The Mount Horeb Area School District serves 2,500 students in grades PK through 12. They were undergoing construction of a brand new addition to their high school when they came across LocknCharge. Committed to making the new space “state-of-the-art everything”, the district’s Director of Technology found the new FUYL Tower 15 very appealing. After comparing options and exploring all the features, it was a clear choice. The FUYL Tower was quality product, well worth the investment.
Students needed a way to securely charge their devices in public areas of the school so that devices were not lost, stolen, or broken while charging. Outlets can be hard to come by and do not provide protection against breakage or theft.
The FUYL Tower solution offers the best pathway to modernizing facilities across the entire district. Innovative, on-demand, centralized, and secure charging lockers offer total convenience without expensive infrastructure updates. The new addition is the perfect place to start infusing thoughtful 21st-century design and amenities.
Wall outlet use is minimized, keeping devices safe and sound while charging.
Students are in control. Students use the centralized Towers to store and charge their devices behind a door that is locked using their personal RFID badge.
Mount Horeb is able to establish itself as an innovative district from all aspects. Their investments will help to increase enrollment, which will benefit the school long term.
A FUYL Tower in “Public Mode” is available for anyone who needs fast and secure charging on demand. Examples include students who need a device charge during the day, environments where devices are prohibited, or for students facing housing insecurity.
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February 15, 2021 | Warrenville, IL
Since 1965, the Little Friends® non-profit agency has been fulfilling lives regardless of challenge. Their groundbreaking programs empower people of all ages experiencing autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities to live, learn, work and thrive in their communities.
Not long ago, Little Friends moved to a new facility and can now provide more programming to the growing needs of those they serve. As school closures caused by the pandemic started to lift, Little Friends began preparing for students to safely return to full-time, in-person learning.
Health and Safety Concerns
Before coming back to in-person learning, staff and students’ health and safety, especially in the classroom, were top priorities. Plexiglass partitions were installed, social distancing and mask protocols were adopted, and a nightly cleaning schedule was implemented. In addition to these mitigation measures, Little Friends sought a way to give parents peace of mind that shared iPad devices would also be routinely sanitized.
Variety of Devices Needs
The organization prides itself on providing programs for people of all ages, from toddlers to seniors–so it’s no surprise that device needs vary. Staff use mobile devices for record keeping, while teachers have laptops. iPads are available in Pre-K to 3rd-grade classrooms, and 4th graders and up are assigned Chromebooks. Various technology needs resulted in the need for a flexible solution to store, charge and lock many device types.
Smaller Class Sizes
With smaller class sizes, social distancing in the classroom is easy. Because class sizes are small with a max of 8 students per classroom, selecting compact charging and disinfection solutions was key. Products that are easily accessible and fit well in the daily routine for both staff and students were an essential requirement.
Like the comprehensive plan Little Friends creates for each child, they also needed a comprehensive strategy for charging, storing, securing and sanitizing shared iPad devices. Having worked with LocknCharge before, Mike Briggs, President & CEO of Little Friends, was very familiar with LocknCharge solutions. He made what he referred to as an “easy decision” to purchase 25 Carrier™ 10 Charging Stations and 25 UVone™ UV-C Disinfection Stations.
Because the UVone units are mounted right next to Carrier 10 Charging Stations in classrooms, devices can be quickly sanitized before storing and charging overnight. The ability to select the proper charging station and pair it with a disinfection station ensured that the complete solution was tailored to their needs. Here are some other benefits these two solutions offer:
Rapid UV-C Technology with UVone
Peace of Mind
Because iPad devices are shared by several students, UVone gives parents peace of mind that added precautions are being taken for mobile device disinfection.
With touchless sensors, UVone reduces cross-contamination and is simple for kids to operate.
Like many schools across the U.S. that have tapped into the funding set aside in the CARES Act, Little Friends was able to leverage allocations through the allowable use for sanitization and cleaning to purchase UVone devices.
"UVone provides parents the confidence that shared devices are disinfected."
- Mike Briggs, President & CEO of Little Friends
Wall-Mountable Carrier Charging Stations
These compact charging stations look great and don’t occupy floor or counter space when mounted to a wall.
Carrier 10 easily does the job it’s supposed to do–charging, storing and securing devices. Cables and charging supplies stay organized in a separate compartment, allowing for quick plug-in after each use.
With eight students max per class, a smaller charging station with a lower capacity met the needs of their 1:1 program.
