Table of Contents

    How to Navigate Educational
    Technology in an
    Ever-Changing Landscape

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    Are you ready for school to reopen?

    What will schools look like a year from now? Or even next week? The only certainty about the future of education is that it’s uncertain. From online learning to face-to-face instruction and everything in between, the trick is to be ready for whatever scenario comes your way—including developing an educational technology plan that empowers students and teachers to focus on the task of learning.

    One thing is for sure; educators are an Innovative bunch. So, why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from those blazing trails ahead of you? That’s why we’ve compiled a technology and education guide full of the latest real-world examples, tips and advice.

    Let’s explore the three options for returning to school and how best to navigate educational technology for each option.

    Get Ready, Get Set, Go Return to Learn!
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    Option 1: Online Learning

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    Check Out Other Schools' Virtual Classroom Back-to-School Plans

    The first thing to do is to check out how other schools are going back to a virtual classroom. As coronavirus lockdown closures have impacted schools around the world, we’ve witnessed innate creativity and problem-solving in many different ways. Let’s take a look at the best practices that have allowed some school districts to pivot a little more quickly and smoothly than others.

    1. No Contact Device Pickup in Chicago's Arbor Park School District

    The Arbor Park tech team, a.k.a. PandaTech, was well-positioned for the shift to online learning. Typically, they used a LocknCharge FUYL Tower for securing charged and ready-to-go loaner devices. When students forgot or lost their device, they were able to check out what they needed from a Tower independently. This smart locker workflow was tweaked to enable a no-contact pickup location for replacement devices.

    David Termunde, Chief Technology Officer for Arbor Park School District, describes the FUYL Tower as having another "part-time Tech Team member."

    [FUYL Tower] is like having another part-time Tech Team member.

    David Termunde, CTO - Arbor Park District 145

    1. Just like an Amazon locker, a FUYL Tower was relocated to a publicly-accessible location within the school.

    2. Parents place tech orders from the District’s eCommerce site, and the school fulfills the order by placing it in a FUYL Tower compartment.

    3. Parents follow simple email instructions to unlock and pick up their requests from their assigned FUYL Tower locker number the following day.

    Read the Full Arbor Park Case Study Now

    Learn how they easily transitioned to distance learning.

    Snapshot of School Reopening Plans

    Education Week is collecting reopening plans from schools around the country. As of late August 2020, the majority of the largest school districts chose online learning only as their back-to-school instructional model. LA Unified, the City of Chicago and Miami-Dade are all planning remote learning only. Check out Education Week’s links to a sample of school districts’ reopening plans.

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    Ask These 6 Questions About Your Online Learning Plan

    1. Is your remote device management software easy for teachers, students and parents?

    Monitoring, managing and securing a plethora of remote devices is just a complex as it sounds. By centralizing IT device management with device management software, you’ll save time, stay organized and maintain security. But that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Remote device management software platforms such as Jamf and Learn21 give your tech team the ability to connect, manage and track devices in the cloud. Functionality may include associating students with devices, configure devices, and creating repair incident reports—all touch-free. Note Jamf solutions are exclusively dedicated to helping organizations succeed with Apple. Learn21 offers one-click Google Integration.

    2. Is your hardware flexible?

    Can your tech shift seamlessly from in-person learning to the virtual classroom? No matter how your school is moving forward, make sure no student gets left behind without flexible hardware and an internet connection.

    • Durability in the classroom and beyond. With best-in-class durability, the Dell Chromebook 3000 Series are student-ready, providing uninterrupted learning with up to 14 hours of battery life. Latitude PCs are sturdy enough for even the most hands-on learners.

    • Loaded with advanced technology, but so easy to pick up. Apple devices are designed with a wide range of features for students of all abilities.

    Remote Learning Readiness Checklist
    • Device management is easy for teachers, students and parents
    • Hardware is flexible to pivot as needed
    • I’ve navigated the Chromebook/device crunch so that students are 1:1
    • I have a system to distribute and collect devices safely
    • Teachers have received adequate training
    • Tech support workflow has been fine-tuned

    14% of students between the ages of 3-18 can’t connect to the internet at home.

