Industry representative explains why storage, charging products are necessary in mobile device rollouts
Many schools begin implementing mobile devices by opting to try a pilot of devices, and increasingly, they are also piloting charging carts or charging stations as well. Pilots give districts insight into the benefits their students and staff will realize in a mobile device deployment. Often, this insight is critical in securing and allocating any funding needed for mass deployments.
At TCEA 2015, James Symons, K-12 mobile device management specialist and CEO of LocknCharge, shared answers to questions about how and why K-12 schools should roll out mobile devices together with storage and charging products.
“Something that should always be considered while planning a mobile device deployment is device deployment workflow. Without a doubt, one of the most frustrating points of a deployment is the realization that devices are underutilized or the deployment of the devices is slow and frustrating for users and teachers,” said Symons.
Next page: Top considerations for secure mobile device deployments
“Think through how the devices will be deployed to users such as: Will classrooms share a cart? Will each classroom have their own cart? Will devices be distributed one-by-one with students carrying an armful of devices or will teachers distribute them? Will devices be assigned to work groups or whole classrooms? Answering these questions before a deployment can not only impact the storage and charging solution that is selected, it can greatly improve the usage and satisfaction people have with the devices.”
Overall, rolling out devices with the storage and charging solutions is critical for setting a consistent experience for faculty, staff and end users. It ensures that:
• Initial and ongoing support and training on device storage, syncing and charging can be streamlined and simplified – ultimately saving significant time for the already overloaded staff.
• Best practices can be shared from classroom to classroom or school to school – such as color coding Baskets to device covers to streamline the check in and check out of devices, or using Baskets to distribute devices in specific work pods or groups.
• A positive experience is realized from the beginning. When providing incomplete solutions to educators and students – just devices, with no way to secure, distribute, charge and store devices – they ultimately can become frustrated with the technology and see it as an added stressor.
• Cost savings are realized – by looking at a complete package for their deployment versus a piece by piece solution, districts can expect more significant cost savings and price breaks from their IT vendors.
LocknCharge also works with industry partners, such as CDW-G and Google, on developing packages for schools to try both devices and its carts at the same time.
Deployments of mobile devices can range from trials with 20 to 30 devices, to multi-school, district-wide deployments of 20,000 or more devices. Deployment types can range widely from one-to-one models, to a shared device model to a combination of the two models, depending on the age of students or preferences of the school districts.
Coachella Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) deployed more than 21,000 iPads to every student from K-12 in one of the poorest districts in the country by having a clear vision, building a cross functional team with a strong leader, bringing in trusted vendors and partners to offer best practices and solutions, engaging their community on the deployment and by continuing to refine their processes as they learned through pilots and deployment.
Darryl Adams, superintendent of CVUSD, provided a clear vision for the deployment: to level the playing field with technology for their disadvantaged students. The district built a cross-functional team, led by Michelle Murphy, chief technology officer of CVUSD. The team continually tweaked processes and work flows through the pilot and mass deployment.
Additionally, CVUSD brought in trusted partners and vendors, including LocknCharge, to offer best practices and provide technology insights from the beginning. By structuring their deployment with a pilot first, they were able to gain key data points on the benefits of having iPads in the classroom. Also, by educating the community on the benefits of the mobile device deployment, they were able to pass a $42 million technology bond to fund the mass deployment.
Material from a press release was used in this report.