Thursday, October 16, 2014

Storing the iPads - I don't have $5,000 for a charging station!!!

This blog is dedicated to sharing my experiences with setting up a technology enhanced classroom. The technology I have in my classroom is 28 iPad minis. I hope to have students use the iPads to access the almost limitless information available on the internet to solve complex problems and analyze historical events. I would also like to create as close to a paperless classroom as possible. I obtained 12 of the iPads in my classroom through a Hillsboro Schools Foundation grant and the other 16 through the Hillsboro School District innovation grant. Even though I am short 6 iPads from being able to assign 1:1 iPads to each class I will attempt to fill that gap with students using their own devices. The first problem I had to solve was a way to store the iPads in a safe and secure way. When I first received the iPads I really had no other solution than just stacking them on the countertop. This made it difficult to know if all the iPads had been returned and didn't keep them secure. I decided to take on a weekend project to create a cabinet with enough shelves and locking doors for all the iPads that I had. Here is a picture of the final product in my room.  The cost of the wood and hardware came in under $60 plus the power adapters listed below.
The cabinet has a total of 36 shelves and is constructed from 1/8" fiberboard, 2x2's and fir boards. The back has holes in it for the charging cables to pass through in order to charge the iPads. The door has a clasp but could be defeated with a small pry bar. This solution is definitely more secure than the iPads laying on the counter but would not stop a serious crook determined to walk away with the iPads.
The gray boxes in the plans are 2x2's and the shelves are made from 1/8" fiber board. The doors and the fir surrounding the shelves is not in the plans shown above. Once the shelves were all stacked on top of each other I just measured how wide and tall it was and cut the wood to match. The doors are 1x2's attached to two pieces of fiberboard, one on each side of the 1x2's. I then attached the doors with hinges.
The real difficulty in creating the cabinet is the amount of outlets you need to charge the iPads. This is where a multiple USB port adapter comes in. With three of these and two 9 outlet surge protectors all of the iPads can be plugged in at once from two wall outlets. These are around $16 online.