Category Archives: Education Cart

How to Incorporate New Technology: Address Wi-Fi First

New standards in education that expand and incorporate more technology are leading to a new educational environment. But before schools begin purchasing Chromebooks and iPads on a large scale, it is important for school administrators and IT professionals to address one of the most important components to a school-wide technical infrastructure: the Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi networks are at the heart of working technology education devices. From allowing a Chromebook to save documents and access new materials properly to completing a cycle of syncing for your devices with a charge and sync cart, your Wi-Fi plays a significant role in ensuring quality use out of your devices. And with the Federal Communications Commission E-Rate application just starting for schools this season, Wi-Fi should be a top consideration for most public schools.

According to EdTech, 63% of schools will need to replace their Wi-Fi equipment due to their age, in order to meet the demands of increased device-use. Fortunately, federal funding is available for these schools that want to improve and upgrade their Wi-Fi networks and educational devices.

For IT decision-makers, the first step to a successful, connected classroom is to address the strength of your Wi-Fi network. Many schools forget to upgrade their Wi-Fi service, especially after purchasing new mobile devices or implementing a bring-your-own-device policy. And though E-rate applications make Wi-Fi more accessible, only a few applicants remember to account for the growth of their network when writing a budget.

When possible with your school or district’s budget, having fiber optic Internet connections will provide the fastest and most reliable service for a busy school. In addition, it allows for a stronger, safer network. For schools that are adjusting their current Wi-Fi networks, make sure that it can cover your typical bandwidth needs and not slow down during surge times, especially when classrooms rely on cloud-based applications.

Wi-Fi might also be key to IT offices when it comes to device management. For example, IT administrators will need a reliable Wi-Fi connection in order to manage tablets or Chromebooks through a sync-and-charge cart or hub. Or, if IT administrators opt for cloud management, a steady Wi-Fi connection 24/7 will ensure the best results for recovering, saving or installing new apps or data. Overall, a strong Wi-Fi service is beneficial beyond classroom instruction and education.

Modernizing the Wi-Fi connection is only one part of the puzzle, however. Outdated computers and devices can waste time with a lot of troubleshooting and increase the number of malfunctions during the school year. In addition, late-model devices will continue to save upgrades. As we’ve learned from recent announcements from Google on Chrome for old-model Macs and Twitter ending Tweetdeck for new Windows, there’s no guarantee that your devices will work with specific applications later in life. For a longer shelf life out of your technology inventory, it’s best to invest in a plan that slowly integrates late models into your existing inventory. This way, you can take advantage of new applications, stay on top of updates, and get the best longevity out of your current systems.

Our service can help you determine which technologies you should bring into the classroom and the accessories to support them. Whether you need sync and charge carts for all your devices, or a better system for storing and securing your mobile technologies, we can help you find the best solutions fit for your classroom. By having the right accessories and storage options, you can deploy new technology with ease and speed.

In addition, our products can allow you to take advantage of every feature your devices provide. Contact us today for your education technology needs.

 

What To Incorporate in an Education Technology Recovery Plan

As more schools and districts evolve their classrooms with digital and wired technology–and as standards in education seek to incorporate technological tools and resources–it’s important to prepare your digital assets for the future. This would include any type of physical, internal, or security risk. A disaster recovery plan is a much-needed strategy for budding IT offices that will be in charge of multiple devices, networks, and systems. But with our 4-step guide to disaster recovery, we can help you make sure that all your devices and equipment are prepared for any dangers they might face.

encore data products technology recovery planStep 1: Identify the risks in order to take preventative measures.

It’s important to know what your technology will face, in order to prepare for them. For example, they could be physical, external risks: students carrying and bringing home their Chromebooks or iPads are prone to damaging them through drops and typical accidents. Or, they might be internal, such as viruses or compromises to data security. It’s helpful to start understanding your current risks, in order to address them with appropriate solutions, such as tablet cases, new virus blocking software, or security controls that require administrative permissions for downloading material. By developing a list of risks, you can begin to design a plan that will help protect your devices and data, and resolve problems more quickly.

There are some things you cannot predict, however, such as a new virus that could override your current blockers or a bug that critically damages saved files on a device. However, creating a list of risks will help you stay on top of security, data, or physical threats to your equipment, and help maintain your devices for longer.

Step 2: Inventory all assets, and monitor their software or hardware upgrade needs.

