The small Cleveland, Ohio suburb of Shaker Heights is proud to be known as “a vibrant, desirable hub for cosmopolitan living.” It’s not by accident, either. As one of the first planned cities, and as a city actively focused on inclusion and integration since the 1950s, they’ve earned the reputation – and their top-notch school system is an integral piece of that.
Shaker Heights City School District is one of just eight public districts in the nation to be recognized as a PreK-12 International Baccalaureate Continuum District. Meaning they provide the rigorous, internationally recognized and globally focused curriculum of the IB Programme to their 5,000+ students across all grade levels.
Another thing they provide for those students is Chromebooks in schools. As they’ve transitioned to a predominantly 1:1 tech ratio over the past few years, they’ve approached their mobile device deployment with the same careful planning their whole community is known for:
- All Shaker Heights teachers went through the training, practice and exams to become Level 1 Google Certified Educators.
- The district’s tech team investigated a range of Chromebook device management solutions – ultimately deciding on centralized smart lockers in common areas.
- They tested various locations throughout their middle school and high school to determine where the smart lockers for Chromebook device management would get the most use and least opportunity for student shenanigans.
- They did their homework, so to speak.
Challenges Managing Mobile Devices
No one planned for a global pandemic. Not even Shaker Heights.
Solution: Agile Technology for EdTech Management
They adapted. Worldwide, COVID-19 rushed school districts into remote learning. Thankfully for Shaker Heights, they had set themselves up with agile technology that made it a fairly smooth transition. Equipped with six FUYL Tower™ Smart Lockers by LocknCharge, the District’s tech team developed a safe, self-service drop-off and pick-up procedure for any student Chromebook repairs and replacement parts needed during the extended school closure.
Though originally purchased as a solution for public charging on demand, the FUYL Towers allowed for a seamless pivot into the break/fix functionality the District needed. Technical Services Coordinator, Casey Ailiff, said the Towers have absolutely been a worthwhile investment.
“I don’t see any other feasible or streamlined way that we could do the same kind of repair that we’re doing now [without the FUYL Towers]. I think it’d be a lot more cumbersome on school staff, on my staff, and on our parents and students,” said Ailiff. His team has heard nothing but positive feedback from parents, too.
What's Next for EdTech at Shake Heights?
With such a refreshingly quick turnaround and well-received process, Shaker Heights City School District is feeling fortunate to have FUYL Towers integrated into their ever-evolving workflows.
They’ve quickly witnessed firsthand what the smart lockers can do to help lighten their IT workload, and may very well revamp the way they use their fleet, post-pandemic. A new cloud update eased their operations a little further still – letting the account admins use one centralized portal to remotely manage all six FUYL Towers.
In such a tumultuous time for schools, it is more valuable than ever to have technology that not only works for you today, but also is ready to evolve with you.
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