Webinar: Smart Locker Overview with NERIC & LocknCharge – 2023.03.02
This interview-style webinar takes a deep dive into the FUYL Tower and LocknCharge Cloud to see how automating break/fix and loaner workflows are making device management at Ogdensburg City School District much easier for everyone involved.
- Bob Ladouceur: Edtech and Audiovisual Educator at Ogdensburg City School District
- Katie Ziech Short: Senior Territory Manager at LocknCharge
- Secure, public charging during the day
- Replacement device checkout for broken devices
- Loaner device checkouts for substitute teachers
The Northeastern Regional Information Center (NERIC) is a resource for cooperative educational technology services and support.
They work closely with the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) in New York state, serving more than 130 school districts — large and small, urban, suburban and rural — in seven BOCES across a geographic area that covers 17 counties.
LocknCharge is the leading Smart Charging Locker company for Education. We are dedicated to helping districts find a better way to manage mobile device technology in their schools by improving the broken device exchange or check in/out process for students, teachers or other faculty.
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Reach out with any questions or to book a demo. LocknCharge is here to make your life easier.
Smart Charging Lockers Eliminate Device Downtime for Students at Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
Mobile devices are critical to education, but when a student or teacher doesn’t have a working device, it can halt learning. Addressing the effects of device downtime is no longer optional, and forward-thinking schools like Los Angeles Unified School District are getting students back to learning faster by implementing Smart Charging Lockers from LocknCharge.
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Smart Locker Project Overview
Phase 1 Rollout:
What started as an idea to solve device management during school shutdowns has evolved into an in-person and remote learning program that will reduce device downtime caused by lost, forgotten or broken mobile devices.
“Device downtime means less classroom instruction, and the students lose valuable class learning experience,” said Phillip Lucero, Senior IT Business Efficiency Analyst at LAUSD.
LAUSD, the second largest system in the US, turned to LocknCharge to provide students and educators with access to ready-to-use devices anytime they’re needed. As part of their phase 1 roll-out, the District is deploying 1,800 LocknCharge FUYL Tower™ 15’s across all of their school sites.
The District’s Department of Information Technology and their technology reseller partner worked with LocknCharge’s Strategic Account Executive, Vince O’Rourke, to fulfill their $22M investment. Together, the three partners devised a successful deployment plan to deliver, configure and install 300 Towers each quarter over the 2022-2023 school years.
“After vetting different vendors and companies, we felt that LocknCharge was the best fit and product option for the district. Once we started working with Vince from LocknCharge, it was clear we picked the right company and product for LAUSD.”
– Phillip Lucero, Senior IT Business Efficiency Analyst at LAUSD
Smart Lockers save schools time and money by automating loaner programs, providing students with self-service devices, and ensuring device accountability. Students at LAUSD will get back to learning faster while also affording IT team members and faculty more time to focus on impactful, strategic projects.
FUYL Tower™ Smart Charging Locker Highlights
Flexible, Multi-Use System: Used for broken device exchanges or check-in/out programs
Centralized, Web-Based Portal: Admins can view and manage all Towers remotely from one portal
Contactless Device Exchanges: 24/7/365 access to devices saves time for students, teachers and IT
Device Accountability: Tower activity is tracked in the LocknCharge Cloud’s event log, reducing breakage and loss
Roster Management: Manage end users with the internal directory, via an LDAP-compatible directory such as Active Directory or through a native integration to Google’s directory services
Help Desk Integration: Easily integrate the Cloud with systems like Incident IQ and One2One Manager for end-to-end device management
Secure: Data integrity, physical and network security, and resiliency are a top priority
Lifetime Warranty: FUYL Towers are backed by a lifetime warranty on the main frame, electrical and all other components*
World-Class Customer Service and Support: Our knowledgeable, friendly team promptly assists with any questions or issues that may arise
To download a PDF of this story, click here.
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Connected Devices, Streamlined Learning: Smart Charging Lockers Help Students Avoid Device Downtime
A look at how device downtime hurts student learning – and what to do about it.
Smart Brief Update | WINTER 2022
The widespread adoption of technology in K-12 learning during the pandemic has enabled distance learning, personalized instruction and many other classroom benefits, but this new reality comes with challenges.
In the US alone, Education Week found that 84% of elementary schools and 90% of middle and high schools have adopted one-to-one device access for students. Furthermore, during a November 2022 survey of 171 US-based teachers, LocknCharge discovered that 59% of teachers require the use of a device during class three to five times per week on average — and 55% of teachers require the use of a device at home at least one time per week on average. These findings demonstrate the dependence on device usage for student learning.
