Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


Being in school IT, I get a lot of sales calls. It especially heats up in the spring when schools are making all the buying decisions for the following year. Most of them are sent straight to my voicemail, so it’s hard to wade through the junk from the great. A few weeks ago, I got an email from the folks at Bretford wanting to talk to me about Juice Mobile Power. I was immediately intrigued when I saw the first paragraph on the website:

Backblaze

When the average schools were built 40-some years ago, contractors never imagined that each student would need access to power to keep their textbooks charged. As most educators know, the average classroom has 2–3 outlets, and they are almost always in the most inconvenient locations.

Our school building is 65 years old, so we certainly have this problem. It’s often not even just the lack of outlets that is the problem. It’s the cost of adding new ones. We have a lot of concrete walls, so running new wiring is a serious challenge for our facilities department.

So what is Juice Power? Let me show you.

The folks at Bretford sent me a unit to demo, and I was immediately impressed with what it could do. Juice Mobile Power is a simple way to roll out power to the classroom, securely and safely charging up to 20 mobile devices from one outlet. Could you do this with a host of surge protectors and extension cords in the past? Sure, but it was a fire and tripping hazard.

Modern mobile devices have great battery life, but sometimes students might have forgotten to charge the night before or have been rendering files from a movie editor. Batteries can last all day, but it’s not guaranteed. When you’re building your lesson plans around digital content, students have to have the option to charge mid-class.

With built-in FLI Charge safety technology, Juice Mobile Power detects foreign objects and powers down to ensure safety. When the object is removed, it instantly powers up, making it safe for everyday use. Juice’s connection points are magnetic, so they easily break away if someone trips on it.

One of the things I love most about Juice Mobile Power is that it’s easy to roll out and move around. Let’s say that you only have the budget for a couple of them. You can keep them in storage and roll them out when needed. If you have a class that is going to spend time coding or doing movie editing, you can quickly roll it out in the classroom. I was able to set up the demo unit in just a few minutes, and now that I’ve done it once, I could quickly do it again in no time.

Overall, I’m impressed by Juice Mobile Power. If you are needing to expand power capabilities for mobile devices in your classroom, deploying it will likely be a lot less costly than having your facilities crew add power outlets. It will bring the charging capabilities right to the desk in an easy to deploy way. It starts at $1328, and they have options for Lightning, USB-C, Micro-USB, Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo cords. They even include the device cords with the kits. One neat feature: the cords are locked into place with the initial setup so they can’t “disappear.”

Check out Juice Mobile Power on the Bretford website.

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