As more schools move toward BYOD and 1:1 technology programs, there is a growing need for charging
lockers. These are small lockers that allow students and teachers to secure their individual device while it charges. Each compartment typically has a keypad, which the user would create a new numerical code for each time it is used.
Why Schools Need Charging Lockers
Schools adopt different policies to manage technology use that they feel best works for them. This typically includes measures such as requiring everyone to bring their device fully charged each day or returning the device to a cart to be charged. Regardless of what the procedure may be, there is the inevitability that something will not go as planned. This is where individual device charging and security comes in handy.
Schools need a place for students to be able to secure and charge their own device or they risk them leaving in in an unsecured, unattended space.
- Many devices that are popular in schools have an 8-hour battery life when they are brand new, but over time and with heavy use the battery life diminishes. In these instances getting a quick charge during periods that the device is not in use can be essential.
- In scenarios where kids check out their device for the day in their home room and then have gym class they often find themselves with the need to secure the devices during that class. Lockers or locker rooms are never locked by kids and carts in the gym are not ideal or cost too much.
- Many schools find themselves with the need to handle the return of devices at random times during the day by kids who need leave early because they are sick or they are participating in a school sporting event that requires early dismissal.
Charging lockers are convenient solutions to these problems and many others. They work great in common areas, library/media centers, and classrooms.
The Downside of Charging Lockers
One of the major reasons that these charging lockers have not been widely adopted is that they are very expensive. A school can spend $1400.00 (or even more) for a locker system that accommodates only 5 devices at a time. When you break that down that is $280 per charging bay. Most schools just do not have the funds to support this type of purchase, yet without this type of solution, schools lose productivity looking for devices that returned to the wrong place and encounter increased instances of devices being misplaced or stolen.
The Alternatives and Their Compromises
Because of the restrictiveness of their price tag, many schools seek alternative methods of accomplishing the job of individual charging lockers. There are other options that are more low-tech, but they may include some compromises. One option may be to have a check-in/check-out system that requires a faculty or staff member to take the device and put it in a cart or charging station where it can securely charge. With this method the self-serve aspect is lost and it will take the time of the person who is monitoring.
Alternative to the manned check-in/check-out, you can go by the honor system. If you think that devices can be left unattended while they are charging, then a simple charging station or even a power strip in a high profile space will work. Many schools do this, but there is always the risk that someone will not follow the rules.
If your school is more concerned about the security aspect then there are some other simple solutions available including regular lockers. There are even specially sized lockers without charging capability available for these types of situations that come at a lower price. The reality, though is that many schools are moving away from lockers all together. Carts also work well for security, however individuals cannot retrieve or return their own device as needed.
There is also the route of piecing together a DIY charging locker. This might include combining multiple products to provide power to a security solution. There are several factors to consider on whether this is an appropriate solution. Ensuring proper safety measures is key, especially in schools. Consider the cost of the items required to construct a safe and functional charging station that secures individual devices, as well as the time involved in putting it together.
When it comes down to it, schools may have there own creative ways of dealing with these obstacles. They may even try several methods before finding the right solution for their technology program.
Looking for a Solution?
JAR Systems has devised an alternative to these pricey lockers. The solution is both simple and effective and can be implemented for a fraction of the cost. For just $653.00 schools can get the Essential 16 Charging Station with the Kensington add-on and achieve individual security and charging for 16 devices. That breaks down to roughly $41.00 per device bay.
Click below to learn more about the Essential 16 Charging Station and request more information or a quote!