    • Ensure equal access to online learning for ALL students. Even if they’re given a learning device, 14% of students between the ages of 3-18 can’t connect to the internet at home. Take-home mobile hotspots close the connectivity gap and make sure students have the technology to succeed. Partnering with school districts across the country, T-Mobile has launched a program aimed at delivering internet connectivity to millions of underserved student households at no cost to them. Interested school districts can sign up today at www.t-mobile.com/p10m.

    Distance Learning Guide

    Whatever part of the distance learning equation is missing, read how to give students an extra boost in Firefly Computers guide to Setting up for Distance Learning.

    3. Are you prepared to navigate the Chromebook crunch?

    The demand of parents working from home and kid’s learning remotely, coupled with manufacturing shutdowns, has resulted in massive shortages of Chromebooks. Check out these tips if you’re in need of smaller quantities of laptops right away. 

    Search for models that are restocked more frequently than others like the ASUS Chromebook Flip C214, Lenovo Chromebook C340-11 or the Levono Duet.

    Check online early and often, daily if possible. 

    Check local retailers for laptops in-store.

    Consider more readily available devices such as iPads with external keyboards.

    4. Do you have a way to distribute and collect tech safely?

    Managing mobile devices without human interaction is a new requirement as part of social distancing. One way to eliminate in-person contact is to set up pickup/drop-off IT exchange hubs with secure smart lockers. Load up the lockers with ready-to-go loaners or replacement devices, so students can quickly swap out their broken tech without ever coming into physical contact with staff.

    5. Have your teachers received adequate training?

    Online learning depends on modern apps and web tools not everyone knows how to use. In a survey recently conducted by Future of School, just under 50% of teachers reported receiving training in online learning techniques after school buildings closed. For teachers to prepare for a new way of digital teaching, they need time to learn new software and learn best practices for remote education. Also, teachers have to be open to innovative teaching methods and understand the advantages and benefits these technologies can bring to their work. As McKinsey & Company states, “It is not enough to add devices to the classroom, check the box, and hope for the best.”

    Less than 50% of teachers reported receiving training in online learning techniques after school buildings closed.

    6. Is your tech support workflow efficient?

    Triaging tech support issues can gobble up valuable time from your Help Desk’s schedule—not to mention the growing wait time for a tech person to become available. Constant Help Desk interruptions due to device software and hardware issues also take time from IT staffs’ ability to prepare teachers for their new virtual classroom. Whether a teacher or student is new to the District or technology needs repair, it’s imperative that parents and faculty can access a working device as quickly as possible.

    Watch this Helpful Webinar

    In less than 30 minutes, you’ll be on your way to deploying an efficient mobile device workflow that automates cumbersome manual processes.

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    Prep an Ed Tech Back-to-School Safety Plan

    At San Francisco’s Unified School District, safety for teachers and the technology team is a top priority. Initially, every time a teacher needed tech support, they would stop by the Help Desk Office in-person and interact with a Help Desk team member. Although they did everything they could to avoid in-person contact, the sheer volume of traffic was inefficient and put everyone involved at greater risk.

    To streamline this challenge and reduce human interaction, SFUSD strategically placed four LocknCharge FUYL Tower Smart Lockers at the district’s centrally-located main office. This allows access beyond regular office hours. Each bay is equipped with one ready-to-go device, which simplified the process of distributing and maintaining devices to this quick and easy process:

    80% Reduction in Device Downtime

    Device downtime for teachers went from 5 days to 1 day with the LocknCharge FUYL Tower

    1. A teacher in need of a device notifies the Help Desk

    2. Within a specified timeframe, a FUYL Tower bay is assigned to the teacher

    3. The teacher retrieves the device with their 4-digit PIN and is ready to go

    Read the San Francisco Unified School District Case Study

    Learn how San Francisco USD Department of Technology Developed Plan for Safe and Successful Device Deployment in a COVID World.

