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iPad lockers

At Hastings and St Leonards Academy, iPad lockers have enabled management of pool and personal devices, limiting classroom disruptions and ensuring the iPads are used as effectively as possible.

Hastings and St Leonards Academies (HASLA), two schools that form the Hastings Academy Trust in East Sussex, completed a two-year, £2.6m upgrade to its IT, with major sponsors being BT, East Sussex County Council and the University of Brighton. Mark Baker, Head of ICT Services at HASLA believed that e-learning within the curriculum using iPads was the most effective strategy. Hence 2,000 iPads were made available to 2, 400 students across two campuses. The purchase of personal iPads was also encouraged and many parents and pupils bought their own.

Traka iPad lockers have enabled the academies to manage the pool iPads and the student personal devices. Pupils are able to access the devices using a biometric system. This protects school-owned iPads and private devices (known as 1:1 units). Traka’s its Nationwide Retail System (NRS) is used to operate its cashless catering and photocopying. This avoids any complications caused by multiple enrolment, re-keying and data transfer.

Previously, the schools were using a trolley to dispense the devices, but they had to be rolled around the sites, which caused delays while teachers logged in. There were also problems with flat batteries and no sense of ownership. Responsibility is now with the student.

It was essential that accessibility to lockers met the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). The Traka locker installation at HASLA is accessible to pupils in wheelchairs, and verification using a keypad may be the preferred option for pupils with impaired mobility.

Similarly, the requirements of the Data Protection Act as to how data about pupils is collected have been observed. Parents who do not wish their child’s fingerprint to be taken may insist that a pin code is used on the integrated keypads. No pupil at HASLA is required to carry keys to access digital equipment. Smartcards are another identification option used by Traka customers elsewhere in the education sector.

The Traka32 reporting software enables the Academy staff to make daily checks and more thorough audits on Fridays and at term end. Full reporting and real-time audit trails are offered by the core software. These are augmented by rules created by the administrator. Traka32 will show if a pool iPad is missing.

The lockers are a safe location and one where the units can be charged, leaving no excuses for flat batteries. The integrated charging function uses a double-earthed power source which is securely built-in to the wall, and is also static-protected. A student simply plugs in a low-voltage power lead into the iPad when returning it.

Mark Barker at HASLA said: “Traka looked like a strong, durable product and their technical team proved to be good listeners and interested in our needs. Their solution has been successful because it’s inclusive; the lockers are a manageable way of including all pupils in the scheme and they make e-learning viable. In an environment where not every pupil has a 1:1 device, a system like this is essential.” Visit Traka.com.


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