also being bullied.

With tight budgets, it is impossible for every school to supply iPads or tablets free of charge to every child of school age. However, these statistics highlight the importance of ensuring an iPad or tablet usage plan in schools is both managed and rolled out effectively to get the most for all students, not just the affluent ones.

There are various ways in which schools can supply tablets or Chromebooks to students.

  • Rent or lease tablets.
  • Have a specific number of tablets assigned to different groups at different times of the day.
  • Supplement institution-owned devices with a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) scheme in schools where students are able to bring personal mobile devices to school to be used for educational purposes.

LocknCharge Charging Carts and Baskets can be used to alleviate the financial divide in schools. In instances where there aren’t enough devices to around, our Charging Carts provide mobility to easily share 20-40 devices between classrooms. This allows schools to stretch their device assets further to benefit a greater number of students.

Our Baskets offer even broader device mobility between classrooms that are not as easily accessible with a Cart–such as up a flight of stairs–and allow you to carry 5 devices per basket.

Our CarryOn Charging Station is the perfect solution if devices need to be transported from one school to another. The Station features a secure and durable storage area with a carrying handle, making it easy to store, charge and transport 5 tablet devices safely and easily.

Alternatively, there is the FUYL Tower, which is designed to individually charge, store and secure almost any mobile device – including tablets, laptops, mobile phones and more. Through a simple and easy-to-use secure digital locking system, students can charge and secure their tablets until they need to use them in class. Where the FUYL Tower becomes even more unique is in what it can do ‘behind the scenes’. IT staff have the ability to remotely access an admin portal, where they can see how many locker compartments are occupied or available in real-time. If a student forgets their PIN, the administrator can unlock compartments from a remote location. The FUYL Tower provides schools with a full audit trail and time-stamped events. Schools will know how often the FUYL Tower is used when it is used and more, which makes it ideal if using shared devices.

According to the office for National Statistics in 2017, 90% of households in Great Britain had internet access, an increase from 89% in 2016 and 57% in 2006. Hopefully, things in this regard are improving.  But in instances when tablets do still need to be shared, we have the solution to device management which will help all students make full use of their resources in class time.

For an additional story about LocknCharge products are helping combat poverty in schools, click here.




*According to www.givingworldonline.com


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Latest DEFRA Study Shows Positive Signs for Learning Outside of the Classroom

Girl Using iPad in Nature: Study Shows Positive Signs for Learning Outside of the Classroom | LocknChargeA new 25-year plan from DEFRA, (The Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs in the UK) named ‘A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment’ was published in the first month of 2018, and looks to have wide and positive effects for outdoor learning.

The plan sets out the government’s comprehensive and long-term approach to protecting and enhancing our natural habitats and the environment. The paper states that connecting more people with the environment will promote greater well-being.  A major part of this is by encouraging children to be closer to nature, in and out of school.

With the seasons offering so much in terms of natural diversity in the UK (and many other places), and with Spring in full bloom, there is a wealth of opportunity to learn about insects, plants and animals that would live naturally in this habitat.

This month, the first sightings of bees and ladybirds are being reported.  The decline of the honeybee in the UK and elsewhere has been a well-known and documented problem, and one that could have huge effects on our food supply.  A lethal combination of the Varroa mite and the deformed wing virus has resulted in the death of billions of bees over the past half-century.  That proves just how important it is that education wise, school children are aware of the dangers and effects that outside factors, as well as their actions, could have on nature and how this can be nurtured.

There have long been challenges for schools to fully appreciate outdoor learning.  These challenges have arisen from factors include funding, accessibility to green spaces, time, and finding appropriate ways in which this type of learning can be applied and transferred back into the classroom.

In terms of funding, it appears to be great news for schools.  The UK Government will make available £10 million of funding to support some new initiatives moving forward, including those designed to encourage and support outdoor activities, particularly where a child has no access to a family garden.  This is most apparent in urban, inner-city areas, where apartments and high-rise blocks are common.

Two major initiatives proposed in the plan include supporting schools in the most disadvantaged areas to create nature-friendly grounds that support pupils’ health and wellbeing through contact with nature, and also help create school grounds that support learning about the natural world.

Part of the plan states, “We want to make it easier for schools and Pupil Referral Units to take pupils on trips to natural spaces on a regular basis where they can combine learning with feeling healthier and happier. This might involve class visits to a city farm, a local nature reserve, woodland or National Park.”

With LocknCharge being founded in Australia, where the curriculum has the rationale that the outdoors is crucial to the development of positive relationships with others, there is much emphasis on the environment and having interaction in lessons with the natural world.  There is a belief that outdoor learning engages students in practical and active learning experiences in natural environments and, and this typically takes place beyond the school classroom. In these environments, students develop the skills and understandings to move safely and competently while valuing a positive relationship with natural environments and promoting the sustainable use of these environments.

The CarryOn mobile device charging station from Lockncharge is designed with this in mind.  It is the most portable charging station on the market, combining a compact design with built-in handles, to make distributing devices easier than ever before. As well as the CarryOn, LocknCharge baskets have been deliberately made to assist with deployment of tablets within the classroom environment.  This can assist with outdoor learning and help bridge the technology gap in that area.  Tablets can be used effectively as a learning tool outdoors, and offer fantastic opportunities to take photographs, to store information, and to refer to (when looking at plant species or animal/insect facts for example), especially in places where it is not appropriate or feasible to use a traditional pen and paper.

The CarryOn, and baskets, ensure devices are kept safe when transporting from the classroom to outdoor spaces. The CarryOn can hold up to 5 devices and is designed to accommodate Chromebook, Tablets, or iPad devices up to 33cm.

