12 May Think Like a Survivalist to Keep Chromebooks Safe at School
Make plans for managing Chromebooks and handling accidents if you want to avoid high breakage rates and sustain an affordable one-to-one initiative.
Any administrator who plans to manage a successful one-to-one program has to be realistic about what can happen to a piece of shiny new technology in the breakage zone known as school. Maybe, students don’t intend to create accident risks wherever they go, but most kids seem to have the gift of sitting on the exact spot where they just left a computer or dropping a beverage directly over a delicate keyboard.
New Chromebooks don’t grow on trees, so it’s essential for your district to develop plans to sustain your program and teach students how to get the most lifespan out of their devices. Models such as the Lenovo N22 and Acer C740 are also ultra-thin and lightweight to increase their portability, which makes them vulnerable to impact damage. Your best bet is to adopt a survivalist mindset and stay prepared for the worst to keep Chromebooks in working order.
Tips for Administrators
- Stock Up On Supplies
A good survivalist never runs out of supplies, and neither should you. When you purchase devices outright, invest in extra Chromebooks to make sure students and teachers can keep working while you replace or fix broken computers. Consider forming an in-house repair team, and keeping an inventory of spare parts. This method saves money and lets your IT staff quickly install a new screen on a broken Asus C202 or replace the keyboard on a Dell Chromebook 3120.
- Label Your Stash
The future of your Chromebook program depends on how well you protect your assets from scavengers. Use durable, peel-resistant labels that identify the school and district. Bar code labels make it easy to maintain a database of serial numbers and users, so you can quickly find out who the missing Chromebook belongs to. Go the extra mile by installing a remote tracking app, such as Chrome PhoneHome, to locate stolen devices.
- Buy Protective Gear
You wouldn’t brave the wilderness without proper clothing and survival gear, so don’t expect Chromebooks to last without adequate protection. Distribute or require mandatory cases to discourage students from tossing their Chromebooks into backpacks filled with books, protractors and other instruments of destruction.
Tips for Teachers and Students
- Come Prepared With Charged Chromebooks
The best way to avoid accidents is to stay on the lookout for potential hazards in your school environment, such as power cords. Charge the Chromebook before each school day, so you don’t have to navigate a maze of cables in the classroom. The more you go cordless, the less you have to worry about tripping hazards and damaged Chromebook ports.
- Practice Careful Handling
Be overprotective of your Chromebook from day one. Get in the habit of closing your device before carrying it or walking with it because you never know when one of those stray power cords will catch you off guard and send your Chromebook flying out of your hands. Never sit anything heavy on your device or lift it by its screen, which may weaken the hinges or cause the display to crack. Always keep your computer in sight, and never leave it unattended in areas where it can easily be spotted, such as a car.
- Hide Your Food and Beverages
No matter how much you’re tempted to have lunch while you finish your English paper, set your snacks and drinks aside until you’re done working on your computer. The last thing you want is a super-sized Coke to splash all over your Lenovo N21, leaving a sticky keyboard and burned out motherboard.
Chromebooks can bite the dust even when they are handled carefully. However, you can give a computer a fighting chance at survival by applying a gentle touch when using and transporting your device.
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