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    Option 2: Blended Learning

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    Analyze Other Districts' Hybrid Learning Plans

    The mix of in-person and online instruction is known by many names, including blended learning, hybrid learning or hybrid classrooms and now the latest—partial reopening. Let's define them first.

    Hybrid Learning
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    Uses online resources to replace portions of students’ instruction that would otherwise be delivered face-to-face.

    Blended Learning
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    Uses online learning resources to supplement face-to-face instruction.

    Partial Reopening
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    Students are taught on-site in schools for part of the week and attend school remotely the other days.

    While partial school reopenings are a recent trend, schools have been using a blended learning model for years and will likely continue to do so. Kids who spend in-class time with a teacher but also work independently on their tablets are participating in blended learning. Many reopening plans include a hybrid learning component when remote learning replaces face-to-face instruction for part of the week.

    While the majority of the largest school districts are choosing remote learning only as their initial back-to-school instructional model for the 2020-21 school year, the largest school system in the U.S. has revealed a hybrid learning district reopening plan. The New York City Department of Education plans for a large percentage of the nearly one million students to be taught on-site in school for part of the week and attend school remotely on the other days of the week.

    Snapshot of School Reopening Plans

    Education Week is collecting reopening plans from schools around the country. Check out Education Week’s snapshot of school reopening plans for other hybrid/partial district examples. 

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    Make a Hybrid Tech Plan to Enable Lessons

    Can your tech shift seamlessly from in-person learning to the virtual classroom? No matter how your school is moving forward, make sure no student gets left behind with flexible hardware, remote software solutions and hands-free device distribution.

    1. Focus on Flexible Hardware and Ensuring Equal Access

    Can your tech shift seamlessly from in-person learning to the virtual classroom? No matter how your school is moving forward, make sure no student gets left behind without flexible hardware and an internet connection.

    • Durability in the classroom and beyond. With best-in-class durability, the Dell Chromebook 3000 Series are student-ready, providing uninterrupted learning with up to 14 hours of battery life. Latitude PCs are sturdy enough for even the most hands-on learners.

    • Loaded with advanced technology, but so easy to pick up. Apple devices are designed with a wide range of features for students of all abilities.

    • Ensure equal access to online learning for ALL students. Even if they’re given a learning device, 14% of students between the ages of 3-18 can’t connect to the internet at home. Take-home mobile hotspots close the connectivity gap and make sure students have the technology to succeed. Partnering with school districts across the country, T-Mobile has launched a program aimed at delivering internet connectivity to millions of underserved student households at no cost to them. Interested school districts can sign up today at www.t-mobile.com/p10m.

    Successful Hybrid Tech Plan Checklist
    • Focus on Flexible Hardware & Ensure Equal Access
    • Manage High Volume of Devices Seamlessly
    • Aim for Safe, Distanced and Efficient Ed Tech Distribution
    • Support Teachers with Training
    • Decrease the Device Burden on IT Staff
    2. Manage a High Volume of Devices Seamlessly

    Remote device management software platforms such as Jamf and Learn21 give your tech team the ability to connect, manage and track devices in the cloud. Functionality may include associating students with devices, configure devices, and creating repair incident reports—all touch-free.

    Note: Jamf solutions are exclusively dedicated to helping organizations succeed with Apple. Learn21 offers one-click Google Integration.

    3. Aim for Distanced, Safe, and Efficient Educational Technology Distribution

    Even for schools with well-established 1:1 device programs, the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has added a new set of challenges to laptop and iPad distribution. Focus on back-to-school safety with the FUYL Tower 5 or 15 with LocknCharge Cloud, which offers a zero human interaction model for the distribution of laptops and iPads to students and staff in need of new devices or replacements.

    Distanced
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    Choose accessible areas around your district to deploy FUYL Towers, so no family is too far from a central location. These locations can even be a covered area outdoors, so no building access is necessary.

    Safe
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    Stock the Tower with sanitized, ready-to-go devices. Each compartment is large enough to accommodate other new student required items, such as onboarding paperwork, books and school supply items.

