Mobile Device Carts and Spaghetti Power Cords

Mobile carts are a necessary evil in classroom 1:1 programs. I’d much prefer to send devices home with students to keeping them locked away when school is not officially in session. Be that as it may, we have a lot of carts. For our last round of chromebook carts, we went with the Aver TabChargeCT2. Feature wise it ticked all the boxes. Intelligent charging, capacity for 40 devices, rugged construction and a flat top for teachers to store stuff on. All in all, it’s a great cart. However, we’ve discovered an inconvenient flaw in the cable management design. Power cord management is always a challenge (my favorite cord management to date is found on the Anthro Yes carts). With the Aver, the pull out shelf makes it even more important. The Aver cart comes with little plastic clips meant to hold the cables along the upright spacers. The clips are two sided, one side being larger than the other. At first we were installing our power cords in the big side, not realizing that they were actually different sizes. After a few weeks out in classrooms, we started to see the result. Power cords coming loose all over the place. We went back and put all the cords in the smaller side, which was not easy. A few more weeks later and we were right back in Spaghetti central.

The clip is a decent solution for Adults, but if you stop and watch how kids handle the in and out of devices in mobile carts, you quickly realize, a bomb proof cart is not good enough, it has to be Superman proof. Another reason I prefer sending the devices home with kids to storing them in classrooms.

Aver ChargeTab2 after a few months in the classroom.

Aver ChargeTab2 after a few months in the classroom.

Instead of following my initial instinct, which was to go back through and zip tie the power cables to the uprights, I called Aver. They came out right away and took a look at what was happening. They’ve gone back to the drawing board for a fix and have committed to retrofitting our 100 carts. That’s the mark of a great company.

We’re currently evaluating the TabChargeCT2’s little brother, the C30i, for use in our mixed device K-2 pilot. The C30i is a nice little cart, but it has the same power cord clip system as the TabChargeCT2. As soon as Aver get’s the spaghetti issue fixed, we’ll probably be ordering a few truck loads of the C30i.

What’s your favorite mobile device cart and why? Have any power cord spaghetti pictures to share?