59% of teachers require the use of a device during class 3-5 times per week on average.
55% of teachers require the use of a device at home at least once per week on average.
As more schools see the benefits of equipping students with devices, these costs are becoming a permanent part of the school budget. However, putting the right systems in place can go a long way toward helping schools operate technology efficiently and effectively.
As a result, schools are now undergoing a regular “computing device return-and-repair ritual,” EdSurge reports. In Atlanta, lost or damaged devices cost the public school system $3.5 million in one year, with about 11% of devices issued to students never returned.
The benefits of keeping devices charged, safe and operational can’t be understated: Technology is helping to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce, and it is ushering in a new era of personalized instruction that helps improve outcomes for all students.
All over the country, school districts are going to great lengths to keep devices working at peak performance — knowing full well that if they do not, teachers may ditch them altogether, reverting to pen and paper, EdTech Magazine reports.
Given these risks, schools should take the effects of lost and broken devices seriously.
The Challenge of Device Downtime
Learning outcomes are greatly affected when a student or teacher doesn’t have a working device in hand for instruction, class participation or homework. When an electronic device used for learning breaks or has any other downtime issues, the student is quite literally locked out of their learning resources — plus, there are other classroom implications when devices aren’t available.
In fact, the same November 2022 LocknCharge survey revealed that 57% of educators are helping to replace student devices at least one time per week on average, taking time away from teaching.
57% of teachers are assisting students with replacement or loaner devices at least one time per week on average.
In addition, of the educators surveyed, 63% stated that students who do not have a working device at school experience lost learning time.
63% of teachers site lost learning time for students who don't have access to a working device for class.
There is also the issue of device and data security, which is more difficult to manage when students are using their own devices, or those of parents. A school-issued device maintained with security and data protection in mind is a safer one, both for the student and the district. Data and other security falter when a student has to fall back on a home-sourced device.
And what happens when that device is lost? Just take the massive security breach of Illuminate Education in January 2020, for example. It has raised questions about the safety and security of student data in this new era, and that makes it more important than ever for schools to adopt security measures for devices. All of this is more easily managed through school-issued devices, and having backups readily available.
Real-World Examples of Keeping Students Online, Protected
In the past, minimizing the effect of student device downtime has been a challenge, but thankfully, tech-savvy districts are finding ways to greatly reduce the problem.
Oklahoma’s Moore Public Schools
Instruction at Moore Public Schools in Oklahoma is spread across 36 sites and about 136 square miles. The costs of managing a 1:1 device system can quickly add up when it can take a 30 minute drive to deliver a device to a teacher or student. And when parents are asked to drive that distance to pick up devices for their children, equity concerns emerge that could leave some families without access to the technology needed for students to excel in school.
Earlier this year, the school system began piloting LocknCharge’s FUYL Tower Smart Lockers and the Incident IQ Help Desk ticketing system integration to better manage their device infrastructure and offer students a way to easily access devices when they need them.
The towers are placed in high school and college media centers, for example, where staffers and students can check them out as needed.
Now, rather than trade emails back and forth with a student to schedule a broken device exchange, the technology team can remotely issue a device to that student via one of its FUYL Towers. Students can quickly and easily swap out the broken device for a new one at their convenience.
"The goal is to be close to zero downtime for any event that takes students and teachers away from engaging and effective learning."
– Jun Kim, Director of Technology, Moore Public Schools
“This level of technology operations is a must-have in today’s learning environments,” says Jun Kim, Director of Technology at Moore Public Schools. “The goal is to be close to zero downtime for any event that takes students and teachers away from engaging and effective learning,” Kim says. “It’s essential to utilize technology as a tool to help increase our student achievement and to help prepare those students to thrive in that digital college or digital career environment.
Smart Lockers Help Schools Manage Devices Efficiently
Automation technology is making it possible to reduce the time technology departments must spend addressing issues such as damaged and lost devices.
When it comes to designing products for educational settings, LocknCharge has more than 20 years working directly with school districts to meet their needs. The company is the leading global manufacturer and supplier of mobile deployment solutions with headquarters in Australia, the USA, Europe and Japan.
Los Angeles Unified School District
Recently, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest system in the US, turned to LocknCharge for autonomous checkout smart lockers, so students and educators can access charged and ready-to-use devices more conveniently.
LAUSD’s decision to add 1,800 LocknCharge FUYL Towers was originally prompted during the COVID-19 shutdown. The district needed a way to distribute devices safely to students and parents in a manageable way.