Carrier Stations are universal, meaning they work with most devices–including iPads, Chromebooks, laptops and tablets–which can be deployed with ease using Baskets.
With grants, Little Friends will continue to invest in state-of-the-art technology, including robots to assist children with speech therapy. They’re committed to creating tech champions who explore innovative digital technology. The leadership team at Little Friends understands that these investments bring an incredible opportunity to incorporate new methods of teaching and learning.
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San Francisco USD Department of Technology Develops Plan for Safe and Successful Device Deployment in a COVID World
Like many school districts across the United States, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is starting the 2020-21 school year remotely. The Department of Technology (DoT) for the SFUSD has made it their mission to prepare nearly 5,000 educators (over 400 of whom are new to the district) in all aspects of a digital classroom–from both a hardware and software perspective. Every minute leading up to the school year was critical to their readiness, as students’ education continues to hang in the balance.
In preparing for the new remote school year, the health and safety of SFUSD’s teachers and the DoT staff were a top priority. At the outset, every time a teacher needed a new device or to exchange an old one, they would stop by the Help Desk Office in-person and interact with an on premises team member. Although they did everything they could to avoid in-person contact, the sheer volume of traffic was putting everyone involved at increased risk.
Each time this type of device support was needed, a team member had to be physically onsite. Triaging the issue would gobble up a minimum of 15 minutes from the Help Desk’s schedule–not to mention the growing wait time for a tech person to become available. Whether a teacher is new to the district or a current teacher’s device needs repair, it’s imperative that teachers can access a working device as quickly as possible.
Teacher Training Needs
In order for teachers to prepare for a new way of digital teaching, they needed more time and increased Help Desk support to learn new software and be trained on best practices for remote teaching. Constant interruptions due to device deployment and hardware issues took valuable time away from the DoT team’s ability prepare teachers for their new digital classroom.
Preparing for Success
In order to streamline these challenges, SFUSD strategically placed four LocknCharge FUYL Tower Smart Lockers at the district’s centrally-located main office where it could be accessed beyond normal office hours and even on weekends. Each bay is equipped with one ready-to-go device, which simplified the process of distributing and maintaining devices to 3 easy steps without the need for any face-to-face interaction or Help Desk interruption.
3 Easy Steps for Device Distribution
A teacher in need of a device notifies the Help Desk through its ticketing system.
Within 1 business day, a FUYL Tower bay is assigned to the teacher.
The teacher retrieves the device with their 6-digit PIN and is ready to go.
“[FUYL Towers] are keeping our mission-critical team members safe and free from public interactions while effectively deploying hundreds of educator devices.”
– David Malone, Executive Director of Technology and Innovation for San Francisco Unified School District
An Uncertain Future
It’s impossible to know what the future of education will look like one month from now or even one year from now, which makes putting a back to school safety plan in place very difficult. Should schools switch to a hybrid model or an in-person model, the FUYL Tower is flexible enough to remain an extremely useful tool in any scenario:
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Back To School Educational Technology Tips & Advice
What will schools look like a year from now? Or even next week? It's hard to keep track of technology solutions for your school. Get all the latest educational technology tips and advice for districts and educators here.
LocknCharge Customer Voices: Student sees the importance of technology downtime at Peace Lutheran College
Tyra, Boarding Student at Peace Lutheran College, sees the importance of technology downtime to help with sleep, learning and social life and how the FUYL Tower has helped achieve this.
Tyra explains how having devices charged and ready to use at all times is important especially for boarding students to contact family, but also outlines that having charged devices is important as learning is technology based. Having the FUYL Tower has helped students become more independent and responsible by having control over their devices. This includes having devices returned during the specified curfew times and having devices charged and ready to use when needed.
“Before the FUYL Tower, everyone would be on their technology and not socializing with each other.”
- Tyra, Boarding Student at Peace Lutheran College
LocknCharge Customer Voices: FUYL Tower has stopped the unauthorized access of devices at Peace Lutheran College
Rob Armstrong, Head of ICT at Peace Lutheran College, explains how the LocknCharge FUYL Tower has helped stop unauthorized access to devices by boarding students outside of allocated hours.
Prior to the FUYL Tower, students would be using devices at all times of the day and night. The school struggled to keep student devices charged and secured. Now each student has an RFID enabled student card which is used to access their allocated locker. The Curfew feature means that students no longer have access to their devices during the curfew specified times.