Tag Archives: charging carts

Say “YES” to the Basics: Flexible and Affordable!

Perhaps your school district — like many — is in the throes of a race to the top with an aim toward educational innovation. At the same time, it may be hampered by severe budget constrictions. If so, you’ll be relieved to learn you don’t have to scrimp and penny-pinch to purchase a safe, sturdy, secure charging cart to go with your new technology.

Get Ergotron quality with the new YES Basic Charging Cart: a smaller, simpler version of our popular YES 36 Charging Cart for under $1,000! It shares family traits with Ergotron’s YES and Zip charging systems at an extremely budget-friendly price. All Ergotron charging products are designed to keep your mobile devices secure, protected and charged. In addition, we rigorously test our carts to ensure they can handle the stresses a modern classroom can demand of technology.

A Simpler Cart: This rugged, space-saving cart will charge, store and transport up to 36 devices. Move or remove adjustable dividers as needed to create your own custom-size spaces — ideal for tablet, Chromebook™, Ultrabook™, MacBook® and laptop devices. This YES Basic cart truly is the last cart you’ll ever buy.

At recent tradeshows, educators liked these YES Basic features best:

  1. Small footprint – 23” x 23” (59 x 59 cm).
  2. Works with all devices, including mixed devices now and new ones in the future.
  3. Lifetime Warranty on mechanical; 3 years on electrical; 1 year on cables.

What’s the main trade-off for a lower price? Charging time. The YES 36 and Zip40 Charging Carts use Ergotron’s patented PowerShuttle® charging system and charge up to 30% faster than standard round-robin charging systems.

Ergotron has the broadest and best selection of charging systems in the industry. Find the right one for your devices – download our Comparison Matrix or visit Charging.ergotron.com.

 

A back-to-school charging cart story

Ergotron_Blog_Cable-Management_640_Jun14

The other day I picked up my husband from work. He’s a fourth-grade teacher at a St. Paul school in Minnesota. Since we’ve been talking to a lot of educators and administrators about our new LearnFit® Adjustable Standing Desk, I took this opportunity to check out his classroom and chat with him to research the flow of his day.

BeforeChargingCart

I also wanted to see this charging cart he’d been complaining about. He couldn’t remember the brand name but he said it was a big mess. He said only about half of his students were plugging in their devices because the cables were so tangled; he often couldn’t even get the door closed because of the cords! He was right, it was chaos. ErgotronYesChargingCart

He told me I should see another fourth-grade teacher’s cart. “It’s awesome,” he said, glowing. “The devices almost plug themselves in.” I had to check out this paragon of virtue, a little daunted that it might be a competitor’s cart.

Happy to say, it was one of our YES® Charging Carts. I think these pictures pretty much tell the whole story.

What’s your cart story?

Angela Swenson, Director, Global Channel Marketing

TIPS FOR TAMING TECH CHAOS IN THE CLASSROOM

Are you an educator looking for new strategies for organizing your classroom routines and trouble zones? Consider these tech tips for a fall refresh:

Choose a cart, locker, or other charging system that’s compatible with a wide range of devices. One size does not fit all, so make sure your system matches your laptops, tablets, or handhelds. That way, you can mix and match devices today, and your charging solution won’t become obsolete tomorrow.

Locate your system logistically in the classroom, office or media center. It should be out of the way in crowded spaces, but within easy reach for convenient distribution of devices before, after or during class. Sometimes closets or other nooks can serve as charging stations.

Quality, well-made products are durable enough to withstand abuse, the kind that only kids can dish out, but even then… Avoid broken shelves, dismantled cords and jammed locks which require IT to track down replacement parts or call in vendors, such as locksmiths.

Train students to use a gentle touch and act responsibly around technology. Talk to them seriously about the value of the equipment they’re using and what an honor it is to be “tech pioneers.” Not every classroom has the advantage of these devices.

