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LocknCharge discuss the serious issue of stolen tablets in schools

Posted by Hannah Oakman | October 31, 2016 | Security & safety

According to a recent article in Education Executive Magazine, more than £5,000 worth of iPad minis have been stolen from Edinburgh city high schools in the past two years. Laptops costing four-figure sums were also stolen from primary and secondary schools across the Scottish Capital, putting additional pressure on struggling education budgets.

The most expensive single item taken was a laptop charging cabinet, valued at £1,500.

The figures were released by the City Council under freedom of information legislation. Many schools that have been the victims of break-ins and thefts have had to be reimbursed from the City Council’s central budget because they have not been able to replace the equipment from their own individual funds.

See the full news article on stolen iPad devices here.

Technology has long had its place in the classroom. When used in the right way, it has been praised with enhancing creativity and engagement. According to BESA (the British Educational Suppliers Association) computer technology has played a central part in the drive to raise standards in schools.  Now, says BESA, schools are moving tentatively towards a system in which each child has his or her own device. Some are opting for a BYOD (bring your own device) scheme, although many schools are instead choosing to go ‘one-to-one’ with tablets and buying devices for the whole school. 

Kitting classrooms out with tablets is worthwhile, but it’s also costly, and this investment needs to be well protected. Unfortunately, schools have to prepare for the worst and as this article shows, stolen iPads can be a huge problem.

It was worrying to read that a whole laptop charging cabinet was taken from an Edinburgh school. Firstly, because of the fact that they could move it, and secondly, for the fact that they managed to get it out of the school without being seen!

At Grange Primary in Kettering, thieves stole 10 iPads after breaking into the school in the early hours of Wednesday 25th May.  Two men broke into one of the classrooms and removed a cabinet containing the iPads.

Both of these stories show that it’s not enough just to pile devices into a cabinet and lock it – the cabinet itself needs to be secure too. Unlike cabinets which are made of materials that can be easily broken to, have several pry points and that are not secured to walls or floors, carts or ultra-secure charging stations are becoming the preferred storage solution due to their full ‘lockdown’ features.

There are three important things that schools needs to consider when making sure a cart or charging station full of iPads is secure:

The lid or door. This needs to be constructed of heavy-duty material with limited pry-points. It needs to be closed and then locked surely with harden locks. I using a cart assure the cart has a two-point lock to make sure it is resistant to both hands and tools! An example would be the secure Carrier 30 Cart 

The wheels. To make sure your cart cannot be wheeled away, the cart should be able to be secured in one location with a heavy duty anchor kit to a floor or wall.  Carts like the iQ 20 Cart have an optional lock down kit.

Proven security. Assure the solution you’ve chosen has been proven secure in break ins. Nothing is as telling as solution that’s been proven to protect against theft or break-ins. Michelle Murphy, CTO Executive Director of Technology Services says: “No iPads have ever been stolen out of a LocknCharge cart so as the person in charge of all this technology and 20,000 iPads in our school district, we feel peace of mind in terms of safety and security with these carts in particular. We’ve had a couple of break-in’s at school sites but the best they’ve been able to do is touch the cart and a couple of wires.”

We know that we will never stop the threat of people stealing school equipment, but there are solutions that can ultimately protect the investment schools and communities are making for their students. With more than 1 million devices protected in LocknCharge storage and charging solutions, LocknCharge has learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t for securing devices.

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