With the help of JAR Systems' Intelligent Charging System and Essential 16 Charging Stations, Osceola County Schools enhanced their digital learning outcomes. After implementing the new charging solutions, the team saw positive results such as:
“You're talking about a $150 difference in price and instead of taking about four five, six hours of putting in the manufacturer's power module, it takes me about an hour to bypass that board and get the Intelligent Charging System up and running. So you're talking about five hour difference in labor and $150 in cost.”
Osceola County Schools
Currently the fastest growing school district in Florida, Osceola County Schools consists of 47 schools that cater to over 67,000 students in total. With the influx of families moving into the county and the addition of several new schools, the district’s Technology Services Department is tasked with maintaining and growing a safe, secure, and reliable network that will support the district's digital learning initiatives. As part of these initiatives, the team is transitioning away from desktop computers and toward a one-to-one landscape that primarily utilizes Dell laptops.
Having already outfitted about 70% of the district with laptops, Osceola County Schools found that their mobile charging carts were falling short of meeting their needs and expectations. Not only were they heavy and cumbersome, but after investing in more than 500 charging carts and only three years of use, over half of the carts' charging systems had failed. As a result, valuable instruction time was being disrupted due to a reduction in the availability of and access to devices.
“When one of them goes down, trying to get them [the cart manufacturer] here under a warranty call is a hassle," said Project Manager Mark Presswood. "You might as well go find a saber tooth tiger and pull his teeth. We had one go down while under warranty and it took us three months to get them here.”
For carts no longer under warranty, Presswood did the math only to discover that fixing the cart would cost nearly the equivalent of replacing the cart. Each new power module would cost the district $499 per cart, along with the base rate of $125 and the hourly labor rate of $85 associated with a technician's visit. Even when bypassing the cost of having the manufacturer's technician visit, they found that it would take upwards of five to six hours of labor per cart for each of their own technicians. For this reason, the district decided to research alternative, more affordable charging solutions while paying close attention to each company's reputation in customer support.
Osceola County Schools discovered JAR Systems in their search and were impressed by the Intelligent Charging System, a power module that uses power sensors and charging logic to deliver faster, smarter mobile device charging. They evaluated the system and found it to be of great value considering it was not only more affordable than their original manufacturer's charging modules, but would also allow them to reuse their existing carts.
"You're talking about a $150 difference in price and instead of taking about four five, six hours of putting in the manufacturer's power module, it takes me about an hour to bypass that board and get the Intelligent Charging System up and running," says Presswood. "So you're talking about five hour difference in labor and $150 in cost."
Working with JAR, the district was able to deploy five Intelligent Charging Systems to refurbish the equivalent number of carts. Presswood says, "You can't even tell it's not manufacturer. It's 90% easier to set-up and looks like it's supposed to be there, the way it's wired up. It's simple to do." The district is pleased with the positive impact that their Intelligent Charging Systems have had on improving the accessibility of devices in the classroom, as well as with how quickly and effortlessly the solutions were integrated with their carts.
After the headaches they had experienced with their existing carts, Osceola County Schools also referred to JAR Systems to find an alternative charging solution for future deployments. They recognized the need for a simple, compact, and dependable charging solution that would endure the everyday use required for the seamless and effective integration of technology into the classroom. JAR Systems introduced them to the Essential 16 Charging Station, a stationary charging station that can be mounted to a wall or desktop. So far, the district has deployed over 225 of these stations and has even included the charging stations in the blueprints for their newly constructed schools.
Implementing JAR Systems' charging solutions has been instrumental in increasing the accessibility and availability of educational technology in Osceola County Schools. Their tech team plans to continue working with JAR Systems to accomplish their digital learning initiatives, as the adaptability and flexibility of the products suit their charging needs. They are especially satisfied with the attention-to-detail and superior customer support services provided by JAR Systems. More charging solutions are anticipated to be deployed across the district in the coming years.