Have a conversation with fellow educators to learn successful strategies for integrating technology into education. You may find that your young, inexperienced peers are comfortable with tech and can give you digital tips and tutorials. Older, seasoned peers may be able to offer good advice on classroom management and how to inspire students. Or the opposite.

Make use of online resources, too. For example, check out the back-to-school posts on the Ask a Tech Teacher blog. In addition to advice, you’ll find over 100 free EdTech lesson plans from a group of savvy contributors. Read away!

Visit us at ISTE in Denver, booth #1515

Ergotron_ISTE_Products_Blog_Jun16

The ISTE Conference & Expo has been the premier forum for sharing groundbreaking ideas, unveiling new learning technologies and forming collaborations with the power to impact classrooms worldwide. Visit Ergotron/Anthro booth #1515 to get a glimpse at what Ergotron brings to the education market in 2016. Some highlights:

New! Ergotron LearnFit Sit-Stand Desk

Transform classrooms into active learning environments with on-demand sit-stand desks. With the simple squeeze of a hand lever, kids can change from sitting to standing. The first-generation LearnFit was named a 2016 Bronze Award Winner by the internationally renowned Edison Awards and endorsed by the Global Educator Institute (GEI).

Joyce R., a GEI reviewer and teacher in Florida says:
“I mainly use the LearnFit with a student who has disabilities and has an IEP that allows him to stand and be close to the classroom door. This desk is perfect for him. We can roll it closer to the door and he can stand up and work. Before, when he needed to use his laptop, he would have to sit because the table is too low for him. He always felt uncomfortable and was distracted easily. Using this product allowed him to be more comfortable and much less distracted!”

Top Seller! Ergotron YES Charging Carts and Cabinets, for Mini-Laptops and Tablets.

These flexible charging solutions can adjust to say YES to all your devices, now and in the future. Mix and match laptops, tablets, smartphones, and handhelds. Units offer compact and secure charging while saving valuable floor space in cramped classrooms and offices. Built with Anthro-DNA, they’re also TAA compliant.

Tracey, a reviewer and educator in North Carolina, gave the YES Cart five stars for security:
“This past winter one of the carts was really put to the test. We had a break in over the winter holidays but our Chromebooks were safe! The top of the cart had been pummeled by a hammer. The hammer marks were very clear but the cart remained locked and the thieves left the cart with the Chromebooks inside!”

Drop by our booth #1515, see the mock classroom, take all of our products for a spin, or enter one of our contests. We are giving away 3 products at 3 PM every day and have a grand prize that will excite! You’re sure to walk away a winner.

Protect your digital devices from vandalism and theft

Ergotron_YESMOR-Security_May15_640

Last year, over winter break, vandals broke into a North Carolina elementary school and attempted to steal digital devices from the instructional technology lab. They took a hammer to the top of the cart, the YES36 Charging Cart for Mini-laptops, because the cart’s doors were securely padlocked. Unfortunately, this event is played out in similar educational institutes around the country. Device security was never a more important topic on IT agendas.

Happily, in the case of this school, the vandals were thwarted. This is one example of why choosing a  cart with a tough exterior finish and the sturdy overall construction should be a line item on the “must have” list for a charging system roll out at your school. The top of the cart was damaged (see below) and showed multiple marks, but the school was able to replace just the top to get the cart back to pristine condition and back in operation.

Law enforcement officials warn that break-ins are common, especially during holiday vacations, and that there’s only so much that a school can do to avoid theft and vandalism. Security measures, such as spiked iron fences, iron-shuttered windows, and motion sensors, may stop young pranksters but not professional operators, who have ways of counteracting those safeguards.

Ergotron_YESMOR-Customer-Photo_May15_640

So what can a school do to protect its investment in digital technology? First of all, make sure to choose the right solution for your environment, whether it is a wall mount, desktop or cart charging system. In addition, the unit must be tough enough to withstand common educational rigors, such as rough handling by unruly students.

