All schools need to have COWS. No, this isn’t an article about cows that say, “moo” and provide fresh glasses of milk. Those aren’t necessary at school unless we’re talking about some specialized agriculture school. COWS is an acronym for “computers on wheels.” While these COWS don’t produce milk, they do provide the juice… To student’s laptops, tablets, and Chromebooks. Okay, enough, bovine-related puns.
What makes COWS so crucial for schools in this age of digital learning? There are several essential things to consider.
What are COWS?
Computers on wheels are mobile charging stations and device storage carts for the full range of high-tech devices used in schools today. The days of students hauling around notebooks, and textbooks from classroom to classroom are quickly fading away. Those paper materials have been replaced with standard-issue Chromebooks, laptops, and tablets in many schools across the country. These devices provide students with far more tools at their fingertips to enable their learning but come with some distinct challenges.
Charging stations for schools are necessary to help overcome these challenges and give students the ability to make full use of the potential of the devices they have been provided.
The Benefits of COWS
There are several essential benefits to charging stations for schools. Anyone that has children of their own or works directly with kids in schools can probably identify the biggest issue with giving kids devices like Chromebooks or tablets right away: storage and transportation. Left to their own devices, children could misplace or damage their learning tools throughout the school year. COWS provide central storage that can easily be moved from classroom to classroom. Instead of relying on many students to each individually transport their devices safely, COWS only require a teacher or assistant to transport one cart from location to location. This dramatically reduces the risk of damage, loss, and theft.
The charging aspect of COWS is also an incredibly important feature. Most schools around the country were not designed with each student using their own device that needs access to a wall outlet for charging. Even if a classroom did have enough outlets for each student, the mess of cables running along the floor is a recipe for disaster. Cords can easily be tripped on, which could cause injury in a worst-case scenario or potentially damage the device as the cable is unceremoniously rippled free. With centralized charging stations for schools, the disorganization and potential hazard from errant cables are eliminated.
Finally, COWS can be locked during breaks or after school hours. This provides security for devices as they charge when not in use and also helps to protect the potentially sensitive data that could be stored on the devices.
The Best Charging Carts to Consider
There are several features to consider when looking at charging carts. One of the most important features is how many devices can be stored and charged with a single cart. For example, a classroom of 30+ students wouldn’t be very well-served by a charging cart with only 24 bays for laptop charging. Also, buyers should consider additional features they may need beyond just storage and charging. Some COWS offer storage for accessories like projectors and even have built-in ethernet ports for getting wired internet access when necessary.
The Tripp Lite 35-port charging cart is a popular option for larger classrooms. This charging cart provides two separate zones for charging, which alternate each hour to ensure all devices get charged while protecting against overheating or overloading of the electrical system. As the name suggests, this is a lightweight cart that can easily be moved, even when fully loaded with student’s devices.
For a sleek option that can charge up to 30 devices, consider the Bretford Pulse L Charging Cart. With two shelves, this device is built with the Chromebook form factor in mind. The lightweight design is also great for maneuvering through busy hallways and is certainly appreciated by most teachers after a long day of teaching students and pushing carts from classroom to classroom.
A more comprehensive look at the best-charging stations for schools is available here.
Picking the Perfect Charging Cart
There is a wide range of charging stations for schools available on the market that each have their own set of features and benefits. Choosing the right COWS for each unique situation is essential to ensure you get the most out of these devices. To learn more about COWS and to gain insight into the best options available, contact AIS Ink today.