    Efficient
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    When a student or faculty member needs a device, IT teams can schedule a pickup time and digitally send a 4-digit PIN code for access to an individual compartment of the FUYL Tower.

    Zero Human Interaction Device Management

    Learn how to automate device management for break/fix programs, loaner device programs, device distribution and more.

    4. Support Teachers with Technology and Education Training

    Study after study shows that teachers do not feel secure in their ability to incorporate high-level technology in teaching and learning. By creating a roadmap and a training program for new tech, teachers are much more likely to adopt new ways of teaching through tech. Follow the NEA’s advice when they recommend, “The training needs to address both the basic preparation on how to make the technology work, and how to most effectively incorporate it into the educational program.”

    Deploying an efficient mobile device workflow in the classroom is another way to support teachers when new tech is introduced. Innovative features in a charging solution like charging status indicator lights and mobile device baskets can simplify daily device distribution, mitigating frustration and improving teacher satisfaction, giving teachers more control over how they use their class time.

    The training needs to address both the basic preparation on how to make the technology work, and how to most effectively incorporate it into the educational program.

    - National Education Association

    10% of mobile devices in schools are lost go missing each year.

    5. Decrease the Device Burden on IT Staff

    Kids can be tough on devices, especially when they’re going back and forth from home to school. One of the top frustrations of IT Staff is that they have more work than they’re able to handle. For Tech Teams and Media Specialists already strapped for time, imagine the additional wasted time needed to run around collecting broken devices. With 10% of devices going missing or damaged during each year of mobile deployment, the burden can quickly compound.

    And that’s just one of the challenges with take-home devices. Even for schools with well-established 1:1 programs for devices in schools, the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has added a new set of challenges to laptop and iPad distribution. What you need are these six proven solutions to make 1:1 take-home models more efficient for students and less burdensome on school staff.

    Hover over these cards to find a solution to some of your biggest challenges:

    Challenge: Broken Devices

    Broken devices put an increased burden on school staff and resources.
    School-owned devices will inevitably need some kind of repair during the school year.

    Solution:
    Streamline your break/fix program with a Smart Locker Charging Station.

    By designating a smart locker as a device repair drop point, school staff no longer waste valuable time tracking down and collecting broken devices.

    Challenge: Forgotten Devices

    Forgotten devices can cause students to fall behind in class.
    Students who forget their device at home are not able to participate in lessons that require the use of a device—which puts them a day behind in classwork.

    Solution:
    Implement a streamlined device loaner program.

    The only time taken from a Media Specialist’s day is providing PIN or RFID access–either manually or via a ticketing system. The student can get back to class without missing a beat.

    Challenge: Dead Devices

    Dead devices can cause unattended devices to be stolen, go missing or become broken at a higher rate.
    Similar to showing up with no device, a dead laptop or tablet has the same capacity to disrupt learning time.

    Solution:
    Enable secure charging locations for students.

    Install a smart charging locker charging station in a public area so students can securely charge their devices on demand.

    Challenge: Back-to-School Planning

    Faculty fear back-to-school device storage, charging and redistribution for their new 1:1 device program. Are you stressed that devices won't be charged when school restarts? Does the idea of cabling/unwiring all of your charging carts keep you up at night?

    Solution:
    Invest in an open-concept charging cart.

    End your cabling nightmares and improve employee satisfaction with easy-to cable open-concept charging carts. Joey Cart baskets securely store and transport large numbers of laptops, tablets, and other technology when not in use.

    Click here to watch a fun video on how easy it is to cable a Joey Cart.

    Challenge: Spread of Germs

    In-person device drop off increases risks of virus spreading.
    When students and faculty have equipment at home that breaks or is lost, you need a way to get it back without putting your staff or parents at risk.

    Solution:
    Arrange for safe drop off and pickup

    With our robust online management portal for FUYL Tower, IT Admins can manage Smart Lockers remotely. Parents place devices in a compartment at a scheduled time; staff then tracks the activity to see when the compartment was accessed, reset PINs, open doors or quarantine doors. Device can also be sanitized using UVone to prevent the spread of bacteria on devices.