“After vetting different vendors and companies, we felt that LocknCharge was the best fit and product option for the district,” said Phillip Lucero, Senior IT Business Efficiency Analyst at LAUSD.
What started as a solution to a device management crisis has morphed into an in-person assist, too. LAUSD students and teachers rely on the LocknCharge lockers to reduce in-person downtime from lost, forgotten or broken devices.
“Reducing device down time for students and teachers means more classroom interaction for students. Device down time means less classroom instruction, and the students lose valuable class learning experience,” Lucero said.
— Phillip Lucero, Senior IT Business Efficiency Analyst, LAUSD
School districts of all sizes can benefit from what LocknCharge offers, from a single tower to hundreds, with features such as overseeing bay reservations remotely, tower usage reports, external user directory integration and external ticketing system integrations. At Moore Public Schools, Kim says working with LocknCharge has offered “amazing” results.
“They look at how they can incorporate a technology or tool to make it more efficient with the school and classroom in mind,” Kim says. “The biggest challenge when it comes to devices is that accidents happen,” Kim notes.
Kim’s team has established a process to address that, from steps teachers can take to troubleshoot devices to ways they can easily swap out devices when they require repair.
Without an automated process, the district would “definitely increase time and energy,” Kim says, and take away from time that could be spent resolving other issues.
Oregon’s Beaverton School District
The Beaverton School District in Oregon serves over 60,000 students. The schools rely heavily on an online learning management system for its curriculum, meaning students must have access to technology at school and at home, explains Mac McMillian, the district’s Administrator for Information & Technology.
“In most cases, without the technology, they cannot complete their work,” McMillian points out.
The biggest challenge is in classrooms, which were not built with the idea that every student needs access to a charging port.
“We have to rely on the students to arrive at school with a charged device or have a stockpile of loaner devices for them to complete their work,” McMillian says.
At the onset of the pandemic, Beaverton School District invested in 10 LocknCharge FUYL Tower Smart Lockers to provide students a contactless way to exchange devices during remote learning. Now, those towers are serving as charging stations and lockers for safe storage overnight when students don’t need to take devices home. They also house backup devices that are checked out when students experience breakage or other issues that slow down their connected learning.
McMillian says the district hasn’t yet quantified the savings from their deployment of smart lockers, but the qualitative benefits are evident.
"The towers at the central office are saving a significant amount of time."
— Mac McMillian, Administrator for Information and Technology, Beaverton School District
“The towers at the central office are saving a significant amount of time for both our staff assigned to the central office and to those needing to retrieve or drop off equipment or materials. They no longer have to wait for someone to come meet them, they can securely drop it for them, and our central staff can pick it up at their convenience knowing exactly where it is located,” McMillian adds.
Conclusion: Minimizing Learning Disruptions and Managing Devices More Efficiency
The shift toward technology-driven education is an unstoppable phenomenon that preceded the pandemic and has been expedited as a result of it. Many districts see the potential to improve learning and better equip students for the future by availing the benefits of devices.
Yet the maintenance, oversight and replenishment of these devices is a significant new cost for districts that can serve as an impediment. That’s why it is crucial for technology teams to put the systems in place to minimize learning disruptions and manage devices efficiently.
To download a PDF of this story, click here.
LocknCharge is a software and hardware company that is revolutionizing the way organizations manage mobile devices and other physical assets. During their 20+ years of experience, they’ve come to understand many of the challenges organizations face with device management.
LocknCharge exists to help schools and businesses uncover a better way to manage devices with less oversight, secure devices from theft, and minimize device down time. Their portfolio of Cloud-Connected Smart Lockers will not only save time, money and other resources — they will also make your life easier.
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Drop us a line today for a free quote!
Elizabeth Gregory Home and LocknCharge Team Up to Provide Security to Women Facing Hardship
LocknCharge Saves the Day, Every Day
Written by Ally Baehr - Executive Director, Elizabeth Gregory Home
Imagine, if you will, that you are a woman living outside, only able to keep what you can comfortably carry, being very susceptible to having your belongings stolen and your body violated. Sleeping outside is nearly impossible when your safety is consistently being threatened. Your cell phone or other device is your lifeline. It is how you can connect to resources, family and friends, a flashlight, a way to get emergency help, a place to keep important information, how potential employers can reach you, etc. Yet, when you’re experiencing homelessness, your options for charging your device are slim, and you certainly can’t plug it in and fall asleep, because your device will be gone when you wake up, even in shelter.