Finally, consider these security features when comparing charging systems:

  • Is a standard locking feature enough, or does it need more (keyed door plus padlock, etc.)?
  • Does it need additional security brackets that will lock the locking system to the floor or wall?
  • Can the unit be rolled into another secured area at night, such as a locking closet?

At Ergotron, we’re always looking for new ways to keep your tablets, laptops, and handheld devices safe, charged, and ready for use. That way, as educators, you have peace of mind, knowing your edtech investments are well-secured, and so you can focus on what you do best – teach.

 

The importance of safety certification for charging systems

YES_Dorothy

No doubt you have already been through at least one or two technology decisions for your school, choosing devices that will meet your student and curriculum needs. Just as you discovered that you weren’t always comparing Apples to eReaders, the same is true with the charging systems that keep your devices powered up and in play throughout the school day. There is a tendency to assume that all charging systems are safe, but this is not always true. In fact, all device charging systems are not created equal.

Therefore, it is equally important to choose a charging products that has been safety certified by a third-party organization and that the system is being evaluated as a complete and integrated system. It is important to require this of your supplier to ensure the safety of your devices, your facilities and your students.

Some manufacturers use individual components that are safety certified, but then combine them into a larger charging system that is not certified. Charging systems that are not evaluated and certified may exceed allowable load limits, thereby causing electrical arcing, facility problems and/or interaction and interference with other equipment. Safety certification also ensures that mechanical hazards such as user “pinch points,” tipping, sharp edges and crush/cut potential are mitigated.

What are the risks of using non-certified products? You may be surprised at how many there are. Here is a list of considerations when choosing the right systems for your campus:

  1. Critical materials are not fire resistant: This is a potential fire hazard if a battery or electrical fault occurs.
  2. Electrical hazards are not physically enclosed: Shock hazards exist if energized circuitry can potentially be touched either directly or if exposed metal is not safely grounded or properly isolated. Another fire hazard can exist if the enclosure can potentially let out flames or molten metal if an electrical fault occurs inside of the enclosure.
  3. Mechanical hazards are not mitigated: If not properly tested and certified, pinch points, tip, crush or cut, sharp edges, and moving parts can injure students and staff.
  4. Equipment ratings must meet National Electrical Code: Non-evaluated systems may exceed allowable load limits causing electrical arcing, facility problems and/or interaction and interference with other equipment.
  5. No manufacturing factory quality surveillance: Product quality and consistency must be managed and ensured.

Whether you are a choosing a small desktop unit for a back office, a wall unit for an AV center, or a full cart for laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, or netbooks in the classroom, safety should be a number one priority for all the stakeholders involved. Technology is meant to open up new worlds to the students, not new headaches for teachers and IT staff. Look for the certified safety labels or documentation and be sure to differentiate the whole system is safe.

Check out the educator resources on our website, including a grant writing kit, to power up every classroom safely and securely. Also, our charging matrix (PDF) can help you choose the right solution for your environment.

Bob Hill, Ergotron’s Global Education Manager

Bob Hill, Global Education Manager, @LearnFit_Bob

Bob Hill, @LearnFit_Bob

One Cart To Rule Them All? We Think So

Ergotron Zip40 Carts and Zip12 Desktop Cabinet

Meet our newest charging systems family! Ergotron’s Zip40 Charging Cart, Zip40 Charging and Management Cart, and Zip12 Charging Desktop Cabinet all share a universal desire to keep your tablet, Chromebook™, Ultrabook™, MacBook® and laptop devices−individually or in any combination−secure, protected and charged.