    Challenge: Inequitable Home Environments

    No access to secure charging can make distance learning impossible.
    Students with housing insecurity need a designated place to keep their device safe and secure while charging

    Solution:
    Offer safe and secure charging in public areas

    Many schools are finding creative ways to provide charging to economically disadvantaged students. Districts place Towers in family resource centers and other locations where students get access to a secure place to charge their device.

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    Follow Health and Safety Best Practices

    1. Communicate, Educate, and Reinforce Appropriate Hygiene and Social Distancing Practices

    CDC’s Considerations for Schools provides detailed recommendations for schools to plan and prepare to reduce the spread of COVID-19, establish healthy environments and maintain healthy operations.

    2. Sanitize Everything, Especially Devices

    Whether schools are reopening partially or full-time, they’re focusing on strict disinfection regimes, including cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as doorknobs and handles, desks and chairs and light switches. 

    Did you know that a cell phone has 18x more bacteria than a public restroom? As kids are bringing devices to and from school, the sanitization of these frequently used teaching tools becomes even more critical. Proper sanitization methods lower germs on a surface, which can reduce the risk of spreading germs.

    Managing classroom bacteria can be a challenge for teachers and administrators focused on back-to-school safety. Just as LocknCharge baskets can reduce the time spent by teachers in distributing devices, UVone UV-C disinfection for mobile devices can decrease time spent by teachers sanitizing devices. UVone works in just 30 seconds, making them six times quicker than traditional wipes.

    A Few Best Practices for Health and Safety
    • Practice Appropriate Hygiene and Social Distancing Practices
    • Sanitize Everything, Especially Devices
    • Do Your Homework on UV Disinfection
    • Work with School Safety Teams
    3. Do Your Homework on UV Disinfection

    It’s essential to be cautious and informed when a sanitization product sounds too good to be true. If you’re evaluating a UV disinfection charging stations keep in mind that it’s incredibly challenging to disinfect with UV light inside of a cart. To disinfect an object, it must have full exposure to UV-C light rays because UV light cannot penetrate a surface unless it’s clear. If your object is in contact with a dark surface such as a shelf, rack, or even when another device is blocking the light, it will NOT be fully disinfected. Here are six things to consider when evaluating a UV disinfection charging station

    • Ensure UV-C Light Comes into Contact with ALL Surfaces
    • Read the Research Behind UV Disinfection Claims
    • Understand the Exposure Time and Kill Rate for Disinfection
    • Is Physical Contact Needed to Operate the Unit?
    • Be Cautious of Other Sanitizing Products
    • Consider if Charging within the Unit is Imperative
    Read more about the things you should consider when evaluating a UV disinfection charging station.
    4. Work with School Safety Teams

    Work with school safety teams to help you navigate the intersection of where technology meets safety. Consider how devices, once collected, will be cleaned, who will be responsible, and how much time will be allowed for this process.

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    Option 3: In-Person Reopening

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    Evaluate Reopening Plans Around the World

    As of late August 2020, only 12% of the 50 largest school districts have chosen full in-person reopening for all students. However, the CDC reports that internationally, many schools have already reopened using a variety of approaches.

    Here are just a few of the countless examples of how schools in these locations around the globe are preparing to reopen:
    Denmark

    Denmark: Staggered student arrivals

    Texas, USA

    Texas, USA: Physical distance inside the classroom

    Belgium

    Belgium: Limited class size

    England

    England: Increased hand washing stations

    China

    China: Dividers used during lunch

    Taiwan

    Taiwan: Temperature checks and face masks

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    Temperature checks and face masks

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    Staggered student arrivals

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    Limited class size

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    Increased hand washing stations

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    Dividers used during lunch

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    Physical distance inside the classroom

    Learn More About Reopening Plans From Around the World
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    Build an In-Person Tech Framework with COVID in Mind

    1. Adopt Easy to Navigate Software Solutions

    Remote device management software platforms such as Jamf and Learn21 give your tech team the ability to connect, manage and track devices in the cloud. Functionality may include associating students with devices, configure devices, and creating repair incident reports—all touch-free. Note Jamf solutions are exclusively dedicated to helping organizations succeed with Apple. Learn21 offers one-click Google Integration.