When used in the right way, technology can assist to help shape our children into responsible individuals who care for and protect our environment.

To learn more about our tablet charging stations, click here.



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Computer Tablets and Occupational Health and Safety in the Workplace

Unsafe Power Strip and Plugs | LocknCharge

We’ve been thinking about safety in the workplace and the role that computer tablets play in this. What is the current legislation around computer tablets?  Do they pose a risk to health and safety, and if so, what can be done about this?

According to OCR, a leading UK awarding body, under The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), all businesses, no matter how small, have a legal responsibility to reduce the risk of workplace dangers and provide safe and healthy conditions for employees, customers, suppliers and anyone else who could be affected by the activities of the business.

This includes using a risk assessment to identify workplace hazards – and the need to put measures in place to control and minimise the hazards and risks.

Employees have a joint responsibility with the employer to ensure that health and safety is the number one priority in the workplace and to act in a safe and responsible manner.

The most obvious risk with tablets, along with similar devices such as desktop computers and laptops, is a risk of fire due to electronic parts.  Therefore, care must be taken when charging or using a device.

After researching the subject of health and safety, we came across an article about Apple chargers, published in 2016.  The article advised that when purchasing a new tablet device, it is always best to use the authorised charging method supplied with the new device.  However there is a market for fake chargers out there, and this research found that 99% of fake Apple chargers fail a basic safety test.

To conduct the research, The Chartered Trading Standards Institute, a UK consumer protection organization, teamed up with Illinois-based safety testers UL to examine 400 counterfeit Apple chargers from various suppliers.  According to the study, all but three of the 400 counterfeit chargers failed a “basic” safety test, in which high voltages were applied to the chargers to see if they had enough isolation to protect against electric shocks.

Another study by Apple on third-party power accessories found that roughly 90% of Apple chargers and cables sold through Amazon were unsafe.

This highlights the need to ensure that iPads and other mobile devices are stored and charged safely whenever they are not in use.  Accidents can happen, but employers can take measures to ensure these risks are as minimal as they can be in the workplace. Charging Carts and Stations by LocknCharge offer a way for devices to be charged, synced and stored in a careful, safe and secure manner. Many of our products enclose charging cables and power bricks in compartments separate from the devices, meaning cords cannot be tampered with.

At LocknCharge you can rest assured that our Chromebook, laptop, iPad and tablet charging stations are fully tested and built to withstand heavy usage. Our design and manufacturing process ensures that our products meet the highest standards, with our manufacturing facilities employing robust procedures to certify that customers are getting a high-quality product. That is why LocknCharge products are built in ISO 9001:2008 certified manufacturing facilities and are not just CE certified, but conform to UL STD 60950-1 and are certified to CSA STD C22.2 No. 60950-1. Most products are also ETL certified.

Additionally, LocknCharge offers the first and only charging solution to be endorsed by Apple Inc. in Europe, and we are just one of two charging solution companies offering products endorsed by Apple Inc. in the United States. Being an approved supplier of one of the leading brands worldwide helps schools and other organisations identify LocknCharge as a trusted and respected manufacturer in the UK.

LocknCharge’s top-of-the-line syncing technology seamlessly integrates with Apple Configurator.

Our CEO James Symons, says: “We are thrilled to have been chosen by Apple Inc. as a trusted supplier. It further enhances our reputation and gives our customers the confidence to know that our products are of the highest standard. LocknCharge products keep iPads and other mobile devices safe, charged, and always ready for use. This makes the management process so much easier for individuals and establishments, freeing up valuable time to get on with other tasks.”

Click here for more information about LocknCharge products in the business sector.

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FM Update: Digital Technology in the Facilities Management Sector

James Symons, CEO of LocknCharge, talks about how the FM industry is facing challenges with keeping technology and devices safe.

iPad and tablet technology in facilities management sector, manufacturing sector

As an industry, it is fair to say the Facilities Management sector has been slower than some to fully embrace digital technology. But with computers, tablets, laptops and mobile devices being used more and more each day, there is no hiding from this technology.

According to Website Magazine, it is a fact there are 6.8 billion people on the planet and 4 billion of them use a mobile phone. By comparison, only 3.5 billion of them use a toothbrush! Technology is well and truly taking over.

With every technology user carrying on average 2.9 devices on them at all times, this could have a huge impact on how daily lives and tasks are carried out. We can expect to see an increase in the use of virtual reality, apps, digital monitoring and a larger emphasis on interactive displays.

In the FM sector, there are already apps for visitor and contractor management, software solutions for recording all staff, visitor, and contractor check-ins, tools for job management, engineer scheduling, quoting, costing, invoicing and asset tracking, and even janitorial apps which can enhance communication between managers and employees.

And with a rise in smart buildings, with connected solutions introduced into the infrastructure of buildings, an organization will be focusing on more technological and improved FM strategies. 

But regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force on 25th May 2018, now mean that businesses have to be more aware of personal data protection, including how data is stored, video surveillance and even how photographs are used. Those who fail to adhere to the regulation will face large fines. With 30,000 websites hacked each day; however, it is getting harder to protect data, and not surprising that for some these regulations will present challenges that have never previously surfaced.

It is no longer good enough in 2018 to be remiss with data – devices need to be managed correctly and safely stored. And in order to provide a good customer experience, they also need to be fully charged and ready for use at all times. 

One solution to help manage this is a laptop, iPad or tablet charging station, which charges multiple devices simultaneously but also syncs them. This also allows devices to be locked away safely. 

Business leaders need to change their approach to the management process of mobile devices and technology in general. Proper device management plays a critical role in the future of digital technology, as the new workplace experience is defined.

For more information on the Facilities Management Sector, click here.

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