Easing device management with aesthetically pleasing wall-mounted charging towers
An in-school Chromebook 1-to-1 program allows the 3,500 students of Confluence Academy Charter Schools in Saint Louis—only 6 percent of whom have internet access at home—to have access to more personalized learning. When Marcy Dotson, instructional technology coordinator, began planning in spring 2014 for the initial rollout, she knew she needed a practical solution for storing the devices in the classrooms.
“I knew I wanted something that was not big and bulky like a traditional laptop cart,” says Dotson. “When you walk into a room and see a giant metal cart, it does not make you feel like ‘something different is here.’ It is not modern or appealing to kids.”
Sleek with clear organization
After considering a few options, Dotson selected the PowerGistics wall mount towers. The vertical towers each hold eight, 12, 16 or 18 devices and their corresponding chargers. The plug surge bar tucked in the back of the tower is protected from potential damage, but allows students to easily plug in their devices. Cables are neatly separated to prevent tangling by specially cut shelves that hold the devices laying flat. This lay-flat design is safer than vertical storage, and reduces damaged-device replacement costs for schools. Confluence Academy started with 15 towers in 15 1-to-1 classrooms in August 2014. By fall 2016, all students third grade and up received an assigned Chromebook. The schools have grown to 118 towers in two years.
“The footprint of each of the towers is minimal—essentially a square foot on the floor,” says Dotson.
The aesthetics of the towers promotes an innovative, fresh feel in the classrooms, says Dotson. “A clean look is big in our schools. Why take up floor space when you do not have to?”
Classroom management is simple for teachers. Whether the tower door is open or closed, it is easy to quickly take a visual inventory of the devices inside. At Confluence Academy, students are assigned a specific Chromebook and have clear procedures for how to retrieve, carry and return their devices.
Security as a priority
Fear of stolen devices at Confluence Academy is minimal, as the lock on the towers is very secure. All of the towers have different locks, and if a teacher loses a key, PowerGistics will promptly replace the lock.
“I’ll be honest, one time I arrived at one of our schools and realized I forgot the key to one of the towers,” says Dotson. “I tried really hard to get it open anyway, but I couldn’t break into the tower!”
PowerGistics is always quick to respond to lock-change requests, new orders and other customer service needs, says Dotson.
“PowerGistics is really awesome—they really are one of the best vendors I’ve ever worked with,” she says. “They are always upfront and accurate about timelines.”
This piece was produced for PowerGistics by District Administration. For more information, visit www.powergistics.com/wallmount