Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Laptop, uh, cart?

I've got a bunch of donated laptops at school, some of which I received at the end of last year, and the beginning this year. The laptops aren't anything special, being 4-5 year old machines that aren't going to be breaking any speed records. However, as the school district has recently moved to G Suites for Schools (Formerly Google Apps for Education) I saw it as a great opportunity to use Neverware's Cloudready software and essentially turn all of them into Chromebooks.

The setting up, and using of the software was easy. Set it up on a couple of USB drives, and I would set up 2-6 computers each day as I went about my business. They aren't set up to managed properly, so I just had students log in as guests, which worked perfectly because most of what they were doing involved doing research online, and we haven't trained the teachers in to use Google classroom or even google docs yet.

There was one major problem though. I had no easy way of keeping all the machines charged. Most classrooms in the school have only 2-3 sets of double plugs, and the library isn't really that different. I didn't want to get a laptop cart either, especially for a bunch of older laptops, that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Teachers trying to use them in the room had to bring power bars plugged into power bars, and take 10-15 minutes setting everything up.

So, using some milk crates, zip ties, and a drill, I went all DIY on it, and made my own frankenstein style laptop crates, that while extremely ugly, work.

Just laying out the chargers to make sure they will fit.

Drilling holes for the powerbar.

Adding zip ties.

Got the charging cords on pretty solid. Those zip ties are strong.
3 of the 5 on, plus the power bar.

All done! Ugly, but functional.

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