November 2022 | Mondovi, WI
Background: School District of Mondovi
The School District of Mondovi is home to about 950 students in grades K-12, all on one shared campus. Within this small western Wisconsin town, community members and school district staff work together to provide students with individual attention, contemporary technology and limitless opportunity. With forward and pragmatic thinking, and a lean team of professionals, they are able to problem-solve quickly and efficiently to best serve the needs of their students.
Challenge: Managing 1:1 Device Program
Mondovi offers 1:1 devices - namely Chromebooks - for all of their grade levels. These used to be kept in the classrooms, but ever since COVID sent everyone home to learn, they’ve transitioned to a take-home device program for their middle and high school students. With that transition came some growing pains. They lacked a solid communication strategy for tracking the location and status of devices that needed repair. Many Chromebooks were lost, along with hours of learning time.
So, when IT Director Brad Elkins was replacing the district’s entire fleet with brand new Chromebooks this school year, he knew the break/fix process also needed an upgrade.
Elkins first heard about FUYL Tower™ Smart Lockers through one of his IT contacts working in another school district. They were utilising a FUYL Tower in their school cafeteria as a public charging station. This was intriguing, and after researching the FUYL Towers himself, Elkins saw even greater potential for the smart lockers at Mondovi. As the sole IT staff member at Mondovi, he presented a plan to the district admins for a self-serve automated exchange of broken or forgotten devices. They saw value in the technology enough to move forward.
Results: Smart Charging Lockers for Device Management
It worked out. After a seamless implementation of a FUYL Tower 5 demo unit, Elkins saw all of his ROI calculations materialise. He also saw learning loss eliminated while students with broken or forgotten devices were immediately equipped with a fully charged and ready loaner. The technology built into the cloud platform gave him incredible freedom to customise their workflow - he used a webhook to send an email every time a device was checked out, detailing the time, bay number and user.
Now with immediate notifications, and an automatic and detailed log of device loans and returns, Mondovi’s IT department of one isn’t surprised by a pile of Chromebooks to diagnose at the end of his work day. The ease of the new system has been embraced by everyone. In fact, the only regret is not having purchased the FUYL Tower with 15 bays instead of 5.
What’s Next for Technology?
Elkins has plans to expand their self-serve locker capacity so that some bays might be reserved for other functionalities - right now all five bays are filled with spare Chromebooks. He’s already dabbled with check outs for parents and paraprofessionals to offer a secure and convenient hand-off that doesn’t have to be scheduled face-to-face.
As the district works on its strategic plan for the next five years, they’ll likely be finding more ways to improve and refresh technology.
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