One day, Paul Symons noticed that hundreds of computers were being stolen on a weekly basis within his hometown in Perth, Western Australia.
To combat this, Symons, who was a school teacher at the time, left the profession to set up PC Locs in 1998. The business, which began out of his backyard shed, would come to drastically reduce computer theft throughout Australia.
In 2001, Symons was approached to develop a solution to store, charge, secure and transport laptop computers in schools. This led to decades of product development, and the distribution of innovatively designed carts for managing technology in schools.
Today, PC Locs is established in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the United States and Europe.
PC Locs CEO, James Symons, said the company’s products are generally designed by teachers for teachers.
“PC Locs founder Paul Symons was a teacher himself and with many teachers within the organisation, we understand the needs of the education fraternity,” Symons told The Educator.
“We understand the problems that are associated with managing mobile technology in the classroom. This awareness enables us to design solutions specifically targeted at reducing admin and handling time and increasing teaching time.”
Symons said PC Locs’ products become an aid to delivering educational content – not a hindrance in the classroom.
When it comes to the state of computer security for most schools, Symons said there are still issues but PC Locs’ products “offer much more in the way of asset management, physical device management and classroom lesson efficiency.”
“This doesn’t mean however that we don’t focus on developing secure products. It means our emphasis is on a holistic approach that balances security, great design and ease of access for students and teachers,” Symons explained.
“With educational facilities more secure than ever, PC Locs’ products provide seamless solutions that cover much more than just security.”
Looking ahead, Symons said the company will be addressing changes in the way devices are being used in schools.
“When first introduced to schools, mobile devices were generally school owned and shared across numerous classrooms. To facilitate this mode of operation, PC Locs produced mobile laptop carts that could be moved from one room to another,” he said.
“Now with many more devices in schools, class sets of devices are becoming more common and the PC Locs solution in response to this continuing integration of mobile devices across all levels of education, is to provide several small footprint, wall mounted charging stations per classroom.”
Symons said this frees up valuable classroom floor area and enables a one-to-one student to computer ratio.
“Now also, with students bringing their own devices to schools, PC Locs has solutions that facilitate students rather than teachers being responsible for the management and security of their own devices,” he said.
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