DIY Chromebook Cart

We don’t have much money in our district, so creativity is required. This week, I rigged this ridiculousness up with a regular tripod, gallon freezer bag with hole cut in it, an aluminum tray and a bunch of rubber bands scavenged from the teacher’s lounge.

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It’s now an iPad mini tripod, that will be used on Friday to record the spelling bee. I’m pretty proud of myself. This DIY item hasn’t been tested yet, but our Chromebook carts have.


 

We’ve had carts for teachers to sign out for a couple of years now, and since buying one outright costs over $1000, we improvised and saved money. I wasn’t involved in the original setup or purchase of the carts we have so I can’t say for sure how much, but looking at the cost of the materials used, it must be substantial. Through trial and error, and collaboration with colleagues, we’ve improved on the original concept, and have a solid design. The high school sent over 2 Chromebook carts for us to borrow, so I got them into shape–middle school style–the past couple of days. I have no before picture, but this is how I feel about it:

Before: before

After:after

It may not look like much, but it makes me happy, because it works!

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If you need a lower cost cart too, first buy a rolling file cart. Overstock sells the model we’re using for $180.99. Safco-Scoot-Mobile-File-with-Locking-Top-466e045c-9a5b-44d6-994e-23bcc6820cde_600

We have a APC Back UPS 550 ($57 on Amazon) on the bottom shelf, along with 4 basic power strips. 81Ap6jVpkTL._SL1500_wp-1452111215833.jpg

Each Chromebook cord is plugged in to the strip, and then velcroed and/or zip tied to the sides and front. wp-1452111199851.jpg

If I were you, I’d just get 2 zip ties per charger and forget about the velcro backing. (It is sticky, time consuming, and unnecessary). Place a zip tie through the bottom row of holes to secure and provide a base. Then add another tie on the 2nd or 3rd row to hold the charger tightly against the cart. Roll up and velcro most of the slack on the cord.

Next get some Smead Tuff hanging folders. It’s worth paying more for the extra tough ones, because the metal bars are stronger, and will last longer than the regular folders.wp-1452111210938.jpg

Take out the quantity you need, and tape them together at the top. Before the redesign, we didn’t tape the folders, and kids would put Chromebooks between folders instead of inside. Then they’d slip underneath all the folders or be more difficult to charge. Eliminate the option. Place the taped folders inside the cart.

Finally, get medium sized binder clips, and clip each charger between the cylinder and charger head as shown below.wp-1452111186869.jpg

By clipping in this way, there will be no slack to get tangled (and subsequently untangled)! Ahh, I love that fact best.wp-1452111206462.jpg