Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tech Storage in Small Spaces

I was very fortunate to get a small technology grant this past school year. I spent the money on supplemental tech stuff like iPad covers/keyboards, an iPad adapter to hook to my Elmo, external USB port, wireless mice for all the laptops, flashdrives for each student, computer cleaning supplies, and supplies for our Computer Lapbooks. It was like Christmas!

Also, due to the extra funding from the change to SBAC I also got four new laptops for my classroom. This meant with the two older ones, I had enough for each student in my classroom. And a brand spankin' new one for this teacher! That worked out really well for our Friday tech skills lessons and for completing our Computer Lapbooks project

But with the new addition of four laptops, I had no idea how to store all of the laptops. I don't have enough space to set them all up on a table, nor for a tech cart. Plus, I needed to store them next to a power strip for charging. Pretty much, every available inch is used in my classroom.

So I looked around, assessed what I had and decided to move some old binders off of the top of this filing cabinet and utilize the power strip that was already there. I broke out my old Cricut (I am lusting after a new Silhouette Cameo, but that will never happen) and cut some vinyl numbers to label each of the computers.  If you haven't used vinyl in your classroom, you should! It adheres to nearly anything and peels off without any residue. I have used it on my white board and love it!

The laptops are numbered 1-5 and the teacher computer has a K.  This made it easy to do a tech check out poster. The students come up, pick a computer, then move their magnet onto the tech they have chosen. This lets me see who has what, and every week it's a random draw of who gets to select first and so on. So sometimes you get a new laptop and other times you don't. The magnets are flat ones I found at Target. I printed out the student's initials then used a circle punch to cut them out. I adhered them to the magnets using my Xyron Creative Station with permanent adhesive. This system worked really well this school year and I will keep it for next year.

For the storage of the laptops, I needed to use the space I had available. So I re-purposed this sorter that I already had. I used more vinyl numbers to label each section to match the computers. That makes it easy for the students to return the computers to the right place. The computers slide right in and sit upright. It's perfect for the small space I have. I used an old basket to hold all of the power cords. I made sure to label the cords with my handy dandy label maker so the students are then also responsible for plugging them back in.

To be honest, the cords drive me nuts. I wish they went on the inside and didn't hang out all over the place. (In case you don't know yet... I'm pretty type-A and everything has to be neat and tidy.) But it didn't work out that way.

Now the laptops are stored neatly out of the way when they are not being used. Re-purposing and re-evaluating what you already have available saves time and money!

1 comment:

  1. I need you to come organize my classroom for me. always have the very best ideas. I have a laptop cart in my room that houses a few laptops. The cords are a mess and everything doesn't always get put back the way they should. I'm going to come back to this post to help me get on track!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'