    2. Equip Students and Faculty with Flexible Hardware

    Situations are rapidly evolving and can change quickly, depending on recommendations from state and local authorities. Is your hardware ready to shift seamlessly from in-person learning back to the virtual classroom with minimal downtime? No matter how your school is moving forward, make sure no student gets left behind without flexible hardware and an internet connection.

    • Loaded with advanced technology, but so easy to pick up. Apple devices are designed with a wide range of features for students of all abilities. 

    • Ensure equal access to online learning for ALL students. Even if they’re given a learning device, 14% of students between the ages of 3-18 can’t connect to the internet at home. Whether you’ve gone back to distance learning or distributed devices for homework, read how to give students an extra boost in Firefly Computers guide to Setting up for Distance Learning

    3. Use Educational Technology to Make In-Person Learning Safer

    Maintaining social distancing protocols can be one of the biggest challenges in keeping students and staff safe. One way to make in-person learning safer is through contactless charging and device distribution. The FUYL Tower 5 or 15 offers a zero-touch model for distribution of laptops and iPads to students and staff in need of new devices or replacements.

    Distanced
    Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 4.04.20 PM

    Choose accessible areas around your district to deploy FUYL Towers, so no family is too far from a central location. These locations can even be a covered area outdoors, so no building access is necessary.

    Safe
    Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 4.04.20 PM

    Stock the Tower with sanitized, ready-to-go devices. Each compartment is large enough to accommodate other new student required items, such as onboarding paperwork, books and school supply items.

    Efficient
    Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 4.04.20 PM

    When a student or faculty member needs a device, IT teams can schedule a pickup time and digitally send a 4-digit PIN code or use RFID badges for access to an individual compartment of the FUYL Tower.

    4. Address Teacher Training

    Study after study shows that teachers do not feel secure in their ability to incorporate high-level technology in teaching and learning. By creating a roadmap and a training program for new technology, teachers are much more likely to adopt new ways of teaching through tech. Follow the NEA’s advice when they recommend, “The training needs to address both the basic preparation on how to make the technology work, and how to most effectively incorporate it into the educational program.”

    5. Automate Manual Mobile Devices Processes

    Triaging tech support issues can gobble up valuable time from your Help Desk’s schedule—not to mention the growing wait time for a tech person to become available. Constant Help Desk interruptions due to device software and hardware issues also take time from an education IT staffs’ ability to prepare teachers for their new digital classroom. Whether a teacher or student is new to the district or a device needs repair, it’s imperative that parents and faculty can access a working mobile device as quickly as possible.

    Watch this FUYL Tower Demo

    Get a quick overview FUYL Tower workflows and how a Tower could benefit your school.

    6. Improve Efficiency while Decreasing Device Burden on IT Staff

    Even for schools with well-established 1:1 programs for devices in schools, the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has added a new set of challenges to laptop and iPad distribution. What you need are these six proven solutions to make 1:1 take-home models more efficient for students and less burdensome on school staff.

    Hover over these cards to find a solution to some of your biggest challenges:
    Challenge: Broken Devices

    Broken devices put an increased burden on school staff and resources.
    School-owned devices will inevitably need some kind of repair during the school year.

    Solution:
    Streamline your break/fix program with a Smart Locker Charging Station.

    By designating a smart locker as a device repair drop point, school staff no longer waste valuable time tracking down and collecting broken devices.

    Challenge: Forgotten Devices

    Forgotten devices can cause students to fall behind in class.
    Students who forget their device at home are not able to participate in lessons that require the use of a device—which puts them a day behind in classwork.

    Solution:
    Implement a streamlined device loaner program.

