Jun 15 2021

4 Tips for Protecting Take-Home Devices

Share these simple tips with your students and their families to keep take-home devices in good working condition.

After more than 12 years working with one-to-one device programs, I’ve heard some pretty interesting tales when it comes to device care. One very 21st century take on “the dog ate my homework” came after a tablet was returned with some serious teeth marks!

Fortunately, there are some simple tips that IT teams can share with students to help them protect their devices. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Teach Students How to Pack Devices Properly

It seems like such a simple thing, but properly packing and handling a backpack that contains a device is not something students necessarily know how to do. Devices are usually best packed on top or in front of heavier books and in a compartment away from water bottles. Also, make sure to unplug earbuds or headphones before packing up that tablet to prevent headphone jacks breaking off in the audio port.

RELATED: Avoid headphone jack damage with the wireless Jabra Evolve 75 UC stereo headset.

2. Contain the Cables to Prevent Accidents

When a student is sitting on a comfortable sofa watching his or her battery dwindle, using the closest power cord may seem like a perfect solution — that is, until the dog or a younger sibling comes charging out of nowhere, and disaster ensues. An inexpensive, well-placed power strip is much less costly than a broken device.

3. Find a Filter for the Home Network

Beyond the risk of physical damage, it’s important to protect students and networks through content filtering. Work with students, teachers and families to ensure their home filters are rigorous enough. A breach that starts at a student’s home can eventually find its way to K–12 networks. Consider an option such as Cisco Umbrella from Cisco Systems. This free home solution provides basic content filtering along with protection from phishing and malware.

DISCOVER: What do K–12 leaders need to know about whaling attacks?

4. Take Preventative Steps to Locate the Lost

Indispensable devices can end up in the most interesting places. Numerous companies, including Google, have services to help locate lost devices, but remember that these features have to be enabled before the device is lost. All take-home devices should have location services turned on before they go out the door. Another option: Some services offer a Bluetooth-enabled chip that can be attached to frequently misplaced items.

Patrick George/Ikon Images

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