Things you don’t think of #1: Cable Management
Over the past few years I have been adding handheld devices to my classroom, I like to call the set of technology my “Armada”. It’s slowly growing toward a class set, a few more years and I’ll have my dream of 1:1 for each student.
But one thing you never think about prior to getting all of these wonderful devices is…the management of the headphone cables. It can easily turn the lovely dream of technology, into a nightmare of tangled cords. My first year of having 5 iPod touches can be summed up with one photo…
I would spend so much time after school getting these headphones untangled. Shaking them, pleading with them to come undone. Something had to change, I didn’t have the patience to keep untangling these each day after class.
So I came up with this slick idea, just attach a couple of thumb tacks to the wall and hang the headphones in between them. This worked out well, kids did a great job of hanging them back up after using them. I thought I had come up with a perfect solution.
Alas, the new problem was, yes the cords were more orderly, but the ends were still getting knotted with one another as they lay on the cabinet top.
Enter my teaching partner today, she says, “check this out!” She had wrapped the headphone cables around three fingers, then used an office supply alligator clip. My eyebrow perked up, it was perfect, the answer to all of the headaches, and so simple.
I could imagine using a silver marker to also put a number on each clip so it would be very easy to keep track of any clips that go missing, or a checkout type system if need be.
My technology managers will get trained in how to store these, along with their clean up duties of wiping down the headphones and the iPod/iPad screens.