Tips for keeping school mobile ICT safe and damage free

Vicki Cole

Vicki Cole is an Innovate My School expert and writes regular articles on laptop security and charging solutions for charging mobile ICT en masse.

Vicki works at mobile ICT security, charging and storage expert LapSafe® Products, the company behind the UK’s first ever laptop trolley. LapSafe® Products has been a trusted brand within the education sector for more than a decade, providing superior solutions to track, manage, store and charge laptops, netbooks and tablets since 2000. LapSafe® Products pioneered the industry it now leads and manufactures the most comprehensive range of charging products on the market. Recent products include: the UnoCart™ sync and charge for iPads, the ClassBuddy™ quality low-cost laptop trolley and the RFID Diplomat™ laptop locker.

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Compact, mobile and easily accessible for young children, laptops have always appealed to schools looking to use ICT beyond the constraints of a computer suite.  Although portability is one of the main attractions of using laptops in the classroom, the fact that pupils can easily pick up and move devices can risk considerable wear and tear over time.

Laptop computers can be costly to repair and replace, especially when they are out of warranty, so I thought I would run through a few tips to help you keep your laptops safe and at less risk of damage:

  1. Try not to leave laptops, phones and other mobile devices charging for longer than is needed to fully recharge their batteries, as this can reduce battery life and increase your energy bills. An easy way to make sure that devices are charged for the correct amount of time is to select a laptop trolley or locker with power-saving technology that can detect when laptops are fully charged and then shut off the power to them. Using timer switches can also help prevent overcharging.
  2. If your pupils need to plug laptops or netbooks into wall sockets during lessons, make sure that AC adaptor cables are kept neatly next to a wall or under the tables to avoid trip hazards and damage to power leads.
  3. Laptop trolleys are a great way to keep mobile devices secure, but those with pull-out shelves can damage devices if they are not used correctly. Take extra care when moving shelves to plug in laptops for charging, as the AC adaptors can jar when the shelves are pulled forward, risking damaging the wires inside the charging leads.
  4. If you do decide to store your laptops in a charging trolley with rolling shelves, it is important not to pull out all of these shelves at the same time to remove laptops from the trolley - this can risk the unit toppling over. To avoid this problem, you could invest in a laptop trolley without rolling or removable storage shelves, but always make sure that you read the user manual.
  5. Keep food and drink away from laptops and other mobile devices. Water and electricity do not mix well, and hot drinks spillages can lead to keys ‘sticking’ on your keyboard, making it difficult to type.

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Following these tips can help prevent damage to your mobile ICT equipment, hopefully making your laptops, and their batteries, last longer.

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