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News

iPad lockers secured at e-learning facility

Traka : 02 July, 2014  (Application Story)
Hastings and St Leonards Academy is securing its iPad lockers used for facilitating e-learning with Traka security technology
iPad lockers secured at e-learning facility

Traka, the key and asset management specialist, has assisted a groundbreaking e-learning initiative at Hastings and St Leonards Academy. The installation of iPad lockers has enabled effective management of both pool and personal devices, limiting classroom disruptions and ensuring the technology is utilised 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, £2.6 million upgrade to its information and communications technology facility, with major sponsors being BT, East Sussex County Council and the University of Brighton.

Mark Baker, Head of I.C.T. Services at HASLA believed that a significant element of e-learning within the curriculum using iPads was the most effective strategy. Following this, 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 invested in their own to assist their learning.

The implementation of Traka iPad lockers has enabled the academies to manage both the pool iPads and the student’s personal devices. Pupils are able to access the devices using the existing biometric system. This protects both school-owned iPads and private devices (known as 1:1 units) seamlessly, and has been one of the major benefits of the installation.

Another benefit is Traka’s integration with its Nationwide Retail System (NRS), that 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 themselves in. There were also problems with flat batteries and no sense of ownership. The Traka system means that the responsibility is now with the student.

It was essential that accessibility to lockers should meet and exceed the requirements of 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 scrupulously. Parents who do not wish their child’s fingerprint to be taken may insist that a pin code is used on the integrated keypads. A major advantage is that no pupil at HASLA is required to carry keys in order to access digital equipment. Smartcards are another identification option used by Traka customers elsewhere in the education sector.

The powerful Traka32 reporting software enables the Academy staff to perform daily checks and more thorough audits on Fridays and at term ends. Full reporting functionality and real-time audit trails are offered by the core software. These are augmented by individual rules created by the administrator in order to optimise the effectiveness at their own site. Traka32 will immediately show if a pool iPad is missing.

The Traka 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. HASLA students simply plug in a low-voltage power lead into the iPad when returning it.

Mark Barker, Head of I.C.T Services 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.”

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