iPads in Education

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We are deploying 26 iPads to various classrooms on our K-8 campus.  I am convinced there must be a less expensive way to store, transport, and charge the iPads!  The carts available online are so pricey.  Has anyone come up with a do-it-yourself cart?  I'm thinking one of those pull-carts that teachers use to haul their supplies fitted with a large block of foam with slots cut for the iPads.  I'm hoping someone else has attempted this and has tips for me!

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I occasionally bump into some homemade carts on the net that look pretty durable and easy to use - the wiring for charging is the tricky part. But I haven't really seen a company that makes something like that.

If you don't need the cart for syncing, there are some nice carts out there that have syncing as an option, and are much cheaper without it. Try Googling "Tablet Cart" for some non-syncing alternatives if you don't end up finding a decent do-it-yourself'er. Best of Luck!

Dear Michelle,

There are a few more products that will be available in Jan 2012.

Price is determined by a few factors: size of the market, cost of production, and competition. The cost of most carts is rather high at this time, the market size is still relatively small. Most storage, charging, and syncing carts will cost over $,2000.00.

If you are only interested in storing and charging 26 ipads then you can expect a price around $1200.00 plus freight. Even rolling carry cases designed for iPads are very pricey. Once agian this is a narrow market segment. For example a rolling office file cabinet is much less expensive than a similarly constructed iPad cabinet.

There are a few home made carts on internet pages. There are liability issues involved here. If you wish to build a cabinet and use it at home, no problem. When you bring that product into a public school, you are taking a risk. The major manufacturers have their carts and cabinets reviewed by UL for approval. They are not just protecting themselves, they are protecting your children.

JJC Visualedtech

I have seem classrooms that store them in dish draining racks inside a rubbermaid tub. Not sure that would work for transporting from room to room...

Griffin makes a streamlined syncing tray (multi-dock) that runs @ $700, holds 10 ipads, and you can attach up to 3 of them.  I like that it's vertical instead of horizontal (like Bretford's) and it's cheaper than the Bretford  cart/tray.

Dear Michelle,

I have been reviewing a lot of alternative transport solutions for 6-16 iPads.

That inexpensive foam insert actually costs a lot of money. A Pick and Pluck foam cube that is large enought to hold 16 ipads coasts about $90.00. Not cheap. A custom foam cutout requires a minimum run of 25 units and costs about $130.00 each. A dedicated iPad bag or case to transport iPads will retail over $400.00 to a school.

I am still exploring an inexpensive (Under $100.00) rolling padded bag, Not there yet. Finding an insert to separate the iPads is the hardest part.

Visualedtech

Dear Tina,

The Griffin dock only holds 10 units, has plastic components and offers no security. $700.00 sounds cheap until you need to buy 3 of them to sync and charge 30 iPads. Now you you have a $2,100.00 cost for your iPads that is not mobile, plastic, and cannot be locked and anchored. These are fine for restaurants and car dealers, maybe some schools, but security is an important issue for schools, insurance, and medical offices.

There will be more products on the market in the next few months. We have to wait and see.

Visualedtech, John J Caprice
 
Tina said:

Griffin makes a streamlined syncing tray (multi-dock) that runs @ $700, holds 10 ipads, and you can attach up to 3 of them.  I like that it's vertical instead of horizontal (like Bretford's) and it's cheaper than the Bretford  cart/tray.

Your "do-it-yourself" iPad cart comment gave me and idea - here is a suggestion for you Michelle: Use a pre-owned laptop cart for storage, security, and mobility, and then add on one of Datamation's portable iPad syncing devices.  The laptop cart is something that your school might already have, or you can purchase a refurbished one for cheap.  The portable syncing device is cheaper than the iPad carts, and you can mount it directly onto the pre-existing laptop cart.  Together, this could form a cheaper but effective solution to your problem.  Here is more info on this portable sync device: http://www.ipadcarts.com/solutions/DS-IP-SYNCCharge.htm. Hope this helps!

Dear Allen,

The Datamation Sync and Charge cabinet is a great product from a great company, however it will not fit on a typical AV cart, which has an 18" x 24" shelf. One could secure it on the top shelf with a slight overhang, but it would be very top heavy with close to 85 lbs on the top shelf. A larger AV cart is necessary, one with a 30" x 20" shelf size. Stick with a 26" fixed height unit. The combined height will then be 43". The overall cost of a rig like this still runs nearly $1600.00.

I am still researching a "cheap" solution, a DYI with currently available parts from other industries.

JJC Visualedtech

 

The portable sync and charge device that I suggested and currently use only weighs 4 pounds and is quite small. It will easily fit on top of (or inside) any cart.

Thanks Al,

Certainly, the Sync+Charge is a small, lightweight portable unit. The Netsafe IPCS Cabinet with the sync and charge installed is too large and top heavy to safely use on most carts.

Michelle is looking for an inexpensive transport solution for 26 iPads. Collectively they weigh approximately 35-40 lbs with power bricks.

 

John J Caprice   Visualedtech

Michelle,

Would you consider a rolling, waterproof transport case? Do you have a price in mind?

Do you wish to maove all 26 iPads to one class? Or, will you allocate smaller quantities to individual classrooms?

 

Thanks   John J Caprice / Visualedtech

I was in the supermarket this afternoon and happened to see some plastic dishracks....

They will work. At least they should work, the slots look like they are made for ipads!

JJC / Visualedtech

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