Perhaps the simplest way for schools to invest in sustainable ICT is to take adequate steps to protect their equipment against theft. The best way to secure laptops, netbooks and tablets, is in a lockable cabinet, and, Gather Australia complete with charging facilities, laptop trolleys or laptop carts are perfect for this purpose.
For optimum security, schools should select a mobile laptop charging cabinet that is constructed of reinforced steel, rather than wood or plastic, and one that features unpickable security locks. Designed to resist crowbars and cutting equipment, steel trolleys can reduce the risk of both opportunistic and organised theft. They are also far better able to resist the wear and tear of classroom use than those made of other materials, reducing the likelihood that schools will need to spend money replacing these charging trolleys due to damage or theft.
In addition to protecting their valuable resources from theft, schools should also seek ICT equipment that can be upgraded over time to ensure their ICT is sustainable. Laptop charging carts that use pre-configured charging cables are a popular time-saving option in many classrooms, but schools risk enduring unnecessary costs by neglecting sustainability. Only charging trolleys and charging cabinets that feature a modular design are truly sustainable, because each individual charging module can be easily upgraded so that the charging leads are changed when a school purchases new laptops. As a result, these charging carts can save schools a considerable amount of money because they will not need to purchase a new charging cart every time they replace their laptops, just simply change the charging leads.
Modular laptop trolleys can be adapted as a school’s needs change. Not only can modules be altered to suit a new make and model of laptop, but bays can be removed to hold a printer, or added to store and charge more laptops. This gives schools capacity if they purchase more laptops in the future, because they do not have the budget to purchase all of their equipment at the time that they purchase their trolley. Modules also come fitted with a power saving system as standard that shuts down the power to laptops once they have been fully charged, helping to save energy, protect battery life and reduce costs because laptops should not need to be replaced as often.
Investing in upgradeable laptop charging trolleys can clearly save schools money when their laptops need to be replaced, but sustainable ICT can also help reduce costs by giving life to a school’s older laptops. Charging devices that can charge and power laptops from a single desk location enable schools to utilize laptops with ‘dead’ batteries that can no longer hold charge. Such sustainable devices permit schools to carry on using their existing equipment, rather than spend money on purchasing new machines or batteries, and come with preconfigured charging leads so that cables do not litter the floor and create a dangerous trip hazard.
Although reviving old laptops can prevent schools having to purchase additional equipment, laptops are not the only way to deliver sustainable ICT to students. Desking solutions that provide a PC experience for up to six users through just one CPU use up to 80 per cent less energy than an equivalent number of PCs. Reducing energy consumption enables schools to lower their electricity bills and their carbon footprint, making desking solutions sustainable in terms of budgets and the environment. With funding for school ICT projects still uncertain, investing in sustainable computer equipment can ensure that schools can continue to deliver effective ICT for years to come. Selecting upgradeable, quality and well built ICT products can make all the difference, and schools would benefit from focusing on sustainability when making purchasing decisions.