You need to know what devices you have, in order to know which ones are the most important to recover and maintain first. For example, you are more likely to afford the repair and downtime for an iPad that is infrequently used or can be replaced by a second iPad in stock, but there would be greater urgency and need for an entire set of classroom Chromebooks that have been damaged by an old syncing cart.

In addition, you will want to indicate which systems need security checks; software or hardware updates, or even predicted end-of-life timelines in order to phase out old models and bring in new ones when possible. This will help you keep your assets in-line and prepared for any type of disaster or emergency.

Step 3: Realize your recovery objectives.

In the event that your devices fail–maybe from a problem syncing data to the cloud, accidental data loss from a storm, or from upgrades that cause problems or malfunctions with your current software–you want to have recovery objectives in mind. The two most important recovery objectives to have is recovery time and recovery point. Recovery time objectives set your goal for how long your devices or services can be down before it becomes a costly issue, and what you need to have in advance to reduce downtime. Recovery point objectives, on the other hand, help you decide how much data you can lose, and what needs to be recovered first to maintain the most important programs, data, and more.

Step 4: Develop your disaster recovery guide and implement training.

With your objectives set, it is now time to develop your step-by-step guides for your disaster scenarios, how you divide tasks and responsibilities among your team and record any new changes to your assets list. You will also want to schedule tests of your plan to make sure that you can recover your devices within a certain time frame.

By developing a disaster recovery plan, you’ll be able to maintain your educational technology devices and prepare for their ever-changing field. To learn more about devices that can help you maintain all your devices, contact us.

Review: Custom Educational Furnishings CEF LC-1-30 30 Tablet Security Charging Cart

Finding the right charging cart can be an endeavor for any tech department, especially when computers and tablets need to be transported safely, locked up securely, and serve many devices at once. Whether it’s for a hospital or a classroom, the right charging security cart should not be overlooked, especially as you expect a lot of travel and use from it. The new Custom Educational Furnishings CEF LC-1-30 30-Tablet Security Charging Cart is the answer for many challenges that a school, office, or business might face when storing a number of tablets securely.

The CEF LC-1-30 first of all is a compacted cart, with its size measuring 27″W x 30″D x 40″H. At this height, the cart can double as an instructor’s station, which allows the cart to be a multi-use piece of furniture for any space.  With the cable grommet on top, instructors can use the top of car for any device that also needs charging at the same time. With the two front and back locking doors, the devices inside can stay completely secure, without any risk of a break in.

The capacity of the cart includes 30 slots divided with PVC slot dividers, and can hold devices up to 16 inches in length, 11.5 inches tall and 1.375 inches thick. The space alloted for each slot can hold most tablets on the market (such as iPads and iPad minis), and even slim notebooks like Macbook Air and Google Chromebook. In addition, each numbered slot includes a cord keeper above it, allowing for easy cord management for every device in storage.

The back of the cart features even more easy-access cord management, with easy to use surge protected outlets, handle and cord wraps for tidying up cables, and optional AC adaptor brick storage trays for devices that use brick power supply. There is also extra storage space to allow for a mounted WAP, and other materials needed for the demanding classroom or office cart.

The cabinet’s durable construction is made with double faced Melamine laminate covering the 3/4″ and 1-1/8″ – 45-48 lb. industrial grade core. And unlike other carts, the CEF LC-1-30 provides 4 different finishes, allowing you to seamlessly integrate the cart with your current classroom or office, without it standing out against other furniture pieces. The four finishes include: grey nebula, natural oak, grey tenino, and cherry. The top and bottom of the cart is done in a black finish and with radius corners for safety and aesthetics, blending the entire look of the cart into a piece that is modern, functional, and consistent. The cart comes with four 5-inch soft balloon wheel casters that swivel and lock, while allows the cart to glide smoothly on all types of surfaces without damaging stored devices, and can stay mobile and stationary at a moment’s notice. Overall, it is a strong assembly that can withstand all types of environments, from a busy classroom with moving students, or quick and constant mobility up and down hospital floors.

Assembled by hand and made in the U.S., this cart can also be fitted with an optional 7 day programmable timer that can be programmed with different charging options, and wide spaced outlets that will allow wider plug heads to be plugged in at once and altogether. In addition, the cart comes with a 10 year warranty, a limited lifetime warranty on the surge protector, and a year warranty on the optional programmable timer. Overall, with its standard and custom options, the CEF LC-1-30 security charging cart can be a great asset to schools, hospitals, offices, libraries, and more. To order your cart today or see other security charging carts, check out our catalog or contact us.