Society in general has become increasingly reliant on mobile computing. Nowhere is this more evident than in modern classrooms. The paperback books, blackboards, and notebooks have been replaced with a fleet of laptops, Chromebooks, and tablets. Students no longer need to haul around a backpack full of textbooks and other materials from class to class. Now, all the information they need is right at their fingertips.
Of course, this revolution poses some challenges for classrooms that weren’t built with modern education needs in mind. All of these devices need to be charged and stored securely. Most classrooms don’t offer 20+ free outlets or additional storage space for devices to be secured and charged while not in use. This is where COWs come into play.
What is a Solar Powered COW?
A COW (computer on wheels) is a charging station designed with both charging and storage in mind. It’s an essential device for modern classrooms. These cabinet-like carts offer a convenient and efficient way to charge and store devices like laptops or tablets. Instead of having each student charge their own device which would require dozens of available outlets as well as create the biggest mess of cords anyone has ever seen; a computer on wheels cart offers a centralized location to deliver power to many devices all at once.
A solar powered COW is exactly what the name suggests. Instead of requiring access to a traditional power source like an outlet, solar powered COWs use the power of the sun to charge devices that are stored within. These charging stations offer a second method for students and teachers to get some valuable charging time and keep devices operational for when they’re needed most.
How Do Solar Powered COWs Make a Difference?
Charging stations are an essential part of smoothly making the transition from traditional learning methods to more modern solutions. A solar powered computer on wheels makes this transition even easier in areas where a secondary power source may be needed.
There could be any number of reasons why having the ability to access solar power is necessary. Take, for example, developing countries. Millions of people living in urban areas of Africa still don’t have access to consistent sources of power due to poor infrastructure, lack of available fuels, or cost. For these people, solar power may be the only affordable and reliable way to power their devices. Without solar power, they will rely on traditional learning tools which, quite simply, puts them at a disadvantage when compared with other places around the world.
Even in areas with reliable access to power, having solar power available can be extremely helpful. In the event of an unexpected and extended power outage, students and teachers can still use their devices and charge them. There are also situations where students may not be learning in a traditional classroom environment. A solar powered charging station can be used outdoors while students explore the world outside the four walls of their school.
There is also a cost aspect to consider. Solar power comes free from the sun. Power from a wall outlet comes at a cost. While this cost is not significant when considered individually, it’s important to consider the cost of dozens of devices charging all at once in dozens of classrooms throughout a school. Multiply that by the number of school days and, suddenly, the cost to power these devices is adding up rather quickly. A solar powered computer on wheels can help cut energy costs for schools and districts that are operating on thin budgets and looking for ways to become more cost conscious as well as environmentally conscious.
The Benefits of a COW
Whether solar powered or not, a central charging station offers a wide range of benefits. Not only do these handy carts provide a way to reduce clutter from students individually charging their devices, it also offers security for the devices that students rely on. These charging stations can be locked for storing devices overnight or while the classroom is not in use. Not only is this an efficient way of storing devices, they help schools protect their investments in these devices.
COWs also make transporting devices simple and easy. Instead of having students carry around expensive computing devices from room to room, risking loss or damage; schools can load the devices into a computer on wheels and transport them to the next classroom.
Find the Right COW Today
Whether solar powered or not, whether there are ten devices or twenty, there is a COW for every need and every class size. These seemingly simple carts are important for bringing together the devices used in modern classroom settings.
To learn more about COWs and find the best one for your needs, contact the experts at AIS Ink today.