Adjustable dividers gives you flexibility in which devices you charge together. You can move or remove dividers as needed to create your own custom-size spaces:

  • For Carts: 40-unit capacity with 1.1ʺ-wide (28 mm) slots and partial shelf for extra storage—ideal for tablets, Chromebooks and Ultrabooks; 30-unit capacity with 1.4ʺ-wide (35 mm) slots—great for full-size laptops or other devices with large cases
  • For Desktop: 12-unit capacity with 1.1ʺ-wide (28 mm) slots and partial shelf for extra storage—ideal for tablets, Chromebooks and Ultrabooks; 8-unit capacity with 1.4ʺ-wide (35 mm) slots—great for full-size laptops or other devices with large cases of these needed

Central to both carts is Ergotron’s reliable and patented PowerShuttle® power management system which charges up to 30% faster than a standard round-robin charging system so devices are ready you need them, and the system never waste time charging empty slots.

From the classroom to your backroom retail management of devices, this cart has something for everyone. But hey, that’s us. Take a look for yourself!


To choose the right charging system for you visit Charging.ergotron.com.

2.1, 2.4, Lightning, 4, Air, Mini…what does it all mean?

24-328-085-wiring_sm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It means that a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not necessarily a square.

First, let me point out we are talking about charging speeds, and in particular, charging Apple products. The question comes up often when reviewing charging systems for a fleet of iPads, “What is the best charging speed for my solution?”

Here are the charging speeds of the various iPad generations at the two amperage rates that today’s iPad charging carts and wall stations support:

iPad Model (connection type) 2.1A 2.4A
iPad 4 (Lightning) 7.0 hrs 5.0 hrs
iPad Air (Lightning) 6.0 hrs 4.0 hrs
iPad Mini (Lightning) 5.5 hrs 3.25 hrs.

If you want to take full advantage of the 2.4A charging speeds of iPad 4, iPad Air or iPad Mini, then go with a charging cart or wall mount that is MFi (Made for iPad) and able to charge at that full rate.

DM10-1001-rem-ipad_smIf the nominal difference in charge times is not as pressing as budget limitations, or if you are using a mixture of older and newer Apple devices, then consider a charging cart or wall station that charges at the 2.1A rate.  The charging time difference could be a moot point based on your usage model and charging patterns.  For instance, are the iPads going to charge overnight anyway?

Ergotron offers both 2.4A and 2.1A iPad charging systems:

  • Ergotron’s MFi (Made for iPad) 2.4A charging carts and wall stations come pre-cabled for Lightning devices, but are also backwards compatible to swap in 30-pin cables for charging older-generation iPads. Lightning-cabled devices will charge at the full 2.4A rate, while iPads connected via a 30-pin cable will still charge at their 2.1A rate.
  • Ergotron also has 2.1A versions of its charging carts and wall stations as well. Whether using 30-pin or Lightning cables, and whether using iPad 2, iPad Air or iPad Mini, all Apple devices connected will charge at the 2.1A rate. This is an economical way to go for mix-and-match iPad generations, and if the devices will be charging all night any way.

One final note, it is also very important to make sure that the charging cart or wall station that you choose is fully safety-certified.  If not, your devices, students and staff are at risk. For more information about this, we’ve put together a brief white paper for you to share with your IT group or other stakeholders in the decision process.

Bob Hill, Global Education Manager @ Ergotron

Bob Hill

The Chromebook equation in education…

Chromebooks already have a very enticing value proposition and robust suite of education tools and applications, so how do they fit into your school and classroom usage models? An often overlooked budget item in 1:1 roll-outs is the necessity of charging stations.

DM12-1005-inuse1_smHere are a few things to consider in choosing a charging station that is safe and flexible for your needs:

  • Classroom Set – Chromebooks that are assigned to a particular classroom are best charged, stored and secured in a charging cart that stays in that classroom.  The devices can be charged a little at a time throughout the day during times of non-use, and at night can be fully charged for the next day.
  • Shared Resource – A mobile charging cart is the best form factor for rolling a shared set of Chromebooks from room to room and around the school.  The overall weight and ease of mobility will be important for your teachers and staff.
  • 1:1 Take Home – Like a sharpened #2 pencil, students don’t always come to class prepared with a charged Chromebook.  To manage these situations, consider mounting a smaller charging station onto the classroom wall, or in a nearby commons place where students or teachers can charge a few Chromebooks at a time.
  • Media Resource Center – Wall-mounted charging stations also work well in the modern library, as they hold a smaller number of Chromebooks and do not occupy valuable floor space.