Elizabeth Gregory Home is a Day Center in north Seattle that provides a welcoming and respectful refuge where women who are experiencing homelessness, hardship and trauma have access to compassionate care. In our Day Center, we provide a variety of services to help make things a little bit easier. We have safe spaces to sleep, take showers, do laundry, get a hot breakfast and lunch, food to take, bus passes, hygiene supplies, clothing, use lockers, and get case management.
But even providing this safe space to do all these things, trust is still hard to gain. After all these women have been through, they are not going to leave their devices plugged into the wall while they sleep or shower. Unfortunately, we can’t completely prevent theft in our space, and that is where LocknCharge comes in and saves the day.
We did a preliminary search for options to meet this need, but were quickly discouraged by the cost as a small nonprofit organization. I hesitantly reached out the LocknCharge to see if there was anything they could do to reduce the cost. Not only did they respond quickly and with enthusiasm, they said they had a unit that had recently been returned and that we could have it, free of charge. We were ecstatic and so incredibly grateful!
LocknCharge has given us the best option to meet the needs of the women we serve. Women can safely lock their devices in our secure LocknCharge Charging Locker and finally get some good rest, be able to step away from their device and take a shower – and not worry about it getting stolen. They can pick their own code, the locker resets after each user, and women are able to fully charge their devices before they leave for the night, giving them just a little extra boost of safety and security.
LocknCharge’s solution has allowed us to add another service to our Day Center, and anything we can do to help these women get through the most difficult time of their lives is essential for us to invest in. These women deserve that investment as we do our work with Respect, Inclusion, Community, and Empathy, the values we instill in our team and our work. Thank you to the LocknCharge team for your support and this brilliant solution.
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Smart Charging Lockers Solve Device Management for IT Director and Librarian at Mondovi School District
November 2022 | Mondovi, WI
Background: Evolving Tech Needs at School District of Mondovi
The School District of Mondovi is home to about 950 students in grades K-12, all on one shared campus. Within this small western Wisconsin town, community members and school district staff work together to provide students with individual attention, contemporary technology and limitless opportunity. With forward and pragmatic thinking, and a lean team of professionals, they are able to problem-solve quickly and efficiently to best serve the needs of their students.
Challenge: Effectively Managing 1:1 Device Program
Mondovi offers 1:1 devices - namely Chromebooks - for all of their grade levels. These used to be kept in the classrooms, but ever since COVID sent everyone home to learn, they’ve transitioned to a take-home device program for their middle and high school students. With that transition came some growing pains. They lacked a solid communication strategy for tracking the location and status of devices that needed repair. Many Chromebooks were lost, along with hours of learning time. The librarian tasked with managing devices for students was unable to focus on helping students with academic achievement.
So, when IT Director Brad Elkins was replacing the district’s entire fleet with brand new Chromebooks this school year, he knew the break/fix process also needed an upgrade.
Solution: Automating Device Management with Smart Charging Lockers
Elkins first heard about FUYL Tower™ Smart Lockers by LocknCharge through one of his IT contacts working in another school district. They were utilizing a FUYL Tower in their school cafeteria as a public charging station. This was intriguing, and after researching the FUYL Towers himself, Elkins saw even greater potential for the smart lockers at Mondovi. As the sole IT staff member at Mondovi, he presented a plan to the district admins for a self-serve automated exchange of broken or forgotten devices. They saw value in the technology enough to move forward.
Results: A More Efficient Device Break/Fix Processes for IT Director and Librarian – and Improved Device Uptime for Students
It worked out. After a seamless implementation of a FUYL Tower 5 demo unit, Elkins saw all of his ROI calculations materialize. He also saw learning loss eliminated while students with broken or forgotten devices were immediately equipped with a fully-charged and ready loaner. The technology built into the cloud platform gave him incredible freedom to customize their workflow - he used a webhook to send an email every time a device was checked out, detailing the time, bay number and user.
Now with immediate notifications, and an automatic and detailed log of device loans and returns, Mondovi’s IT department of one isn’t surprised by a pile of Chromebooks to diagnose at the end of his work day. The ease of the new system has been embraced by everyone. In fact, the only regret is not having purchased the FUYL Tower with 15 bays instead of 5.
What’s Next for Technology?
Elkins has plans to expand their self-serve locker capacity so that some bays might be reserved for other functionalities - right now all five bays are filled with spare Chromebooks. He’s already dabbled with check outs for parents and paraprofessionals to offer a secure and convenient hand-off that doesn’t have to be scheduled face-to-face.
As the district works on its strategic plan for the next five years, they’ll likely be finding more ways to improve and refresh technology.