Special education teachers frequently “push in” to regular education classrooms, but a large part of their instruction is often delivered to small groups in other locations throughout the school building. Because their groups are small, learning support, emotional support, ESL, and speech and language teachers don’t always have the luxury of a full-sized classroom or easy access to equipment and resources. In fact, outfitting smaller groups in smaller spaces with the tech of today’s classroom is a challenge of both space and budget for many school districts.
Some teachers work around this problem by having students sign out laptops and other devices from a library or another classroom, but there are two common problems with this scenario. One is that the student may forget to sign out a device and show up for instruction without it. If that day’s instruction is dependent on the device, then the classroom teacher must take time away from instruction to allow the student to go and retrieve a device from another location. The second problem is making sure the device is returned to the area from which it was borrowed. A student might leave the signed-out device behind in the small group area or forget to return it after the class, which causes the teacher or another faculty member to have to find it and return it at the end of the day. In both scenarios, teachers and students are losing valuable time in getting the device where it’s needed and returning the device when it’s done being used.
“Many schools have made due with methods like these in an effort to stretch their technology budgets, but clearly this approach to device management has room for significant improvement, especially when it comes to deployment and retrieval time,” said Tyler Bortner, Intellerum education product manager. “The good news is there are a variety of smaller, more affordable storage options now available to solve this problem, so schools no longer need to be limited by space and budget. They can enjoy the flexibility of purchasing smaller quantities of devices, and they can safely store them in compact, economical store and charge units.”
A closer look at smaller store and charge options
Store and charge depots and stations are small units that can manage as few as 5 devices or as many as 16, and devices can range in size from full laptops and Chromebooks all the way down to small iPads, tablets, and e-readers. Depots and stations are extremely compact and typically include a front door that retracts inside the unit to keep it out of the way. Power cords to plug in devices for charging are neatly organized by power management dividers and placed within easy reach at the front of the unit. Setup is also simple and can be accomplished by removing the internal stage area or by front or rear access, depending on the particular features of the unit.
The small size of depots and stations means they don’t occupy a lot of space. For example, a depot can accommodate up to 12 devices and measures approximately 22″ wide by 18″ deep by 19″ high. According to Bortner, the size of these units is especially appealing to special education teachers and other small group instructors who are typically working in smaller spaces. Units like this can be placed on a desktop, countertop, or underneath a table or desk, and they can also be stacked if more store and charge space is needed in the future. Some models also offer optional locking storage drawers for storing peripherals or other supplies, and some can be equipped with casters, so they can be moved around a room or easily go from one location to another inside a building.
For added safety or special circumstances where device security is a primary concern, a store and charge depot or station can be wall or surface mounted. Heavy duty steel construction, fully hinged doors, and three-point locks also enhance security by preventing the units from being pried open.
“With so many store and charge options now available, schools finally have the freedom to truly customize the numbers and types of devices for each classroom without sacrificing space or breaking the budget,” concluded Bortner.
Tyler Bortner is the product manager for Intellerum’s education line of store and charge products. Before joining Intellerum in 2013, he earned an elementary education degree from Millersville University and was an elementary school teacher at Red Lion School District in York, PA.
For assistance choosing the right store and charge products for your school’s need, contact Intellerum at 866-875-9594 or firstname.lastname@example.org.