To successfully equip students with the mobile devices they need for learning, you need a charging solution that boosts device uptime and limits learning disruptions in the classroom. But with so many available options, it can be challenging to determine which is the best solution for your needs.
Charging carts for schools come in a variety of configurations and charging capabilities. In this post, discover the five factors that can help you assess your options before you buy.
The Importance of Charging Technology in Schools Today
As one-to-one computing has grown in popularity, mobile devices have become fixtures in K-12 schools. In fact, an EdWeek Research Center survey revealed that, by March 2021, 90 percent of middle and high schools and 84 percent of elementary schools were providing a mobile device for every student. This was a considerable increase from 2019, when only two-thirds of middle and high schools and 42 percent of elementary schools had one-to-one programs.
Given the explosion of student mobile device usage, schools have had to ensure the right charging infrastructure is in place so students can use their devices continuously throughout the school day.
5 Factors to Consider When Looking for Charging Technology
Keeping hundreds or even thousands of mobile devices charged is critical to your school district's success. But if students don’t have fully charged devices, it can disrupt classroom instruction time and result in students falling behind.
Without an effective charging solution, your school can experience:
- Long wait times for devices to charge
- Inability to charge devices due to lost or damaged AC adapters
- Limited charging capacity when students return to school with uncharged take-home devices
- Overuse of outlets and power strips
To avoid these occurrences, consider the following factors before buying charging technology:
1. How Well the Charging Solution Meets Your Basic Requirements
Like many schools, your charging requirements are likely borne out of class size (how many students need devices at once) and your existing technology model (students share mobile devices or participate in a one-to-one take-home or in-class program). Depending on these circumstances, you can determine the capabilities you need in a charging solution, such as how many devices it can charge at once and whether it enables bulk overnight charging.
Your charging solution should also match your other basic requirements, such as compatibility with student device types and facility and classroom layouts. For example, in some cases, you may need charging carts for your school that can move between classrooms; in other cases, you may need a mounted charging solution for a library or media center.
2. Ease of Use
Some charging solutions require users to follow a complex series of rewiring and setup steps before they can even be used. When multiplied over hundreds of charging carts or stations, it can be too much for even large IT teams to handle. As a result, teachers can be put in the position of having to configure charging carts, which cuts into classroom instruction time.
To simplify the process and avoid spending an excessive amount of time on setup, consider charging technology that’s easy to assemble, easy to use, and comes with setup and maintenance support to help you get up and running quicker.
3. Fit with Your Budget
Since school district budgets come in all sizes, it’s critical to select a charging solution that aligns with what you can afford. However, when considering your options, evaluate the total cost of your charging technology—not just the price tag on each product. Cheaper up-front costs don’t always equate to a less costly solution, so you’ll need to select a charging solution that also offers longevity and lower maintenance costs over time.
If you’re managing budget constraints, you might also consider compact charging stations over charging carts for your school, which tend to be less expensive. You can also explore charging solutions that ship unassembled, and then select an affordable on-site assembly service.
4. Cable Management Options
Mobile device charging can be a challenge when you’re also trying to manage adapters and cables, especially if they get damaged or lost. Thankfully, innovations in charging technology have made it possible to charge mobile devices without a mess of wires or power strips.
Look at the available cable management options and select a charging product that can deliver an efficient charge for all your devices without the hassle of managing AC adapters.
5. Durability and Warranty
A well-made charging solution should last and stand up to everyday use. By investing in quality construction, your charging technology will last longer and cost less to repair.
Of course, all equipment needs maintenance and care over time. But you can protect your investment by looking at the type of warranties available on the charging tech you’re considering. In addition to the warranty length, ensure you understand warranties for parts and labor.
Understand Your Options of Charging Carts for Schools
The right charging solution can mean the difference between having a fully charged device in every student’s hands and getting there only some of the time. By considering all the critical factors, you can make a well-informed buying decision and get the charging solution that will satisfy your short- and long-term school device charging needs.
JAR Systems offers a comprehensive suite of charging stations and carts for schools. To find a solution that meets your needs, request a product catalog today.