Case Study • June 26, 2023
Elementary Students Gain Independence through Device Use
School District Of Mauston
Over the years, the School District of Mauston, WI has tried multiple charging solutions in their classrooms. With a new elementary building being constructed, Director of Technology Mark Vallier III had to make the decision of which charging station to put in all of the new classrooms. After exploring multiple options, Vallier knew PowerGistics Towers were the solution.
Easy for Students Means Time Savings for Teachers
Jane Lalk, 2nd grade teacher at Mauston, enthusiastically agrees with Vallier’s choice. She has used big carts in previous years and describes them as being challenging for the students to access devices. With cords all over and the awkward positioning of device slots, students had a hard time getting their devices.
“This unit is definitely a time saver. They take care of it completely.”
— Jane Lalk, 2nd Grade Teacher
Primary Pain Points:
• Students have difficulty retrieving and returning devices
• Teacher spending time managing devices
• Time-consuming inventory management for tech director
• Wall mounted Core20 in each classroom
• Devices live in the Towers
Young students in Jane’s classroom can easily access their devices from their wall-mounted PowerGistics Tower. “It starts at 8:00am. They are probably in and out of this unit about a dozen times a day,” estimates Lalk.
The colors and numbers help Lalk’s students identify their shelves; even her special needs students can easily find and retrieve devices. “They can visually see that they are the second red container or second blue one or the fifth yellow one, it’s just visually appealing and just very easy to find where they have to load their own Chromebook and charge them.”
“It’s just a wonderful unit. I wouldn’t want to give it up,”
— Jane Lalk, 2nd Grade Teacher
The cords are wired along each shelf making it easy for students to plug in devices. Lalk comments, “They just grab that cord that’s right next to theirs and they charge the device with no problem. And even if they put it in backwards, the cord can extend and reach to the right side.”
Significant to Lalk’s daily routine is the time savings she gains with students managing devices using PowerGistics Towers.
“This unit is definitely a time saver, for sure. They take care of it completely. I don’t have to do anything with it whatsoever. They do all of it themselves.” says Lalk.
“My favorite thing about this, is the fact that it doesn’t take up an awful lot of space and it’s kind of tucked back here in the corner. It’s not big and bulky like the other unit we used to have.”
“It’s just a wonderful unit. I wouldn’t want to give it up,” says Lalk.
“We were really looking for uniformity,
and this allowed us to have uniformity,”
— Jolene Routson, Principal of Mauston Westside Elementary and Mauston Montessori School
That organization and independence is what was most important from an administrator’s perspective. Jolene Routson, Principal of Mauston Westside Elementary and Mauston Montessori School, says that after exploring and struggling with a variety of charging stations, they realized that organization and independence for students was critical.
“We were really looking for uniformity, and this allowed us to have uniformity,” comments Routson.
She wanted to ensure that teachers were hands-off, and the students could manage devices themselves.
“We chose to wall-mount the Towers in this beautiful new elementary building to standardize the classrooms. Teachers can easily switch rooms, students can be moved from room to room and they just know where to go to get their device,” says Vallier.
“Back to that independence. That’s what we were looking for and PowerGistics nailed it,” says Routson.
“It has really cut down my repair times
because the devices last longer.”
— Mark Vallier III, Director of Technology
Save on Costs from Device Damage
Mark Vallieri III is a one-man technology department for the Mauston School District. With so much on his plate on a daily basis, he considered carefully which new charging stations to put in a new building. He chose PowerGistics for multiple reasons.
Knowing device replacement and repair is a huge cost, Vallier saw how easily student devices got damaged by placing them in the vertical slots of other charging stations. He describes the students putting the laptop right over a thin metal divider and the keyboard or screen getting damaged. Using PowerGistics now, Vallier says, “It has really cut down my repair times because the devices last longer.”
Streamline Device Inventory
In addition to reducing device damage, Vallier has improved his inventory process by wall mounting PowerGistics Towers in the classrooms.
“Having a mounted solution in the room on the wall allows me to give it an asset tag and all of my Chromebooks are checked out to that Tower. It saves me time in my asset management system and is a secure way that we will be storing devices in the summertime. In our elementary buildings, we no longer have to go collect those devices. We close the door, lock it, and it’s secure for the summer,” describes Vallier.
“When it came down to it, we were really looking for something with ease of use that had great organization and efficiency, as well as just helping kids be independent, and PowerGistics really checked all the boxes for us,” says Routson.
She continues, “And we know that it may be a costlier product but it is far superior to anything else we’ve used.”
• Students are independent in retrieving and returning their devices.
• Teachers do not have to manage devices.
• Uniformity in device access across classrooms.
• Device inventory is manageable for a one-person tech department.
The Mauston School District is located in Mauston, Wisconsin, about 60 miles northwest of Madison. The district serves students in grades PK through 12th grade in five different schools. Total district enrollment is around 1200 students.
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