A History of Saving Schools Money

GORILLAdigital was founded in 2000 as a company dedicated to advancing an appropriate use of edtech in classrooms while saving schools money. The company has assisted name brand leaders in the edtech field develop rugged products that incorporate physical security; GORILLAdigital has also partnered with school districts to design edtech products for classrooms and the company provides pro-bono and paid advisory services to schools as well.  GORILLAdigital is passionate about early childhood education and the education of at-risk youth.  Senior management in the company personally participate in several volunteer programs to help support these important aspects of our education system.

 

Apple

In 1998, while working in the edtech field, GORILLAdigital’s founder, Christopher Meyer, noticed that Los Angeles Unified School District was buying a large number of Apple G3 All-In-One computers.  This G3 was a school favorite because the software was intuitive and the monitor & CPU were integrated into one unit.  The only problem was the G3 had a handle on the top, so large school districts, that needed many computers, had to spend more than $180 per G3 to keep them from being stolen.  Chris heard that Steve Jobs monitored emails sent to ‘iceo@apple.com”, so he sent an email suggesting Apple build a security interface into chassis that would help schools lock down Apple computers for far less money.  Two weeks later, Chris found himself in the Jim & Tammy Fae Baker Conference Room at Apple with Jony Ive, the designer of the iMac. Jony showed Chris the lower third portion of the iMac which was about half the size of the G3 All-In-One and looked sleek.  Over a two week period, ideas were exchanged and the first fully integrated security feature was built into a computer chassis that brought the cost of securing an iMac from $180 down to $30.  Not an earth shattering accomplishment, but based on a conservative estimate of one million iMacs a year shipping into schools that needed physical security from 1999-2005, this little project saved schools more than $150 million a year or $900 million over the 6 year period.

 

Chris also played a small role in the early days of Dellware’s Lock & Loaded program which promoted physical security solutions for PCs, monitors and laptops.

 

Early Days of GORILLAdigital

After founding GORILLAdigital, named SecurityWorks at the outset, the company helped Bretford Manufacturing develop a line of laptop carts and a sales channel to bring them to market.  The Bretford line of laptop carts became the market leader.  In the 90s, schools spent plenty of money on computer labs.  With space in schools at such a premium, anything that could free up rooms for classes was a hot ticket.  As laptops became smaller, more reliable and more powerful, they became a viable alternative to desktop computers in schools.  So SecurityWorks consulted to Bretford on the design of a rugged line of laptop carts with top-of-the-line physical security to help bring laptop computers to the students and save schools the expense of building and maintaining computer labs.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics there are 98,000 public k12 schools and another 30,000 private K12 schools in the US.  If 70% of the schools obviated the need for computer labs, which cost $20,000 per lab, then schools that adopted laptop carts saved $1.5 billion:

 

  • $1.78 billion – cost of computer labs ($20K x 89,000 schools)
  • $267 million – cost of laptop carts in 89,000 schools @ 2 per school x $1500 per cart delivered
  • $1.5 billion – Overall savings to schools

 

GORILLAdigital is the first company to patent an education multimedia cart.  The KONGcart features physical security for most any device along with ergonomic mounting designed to make teaching with technology a breeze.  Principals use KONGcarts with projectors, tablets or doc cameras, laptops and speakers to help set-up make shift classrooms/presentations anywhere on campus, for in-service days, movie nights, and open houses.  The open architecture and lock down features mean devices on the KONGcart can be moved anywhere and are always ready. In October, the company will introduce a new Sound Cart to help amplify teachers’ voices and enhance learning anywhere, anytime.  KONGcarts’ combination of security & ergonomics provides a realistic alternative to costly ceiling mounted AV equipment and this saves our K12 customers’ budgets in a big way.

 

When tablets made their way into schools, GORILLAdigital designed a steel & die cast MONKEYmount that helps leverage tablet’s camera so it can operate like a document camera.  Santa Barbara & Palm Springs school districts opted in favor of MONKEYmounts instead of document cameras in over 1200 classrooms, saving a good deal of budget resources.
GORILLAdigital helps schools seeking to protect valuable technology devices.  We are happy to serve as a sounding board and provide whatever advice we can via email, phone or social media.  We value your mission of educating our young and want to help schools plan for the deployment of valuable edtech equipment. So if you have a tricky device to secure, mount or protect, let us know about it, we’ll do our best to help.

by goape