Finding inexpensive ways to store the devices in your classroom can be a challenge. Here
are a few ideas from my classroom and some of my colleagues in my school. I’ve listed them from least expensive to most.
1. A Simple Dish Rack
This one is all over Pinterest, but I was skeptical whether the cords could be organized and if the slots would be large enought for ipads with covers. It works perfectly and not just for tablets, it’s great for Chromebooks too. These are the three tech storage stations in my classroom. As you can see, the dishrack easily holds all three types of devices I have. Even the iPads with the large cases. One caution here is that the racks that I have the ipads and Chromebooks in have a larger slot on the bottom. So, the Kindle’s fell through easily. I found another rack that had smaller slots in the bottom and it worked just right.
For the cords, I used zip ties. I wrapped them in a circle and zip tied them onto the side.
You can see it there on the left in the first picture and what appears to be a mess on the right. It works out great if students can manage to pull the cord closest to the device in the rack, but for some reason they like to pull from all spots. It still keeps them from getting tangled.
2. A Charging Station
This simple charging station with 10 ports I picked up on Amazon. I’ve seen it at prices between $20 and $40 with it usually sitting around $35. If you watch the price you can definitely get it lower though. I love this because you don’t need all the plugs. You can use the usb cords and plug directly into the unit. If you havet the budget, I’d definitly recommend investing in shorter cords to avoid the tangle. Again, I zip tied here and it does keep the cords from getting tangled, but they do look a mess still.
3. Modified Shelf
This one comes from my colleages classroom. She took a simple Ikea shelf and drilled some holes in the back. She threaded the cords through the back so they lay through the shelf and her Chromebooks fit nicely in each cubby created by the shelves. I’m not sure this is much more expensive than the charging station. If you don’t have an Ikea close, Check out your local big box store or storage shelving solutions at your local Lowes, Home Depot or similar store. Yard sales might be great places to look as well. Spring yard sale season is coming up!
She numbered each Chromebook according to the slot in which they belong and it fits nicely under her table so it opens up her working space.
4. Ultimate Charge Station
This last one is a solution our Special Education teacher uses. I didn’t get a picture of it in use in her classroom, but here’s some stock photos from Amazon. I love this one because it hides the cords. But, that does come at a price. This is the most expensive of the solutions I’ve mentioned at around $170. This is the Belkin Storage and Charge Station. All the cords store in the bottom and are contained within the unit. So the cords stay short and neat. It works for Chromebook cords as well, which the simple station I mentioned in number 2 would not work for.
I hope that one of these ideas could be useful to you as is or sparked an idea for you. I love having devices in my room at the ready. From having enough for small group use, to my now 1:1 classroom, these solutions have worked well for me. What solutions do you use to keep your devices charged and accessible to students?