We started moving toward one-to-one Chromebooks several years ago. We started with carts in classrooms of 20 to 25 each. I sometimes have moments of OCD and I like everything neatly done. My interns and I set up the carts in the rooms. We started with a lot of sharing and moving closer to a cart per room. We had the typical response to creating the carts and did not want any of the devices missing. As a result, we spent time running the chargers and the devices in a way that would make theft a problem. We lost a couple but nothing compared to other schools. We locked down the wires and our tool of choice was the zip tie. I love a good zip tie. And in some cases, I would even color-code them based on the dates of purchase for the devices. I wanted those to stay put and be available for everyone. Fast-forward to the beginning of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. We had to start creating a program to get a device to every kid so that they could learn at home.
We started to dismantle the carts and went from the oldest to the newest. We had my interns do the first thousand machines. As we moved deeper into the pandemic the interns were not allowed to help and we needed more. Only a very few select people were allowed in the buildings. The time came to dismantle more carts and administrators had help this time. Since the first batch of machines was completed by my interns we were not surprised by the carts. Since we were now using administrators, they were not used to our precision and sense order that made up each cart. I did issue cutters to everyone so that it made it easier. After half of a morning spent stripping out the carts, I hear this noise that came over the walkie-talkie. I hear my name screeched that I was no longer allowed to buy zip ties! I get over to Math and find the principal under the cart looking like she was doing an oil change. Next to her, I saw a mountain of zip ties. I slowly backed away and went to the room I was working on. In my defense, we didn’t lose any of the cords before we went to the passing out of the Chromebooks. On my watch, we had a good system but this willy-nilly approach to just handing a kid a device and cord was very expensive.