With the help of JAR Systems' Essential 16 Charging Stations, Bay City ISD has been able to move forward on their path toward a 1:1 computing environment. After implementing the new charging solutions, the team saw positive results such as:
“I thought, ‘This is perfect. It is a very durable, very straightforward charging device that is universal. I can use it for Chromebooks, I can use it for laptops, I can use it for iPads even.’ That's perfect in an environment like mine that isn't quite standardized yet.”
Chief Technology Officer
Bay City ISD
Bay City ISD is a public school district located in Bay City, TX that serves around 3,600 students. Their mission is to prepare students to excel in our modern society through a variety of academic, career, and technological opportunities in a safe, disciplined, and nurturing environment. In 2017, the school district began on its path toward a 1:1 computing environment in order to help extend the scope and reach of their students' learning. Beginning with zero Chromebooks, they were able to deploy 1,330 Chromebooks in 2018 alone and aim to meet their goal in just another year and a half.
In their search for a charging solution, Bay City ISD had to not only account for their new Chromebooks devices, but also for an assortment of devices still lingering from previous, small-scale deployments. With their top priority being to get as many devices in the hands of students as possible, they hoped to find an affordable, high-quality mobile cart or charging station that they could introduce to each classroom to reliably charge and secure the devices.
The district's original plan was to invest in mobile carts. However, after conducting a survey among the teachers, the technology team discovered that the teachers were interested in having rotational sets of devices. Using this method, some students would be able to work on their Chromebook devices while others tended to another task. This meant that only 10-15 devices would be used at once, rather than a full-set of classroom devices.
According to Chief Technology Officer Josh Solis, “We said, ‘well, we really don't want to invest in a cart at that point. Let's do a tabletop charging unit.’ The issue was most tabletop charging units were upwards of $600. At that price point, we were only $400 away from a cart. So it didn't really make a whole lot of sense.”
While attending the TCEA conference, Solis and his team stumbled upon JAR Systems' booth. Here they were given the opportunity to demo the Essential 16 Charging Station and were impressed by its durability, price-point, and straightforward design. Given its universal charging capabilities, they believed it would be perfect to charge not only their new Chromebook devices, but any laptops or iPads that remained from previous deployments.
So far, Bay City ISD has outfitted about 80% of the classrooms in all three of their elementary schools with at least one, if not two, Essential 16 Charging Stations. In each room, the charging stations have been mounted to built-in casework to provide a convenient and easy access point for students and teachers.
Solis notes that, “The only downside was that you had to assemble it yourself, whereas a lot of other companies will sell you something that is assembled. But in this case, the assembly is very easy and very straightforward and at half the cost [of other charging stations], we were definitely happy to do it.”
After reaching their goal of achieving 1:1, Bay City ISD's next focus will be on a take-home program. Still, Solis believes that teachers and students will continue to use the Essential 16 Charging Stations to charge and secure their devices during the school day.