So now that I have the devices, how do I keep them charged without the cords becoming a ball of spaghetti? For a $3 investment on my part , I was able to find a handy storage solution for my classroom set of Kindle Fires.
Here is the bare bones, but effective storage solution pushed up against the wall on the counter in may classroom. Sure there area million options for how you can store you classroom devices, but I already had these stacking trays at home so I thought I would give them a try.
You can see that each device has a sticker (Helder 1, Helder 2...) and this coresponds with the number on the binder clip at the end of the shelf. These clips do double duty as they not only show what device goes where, but also help keep the cords for each device in place. I made them by taping pieces of paper to the outside of the clip before slipping them on. It you have a label maker of your own, you could make something more attractive I guess.
The kids know to return the devices with the "buttons out," so plugging in each device is a snap. While I allow students to unplug the devices, I am typically the one to plug them in. This is my attempt to streamline the drop off process and to keep from charging the devices more frequently than is needed. From what I understand, this can be hard on the battery and can reduce the overall life of the battery.
The side of my paper trays had these small bars that jutted out. I found these to be helpful in keeping the cords in line.
All of the cords are a mess in the back, but this stays mostly out of view. The basket at the bottom does a good job of holding some of the loose cords in place while also keeping the shelving unit away from the wall where the cords might get smashed against the wall and become disconnected or damaged. This also keeps it close enough to the front of the counter that my 7 and 8 year old friends can reach them easily.
To make room for 11 plugs on two 5 socket strips, I bought an extension cord with three sockets from Dollar Tree and hid it in the back. This solved the problem, but I would have preferred to have smaller strips with 6 sockets to clean this up.
Last, I used zip ties that I purchased from Dollar Tree to hold the plug strips in place. I had to link two of them together to get them to fit all of the way around.
The only thing I have not yet figured out is how to keep them clean. I find that the screens of the Kindle Fires quickly collect finger prints and I'm curious what the most cost effective way to solve this would be.
Got any ideas for better ways to keep these devices charged, clean and accessible? Let me know below. I've posted some good options below that you could use to do the same for under $50.
Common Sense Media
Helping Parents & Teachers Navigate a Digital World
A Mid-Year Checkup:
Tech Goals I've Met, Missed or Abandoned Completely
Shelf Reflection: What my classroom library says about the world and what I can do about it.
Looking Ahead, Blogging Forward
Teacher Approved Gifts for Kids
The Best Apps for Your Kid's New Device
Do Good with Great Deals
Is Amazon Prime Worth It?
Navigating the Election with Your Kids
Making the Most of 1 Classroom iPad
Apptoberfest: Google Photos
Apptoberfest: The Bible for Kids by YouVersion
Apptoberfest: IXL Math
Apptoberfest: Teach You Monster to Read
I Tried...I Failed...& You Can Too!
Let Go and Let Them
Oh the Place You'll Go: Using Green Screens in the Classroom
The Kindle Fire HD 8 - The iPad's Days are Numbered
A Fresh Start: Changes for the Year Ahead
Getting Great Stuff for Less - Part 2: Getting the Lowest Price
Getting Great Stuff for Less - Part 1 : Finding the Best Stuff
Stop Everything and Kahoot!
Coding in 2nd Grade with No Prep and $0
Kindles in the Classroom: A Year In Review