Future-proof is defined as
“unlikely to become obsolete.” As education budgets become increasingly tight, any significant investment must pass the future-proof test, or else you’re simply ensuring more cost in the future.
Of course, technology changes so quickly that it’s difficult to keep up-to-date with the latest and greatest innovations. Just last year, everyone was excited about iPad® mobile digital devices for the classroom; this year Chromebook™ notebook computers are all the rage. A few years ago, everyone was concerned with wired sync; now talk has switched to Wi-Fi- or cloud-based sync. Everywhere you look, change is imminent.
Do yourself a favor and make sure your charging solution passes the future-proof test. Here’s what you should look for:
1. Does it love all devices?
This is the ultimate litmus test to determine whether a charging cart is future-proof. Because technology changes so quickly, the devices used in the classroom one year could very well change the next year. Make sure you have a cart that fits and can support a variety of devices.
And don’t overlook the importance of mixing and matching devices, either. You don’t want to be pigeonholed with a cart that holds only one brand or type of device, as there’s a good chance you’ll use multiple devices in the future. Find a cart that can hold a mix of tablets, smartphones and handheld devices
from any manufacturer.
2. What’s the warranty?
Of course, for something to avoid obsolesce, it must work, and keep working, which is where warranty comes into the picture. You can have the best charging cart around, but without a strong warranty, you’ll have to buy an entirely new one if something goes wrong. Accidents happen, and tend to happen more often with kids running around, so choose a charging cart with a robust warranty. Better yet, choose one with a lifetime warranty.
3. How big is it?
Classrooms feel like they are becoming smaller and smaller because class sizes have become larger and larger. This will continue to result in less free space in the classroom, so think ahead and purchase a charging cart that has a very small footprint, so it takes up as little space as possible.
4. Is it difficult to manage?
Lastly, consider how easy or difficult it is to manage the charging cart in question. Your IT professional’s time is valuable, and shouldn’t be spent constantly managing the IT area of your charging cart. They need it to be as low maintenance as possible to save time in the future, so pick one with a separate locking area
that’s easily accessible and quickly managed. Wire it up once, and it’s ready to go for good.
What challenges have you run into when bringing charging solutions into your classroom?