Expensive, shiny, slippery iPads in the hands of kids. Shudder. Wrapping tablets in properly protective cases substantially reduces damage from drops, and sub sequentially the problem of having incomplete sets of devices in the classroom.
School-proofing devices isn’t actually hard, and can make devices last years longer, but it will take some attention to detail. Look at the details of the iPad or tablet case you are considering. What materials is it made from? What features have been built in to protect the screen and corners, which inevitably cop the brunt of a drop?
Properly engineered iPad and tablet cases can provide drop and shock protection, some even waterproof too. Brands preferred by schools include Otterbox, Gumdrop, Griffin brand cases, with most models providing screen protection (nothing worse than a scratched learning surface, is there?) plus built in air chambers for corner protection, as well as military-graded materials to absorb the force of a drop or hard knock. New brands well worth of a look by schools and parents alike include UAG (Urban Armor Gear) and Brenthaven.
A cheap and cheerful piece of plastic won’t ever be good enough to protect a $1000 device made of glass and steel.
Look first, buy once
BIG consideration as you look at cases for devices in school: how are you managing these? If you are using charging stations, either cabinets or cart-style stations, then be very sure to check the dimensions of the slots to ensure that your devices in their new cases will fit. We have had too many calls from sad schools who didn’t do this and were devastated at their incompatible choice, as they had purchased lovely cases with thick bezels to make grip easy for kids, but couldn’t possibly fit in the charging stations they already had.
Lock it up
Secure storage for devices out of hours is imperative, as devices are very steal-able. Charging stations aren’t just about saving time and money in charging and updating iPad software, but they also provide a secure place for devices to go back to base when not in use. This includes lunchtimes and out of school hours. Select a strong, well constructed charging station that is secured to the wall or desk to reduce losses from your device fleet.