    The only time taken from a Media Specialist’s day is providing PIN or RFID access–either manually or via a ticketing system. The student can get back to class without missing a beat.

    Challenge: Dead Devices

    Dead devices can cause unattended devices to be stolen, go missing or become broken at a higher rate.
    Similar to showing up with no device, a dead laptop or tablet has the same capacity to disrupt learning time.

    Solution:
    Enable secure charging locations for students.

    Install a smart charging locker charging station in a public area so students can securely charge their devices on demand.

    Challenge: Back-to-School Planning

    Faculty fear back-to-school device storage, charging and redistribution for their now 1:1 device program.
    Are you stressed that tablets and laptops aren’t going to be charged when school starts back up? Does the idea of cabling and unwiring all of your devices in charging carts keep you up at night?

    Solution:
    Invest in an open-concept charging cart.

    End your cabling nightmares and improve employee satisfaction with easy-to cable open-concept charging carts. Joey Cart baskets securely store and transport large numbers of laptops, tablets, and other technology when not in use.

    Click here to watch a fun video on how easy it is to cable a Joey Cart.

    Challenge: Spread of Germs

    In-person device drop off increases risks of virus spreading.
    When students and faculty have equipment at home that breaks or is lost, you need a way to get it back without putting your staff or parents at risk.

    Solution:
    Arrange for safe drop off and pickup

    With our robust online management portal for FUYL Tower, IT Admins can manage Smart Lockers remotely. Parents place devices in a compartment at a scheduled time; staff then tracks the activity to see when the compartment was accessed, reset PINs, open doors or quarantine doors. Device can also be sanitized using UVone to prevent the spread of bacteria on devices.

    Challenge: Inequitable Home Environments

    No access to secure charging can make distance learning impossible.
    Students with housing insecurity need a designated place to keep their device safe and secure while charging

    Solution:
    Offer safe and secure charging in public areas

    Many schools are finding creative ways to provide charging to economically disadvantaged students. Districts place Towers in family resource centers and other locations where students get access to a secure place to charge their device.

    7. Effectively Manage Stay-At-School Devices

    Resources are even more limited this school year, so it may seem logical to choose a charging cart or station based on price. What districts must keep in mind is how choosing the right charging solution now can have a significant impact on technology budgets and employees’ time in the future.

    • Invest in the future today. Charging solutions will account for a significant portion of your mobile device budget. Imagine the costs and time your district would save if you don’t need to replace your charging solutions every time you roll out new mobile devices. Future-proof charging solutions combine universal charging, open-concept designs and durable products to save schools significant time and money.

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    Universal Charging to Charge any Device
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    Open Concept Charging Solutions that Flex
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    Durable Products with Strong Warranty
    • End cabling nightmares. Managing cables for hundreds or more devices takes away valuable time from already strapped IT resources. With our clean cable management system, it takes a fraction of the time to cable and uncable devices from our universal charging carts compared to cabinet-style carts. Chesterfield County Public School IT techs found the “tool box” design of LocknCharge Joey Carts to have made for the easiest wiring of a charging cart they’ve experienced thus far. Its removable tray allows ultra-easy access to bricks, cords and cables. Side cable channels along with velcro straps keep cords neatly organized and prevent slipping and yanking so that you can maintain the ideal length of cable – no more, no less – for plugging devices in and out.

    • Gain two extra weeks of instructional time. Carrier carts save 70 hours each year per Cart in the classroom using Baskets by LocknCharge to deploy mobile devices with ease.

    • Quickly connect students and teachers every day with ready devices. With a LocknCharge charging station, Teachers or IT administrators can quickly secure the station and keep their devices safe at the end of the school day. Lock away devices in the storage area with a padlock.

    Read the Chesterfield County Public Schools Case Study

    Learn how easy it was for Chesterfield County to wire the LocknCharge Joey Cart.

    Step

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    Follow Health and Safety Best Practices

    1. Communicate, Educate, and Reinforce Appropriate Hygiene and Social Distancing Practices

    CDC’s Considerations for Schools provides detailed recommendations for schools to plan and prepare to reduce the spread of COVID-19, establish healthy environments and maintain healthy operations.