Once you determine your charging needs, use this comparative matrix to see the differences between Ergotron carts.

If you are planning on attending ISTE in Atlanta at the end of the month, look for us in booth #3326! We’ll have many of the charging systems available for hands on exploration. Until then, in my next post we’ll explore iPads! Stay tuned.

Bob Hill, Global Education Manager @ Ergotron

Choosing the right device charging station…a few considerations

Cords2

More than 90 percent of Americans own a cellphone, 32 percent own an e-reader and 42 percent own a tablet computer. Schools are facing a burgeoning amount of tablet usage in their classrooms, whether that be BYOD, 1:1 or 1: to many. And it is falling on IT/Media to figure out how to best charge, sync, store and secure this investment.

There are a lot of questions to answer, and creating side-by-side comparisons of solutions will help. Use this information to help prioritize your needs so that when you start evaluating solutions, you know where to draw the line. Whether to leverage assets or to meet space challenges, here are a few things to consider:

1.  Choose mobility for larger quantities of devices

With wide casters for easy moving across multiple surfaces, and storage to house multiple devices at a time, a charging cart is your best bet. Plus, it can easily be rolled into a closet to be locked up for the night. Here are some questions to think through cart options:

  • Will the devices be used exclusively in one class or will they be shared across the building?
  • Will they be stored by the teacher in the classroom or should they be housed in the Media Center or IT manager’s office?
  • Is it important to be able to visually check whether a device is plugged in properly and charging?
  • Is it secure? Will the locking mechanisms deter theft?


2.  
Choose fixed or desktop options for small quantities 

If you need to only manage a small number of devices, look for charging stations that can either be mounted on the wall or will sit on a desk or countertop. Take into consideration the following:

  • Does it offer a low profile to help avoid interfering with flow of students or staff around the room?
  • Consider the size of charging slots if the devices have cases; not all charging systems are created equal
  • Can the unit scale if class or device requirements grow?
  • Is security an issue? Do you need to lock up the device or is it safe to leave them in an open environment?
  • Ease of access to device is important, look for units that make device insertion and retrieval a snap

3.  Also important, choose safety!

Whether rolling out 20 devices or 1000, don’t forget the electrical requirements. Look for products that are UL labeled for the whole unit, not just the components. Charging station that have been designed to be a safe product requires redundant safety features, special abuse tests; both component and full system level certifications to all government standards is ideal when used in public places such as schools. Whether adults are the only ones interacting with the unit, or if students engage with it too, look for products that are rugged and suit the environment where they are being placed. Learn more about safe product design.

IMAG0455It’s fascinating to watch where the future of classroom technology is going. 360° classrooms, sit-stand learning environments, no barriers cyber-education…each new adoption faces its challenges. Being prepared means doing your homework ahead of making a purchasing decision. When you do integrate that new solution and it’s a winner for staff and students give yourself a gold star or take an Instagram selfie—some IT geekery is allowed!

Or you can do what most people do, visit Charging.ergotron.com to see side-by-side comparisons of our device charging carts, wall mounts, and desktop units. We have a very broad selection all in one place for you to review.

And of course, I’d be happy to answer any of your questions.

By Sheila Veschusio, Ergotron Education Industry Manager

Ergotron_SVeschusio

 

 

 

 

[1] Pew Internet Mobile Technology Fact Sheet- http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/

 

[Video] Device Management: Smart Technology for Schools

Meet Mary and Tim! They’ll show you how Ergotron’s charging carts and storage cabinets sync, charge and store iPad devices, Chromebooks, laptops and tablets while providing secure access to staff and students—wherever needed throughout the school.

Learn more about Ergotron’s entire line of charging carts and stations.