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Synching and charging

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Started by Stu Morrison 01 Feb 2014 9:53am () Replies (6)

We are fairly new to our iPad journey. We have just purchased a pod of 15 iPads and are now looking at ways of synching and charging. Has anyone used Tech Tubs or PowerPad 15 for this task. If so do you recommend them? I apologise if this topic has already been covered. Even if you could point us towards some good info would be great.

cheers, Stu


  • redbeard45 (View all users posts) 01 Feb 2014 12:48pm ()

    I haven't had any experience with the brands you have mentioned but have used the iQ Sync Charge box by PC Locs shown on this page which does 16 at a time - http://www.pclocs.com.au/category/ipad-sync-charge/

    These are the units that are fitted inside the PCLocs iQ 32 trolley (also shown on the page). Apart from the touch pad key lock on the trolleys, and depending on how and where you were going to distribute the iPads, I don't think I would bother with the trolley - I'd just get the synching unit and make storage units out of plastic boxes from Bunnings / Mitre 10 (which I have done pretty successfully for another school). There were problems with the quality of the baskets in the first trolleys and the cables tend to get munted if you don't make sure the kids check they are out of the way when shutting the doors. I tried to contact the company via their Contact us link on the webpage to see if we could buy the Synching unit separately in NZ but never heard a dickie bird back. I know the one I have used came from Noel Leeming Ashburton and I think was just over $1000 but don't quote me. I would rate them ahead of the Griffin 10 bay Multidock which I have used in a number of schools.

    Hope this helps?

  • Matthew Thomas (View all users posts) 03 Feb 2014 9:29pm ()

    Hey Stu -

    I know this sounds low tech, but we have a plastic container for our iPads, a couple of multi boxes that have the iPad chargers plugged in to them, and a couple of powered 9 port USB hubs (we bought ours from PB Tech) attached to our Configurator machine for syncing. 

    Thats all you really need to get started with charging and syncing iPads.  And it would only cost maybe $80 in total!  Then you could buy another couple of iPads with the money left over. Wink

  • Peter Eaton (View all users posts) 03 Feb 2014 10:52pm ()

    I second Matthew's suggestion of keeping it low tech/cost.  Trolleys/racks/hubs don't do anything for students, whereas another iPad or two might.  

    If you use Profile Manager, Meraki or other MDM you don't have to connect them to sync apps etc. as this can be done wirelessly, so you won't even need the USB hubs.

    In my experience, schools seem to think that they need something like the 'COWs' type large wheel trolley that they have for laptops. These were a good solution because laptops are heavy, had batteries that didn't last the day and hence needed to carry around all the charging gear.  iPads are light (so don't need wheels), only need charged nightly at worst (so you can just leave the chargers behind) and are already probably in a padded case (so don't need dividers etc.).  A plastic tub would thus suggest itself as a reasonable solution.

    My 2c (approx. 0.5% of the cost of a tub for iPads).



  • Monika Kern (View all users posts) 04 Feb 2014 6:58am ()

    Hi Stu,

    I work in anumber of different schools which all have found different solutions for their iPads. If you haven't done so, I suggest you think of through the following:

    * How will the iPads sync? Do you need them in a particular place for that, plugged in or wireless? How often do they need to be there? Who will do it.

    * Where and how do you want to store them? E.g. all one central location or some in each classroom? Think of security, safety, ease of access for staff and students. Charging overnight make most sense to me, so stoage should allow for that. Who's responsibility is it to make sure they're 'on'?

    * How will you move them? Will adults or students move them?

    One of my schools who is using iPads on a rotation basis has a filing cabinet type charging station (would need to look up brand sorry) - as heavy to move as a COW. Within that they had 2 smaller metal buckets per drawer with slots for about 12 (15?) iPads each which can be carried by children from a central location, there they are kept, to their class.

    Another school just bought a special 'chest' with their new furniture with spaces for the 26 iPads for their trial e-classes - this will live in their classroom. Lockable, with multiboxes attached at the back for charging. They are planning to use Meraki for syncing.

    Yet another school keeps 4 iPads per class in a little plastic box, with multibox for charging, in each individual classroom. Here every teacher takes care of syncing and charging their own iPads.

    I hope this gives you some ideas! I'm with Matthew and Peter about low cost, but looking at how you plan to use it is most important as if things are not set u well, teachers are less likely to use it...

  • Stu Morrison (View all users posts) 04 Feb 2014 8:46pm ()

    Thanks guys. Really appreciate your ideas. A lot of the stuff we have thought through already so twas reassuring to hear the same from you. Low Tech is certainly sounding more and more attractive.


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