    2. Sanitize Everything, Especially Devices

    Schools that are reopening in-person are focusing on strict disinfection regimes. This includes cleaning and disinfection of objects and surfaces that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs and handles, desks and chairs and light switches.

    Did you know that a cell phone has 18x more bacteria than a public restroom? Sanitization of these frequently used teaching tools has become even more critical. Proper sanitization methods lower germs on a surface, which can reduce the risk of spreading germs.

    Framework for
    Face-to-Face Tech
    • Communicate, Educate, and Reinforce Hygiene and Social Distancing Practices
    • Sanitize Everything, Especially Devices
    • Do Your Homework on UV Disinfection
    • Work with School Safety Teams

    A cell phone has 18x more bacteria than a public restroom.

    Managing classroom bacteria can be a challenge for teachers and administrators focused on back-to-school safety. Just as LocknCharge baskets can reduce the time spent by teachers in distributing devices, UVone UV-C disinfection for mobile devices can decrease time spent by teachers sanitizing devices. UVone works in just 30 seconds, making them six times quicker than traditional wipes.

    3. Do Your Homework on UV Disinfection

    It’s essential to be cautious and informed when a sanitization product sounds too good to be true. If you’re evaluating a UV disinfection charging stations keep in mind that it’s incredibly challenging to disinfect with UV light inside of a cart. To disinfect an object, it must have full exposure to UV-C light rays because UV light cannot penetrate a surface unless it’s clear. If your object is in contact with a dark surface such as a shelf, rack, or even when another device is blocking the light, it will NOT be fully disinfected. Here are six things to consider when evaluating a UV disinfection charging station.

    • Ensure UV-C Light Comes into Contact with ALL Surfaces
    • Read the Research Behind UV Disinfection Claims
    • Understand the Exposure Time and Kill Rate for Disinfection
    • Is Physical Contact Needed to Operate the Unit?
    • Be Cautious of Other Sanitizing Products
    • Consider if Charging within the Unit is Imperative
    Wipes vs. UVone

    See how the UVone disinfection station saves time and improves hygiene compliance.

    4. Work with School Safety Teams

    Work with school safety teams to help you navigate the intersection of where technology meets safety. Consider how devices, once collected, will be cleaned, who will be responsible and how much time will be allowed for this process.

    5. Expect the Unexpected

    We’re all eagerly anticipating the day when full in-person learning will be available for all students. But the reality is that reopening too quickly can also lead right back to remote learning. Campuses in several states have already shut down indefinitely for deep cleaning soon after reopening. 

    However, we can learn from countries that have reopened schools without experiencing significant outbreaks. Temperature checks, masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing, are some of the safety measures put in place around the world.  

    The key to a successful school reopening plan is one that accommodates a shift back to online learning if necessary.

    Planning for Continuity of Learning

    The top-notch school system of Shaker Heights knows better than anyone about planning for the unplannable. When faced with the challenges associated with the global pandemic, they quickly adapted. Worldwide, COVID-19 rushed school districts into remote learning. Thankfully for Shaker Heights, had set up with agile technology that made it a relatively smooth transition. Equipped with six FUYL Tower™ Intelligent Asset Management Systems® by LocknCharge, the District’s tech team developed a safe, self-service drop-off and pickup procedure for any student Chromebook repairs and replacement parts needed during the extended school closure.

    Though initially 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.

    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.

    - Casey Ailiff, Shaker Heights - Technical Services

    Read the Shaker Heights Case Study

    Learn how Shaker Heights planned for the unplannable consequences of COVID-19 shutdowns.

    We're here to help.

    In such a tumultuous time, educational technology that not only works for today but is flexible for the future is more valuable than ever. LocknCharge products are backed by a lifetime warranty, exceptional customer support and a lot of good listeners – who turn customer feedback into actionable improvements. We’re standing by, ready to help you plan for the unplannable.