Tag Archives: device management

Choosing the right device charging station…a few considerations

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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

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

 

Manage your devices—like a tablet tango

Ergotron Tablet Management Station 16That’s how you’ll be handling your devices with the Tablet Management Station 16. Just line ‘em up and watch this tablet-mastermind go to work with rhythm and pizzazz.

This coordinated piece of hardware gets along with nearly every tablet on the dance floor, using wired USB connections—whether it’s an Apple iPad, iPhone or iPod, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, an Amazon Kindle, or an e-reader.

Similar to a dance instructor, the Tablet Management Station 16 can also choreograph up to 16 devices to a digitally synced-up and charged-up formation. No, they don’t actually dance, but you’ll be tempted to tango with all the time you’ve saved, thanks to your new friend. Aren’t you happy we introduced you two?

DM16-1003-inuse2Both compact and versatile, the Tablet Management Station 16 is affordably priced (MSRP US$599) and easy-to-use right out of the box. The sleek space-saving tower sets up easily on a table, a counter top  or a desk.

Simply store it out of the way when the job is done. The Tablet Management Station 16 won’t leave you guessing as its Individual Status Indicator (ISI) LEDs shines an amber light while charging…and gives you the green light when it’s go time. 

 

DM16-1003-usbQuality Traits:

  • Charge and Sync up to 16 devices at one time
  • Entire system fully certified to UL 60950-1 standard
  • Universal compatibility for Apple and Android devices, such as iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, Google Nexus and Amazon Kindle
  • Full 2.1A charging capability provided to all 16 ports simultaneously
  • Station automatically adjusts to provide the correct amount of power required by the tablet
  • Master laptop connects to station using included USB A to B cable 

This product might not get you ready for a stint on Dancing with the Stars, but as a partner in ready-to-use tablets and devices for critical business initiatives? It takes top billing.

The Classroom of the Future is Here

Sit-Stand On-demand with ErgotronFor decades, if you walked into a classroom in New York City or in rural Montana you would see the same thing: a teacher at the front of the room writing on a chalkboard and lecturing to students seated at desks with textbooks in front of them. Now, with the use of technology expanding quickly, classroom layouts and dynamics are changing. 

Here are a few ways that the “classroom of the future” is finally here:

  • Schools are now making the switch from heavy texts and library books to electronic versions on tablets.  While cost is the main driver of this move, electronic books also help schools offer the most up-to-date versions.  Along with tablets, classrooms also need ways to keep these tables charged, synced and updated for everyday use. Here are some products they are using to manage these devices.
  • Schools are exploring ways to gets students AND staff on their feet more often. Just last week, in addition to categorizing obesity as a disease, the American Medical Association announced that mounting evidence shows sitting around for long periods of time is unhealthy and has called on employers to find alternatives to help employees stay fit and healthy.  But children are also at risk from unhealthy lifestyles. At a time when more than 17 percent of the nation’s children are obese and schools are beginning to order larger chairs to accommodate them, there is also a move to have them stand more in the classroom. Sit-stand workstations help increase physical activity levels while providing outlets for energy not commonly found in the traditional sedentary classroom or lab environment.
  • Technologically-advanced classrooms are also employing virtual field trips and classes through advanced video-conferencing technologies. These advances make it easy for classrooms to “travel” to new places, have conversations with classrooms in other countries, and explore new cultures. In rural or remote locations, specialty teaching resources that may otherwise be limited to only one physical location can be explored.
  • Teachers are now using advancing technology to turn daily lectures into homework. This allows more time in the classroom for kids to work on interactive projects and get help from the teacher, resulting in what is called “flipped” classrooms. Having flexible work environments in the classroom to facilitate this collaborate interaction is key, as are flexible computing tools to accommodate the type of digital homework required.

All of these advances can help students get the most out of their education each day and provide educators the opportunities to do things never before possible. New advances continue to propel us further into the future of education, and while the landscape may appear different, the traditional educational goals are the same – to engage learners and promote healthy learning styles for all involved.

Ergotron is at the ISTE Conference 2013 in San Antonio this week showing off some of the latest in device management and education-related products. If you are there visit us at Booth 6208 or follow along at @ergotron.