Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
20th September 2017 Issue no. 378
Your industry news - first
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Intelligent lockers stimulate social studying for Portsmouth University students
Traka, the specialist in key and asset management, has encouraged social studying in students at Portsmouth University through its laptop lockers.
Providing academic facilities to over 21,000 students, the University of Portsmouth approached Traka over four years ago, in search of a solution that would enable them to loan out laptops to students without the use of a manual sign-out system.
Traka installed its intelligent lockers into open access areas to allow students the freedom to study at their convenience in a more social setting, with soft seating. Lockers for nearly 500 laptops have now been installed at the university and a further 120 more are scheduled for implementation in the coming months.
According to educationcorner.com, studying in groups can be extremely beneficial for students, enabling them to complete assignments at a faster rate and understand concepts more thoroughly. Traka has implemented a number of laptop lockers near to eating and drinking facilities and other social areas around the campus, and they have proved to be significantly popular.
However, should groups of students wish to study privately, meeting pods are available too.
Once each student is enrolled onto a university course, their information is then updated into the Traka software and their student card will then allow them to access any locker to obtain a device.
Each locker has a built in charging unit and a separate mains charger, enabling the laptop to be loaned for as long as is needed - although the university does have a loan restriction of 12 hours. This loan period is traced through the Traka system, allowing reminders to be sent to students in the event of a device not being returned by the allotted time.
In addition to this, students can decipher whether a laptop is in the locker and Traka's FIFO (first in first out) feature, ensures that laptops are dispensed in a timely order, to prevent students from withdrawing a laptop, which has only just been returned and could be out of battery. The university has also implemented its own screens, which integrate with the Traka system and sit directly above the lockers, indicating how many laptops are left in each locker block.
The responsibility and financial accountability burden has been taken away from the university and placed on the students. Through Traka's custom messages feature all scholars are notified of the fine policy for losses each time they login, and through Traka's tracing system, device usage can be fully audited.
Craig Browning, Portsmouth University Laptop Services Manager said: "Traka has provided us with the ability to facilitate social study areas for students and to provide learning zones in spaces that wouldn't have been able to house desktops.
"When we initially installed our first batch of laptop lockers we were introducing loan laptops and we were looking for a solution that would mean we didn't have to manually administer and trace them. Almost five years later we are still installing Traka lockers in our buildings, they have proven to be a secure and hassle free option that has been able to work with our systems and enable us to expand our learning spaces."
The lockers have been so popular within the study zones that lecturers are now purchasing separate Traka systems to house in their own classrooms, enabling them to be flexible with their learning layout.
Traka has allowed the university to develop outside of the traditional realms of desktop learning rooms, which can become overcrowded and distractive to learning. In fact, staff within departments are now also adopting the systems, because they offer the flexibility to alter the room layouts.
15th June 2016