Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Higher Ground Gear for Schools

As many of you know, I can't ever have enough technology cases to both protect and transport my laptops and tablets! I love being able to pick out a case that works best for my current road trip, from those that have crossbody and shoulder straps, to those that are slim and protect my devices while in my backpack, to my favorite Vera Bradley and Baggallini laptop totes.

Back in 2016, I reviewed a bunch of Higher Ground Gear’s technology bags and protective cases. The company has always been very thoughtful with their solutions for schools and continues to innovate with their new options for protecting student laptops, iPads and Chromebooks. I have used their products for many years and they never wear out!

Fast forward ahead to the FETC Conference in January 2022, when I stopped by the Higher Ground booth to see what cool new Higher Ground gear was available. I was invited to learn more about their new products and options and to try out a few items of interest to me.

Student needs

Higher Ground Gear has always had a stellar collection of "always on" laptop cases that provide great protection and allows students to work on their computers while it stays in the case. And this year's group of cases is no exception! They have a line of iPad specific cases as well as their upgraded Datakeeper and Shuttle lines of cases that stay on the computer while it is in use and protects it against the elements and drops.

Their Capsule cases are made to protect the laptop/Chromebook when in a student's backpack and are slim and protective.

There are other great choices for shoulder bags and backpacks to allow students to easily carry their devices and accessories.

A cool new innovative option for various collections is Higher Ground Gear’s new CleanShell™ material. This material has been tested with various household cleaners, has a dirt and weather-resistant coating, and can easily be sanitized with wipes and sprays to combat the spread of germs. Perfect for the educators and students!

Teacher needs

I decided to concentrate on educator needs for this blog post. (Not that students can't use the cases I picked.) 

Teachers need to have a protective sleeve or bag for their school laptop or Chromebook as they travel to and from school, too! My three choices to review were the Vert 3.1 convertible shoulder bag/backpack, the Elements Plus slim sleeve, and the Elevate CS Ergonomic laptop sleeve.

Higher Ground Gear: Vert 3.1

The Vert 3.1 is a versatile, convertible case that has two inside pockets so it can hold both my 14" MacBook and my 10.5" iPad Air! My phone and some charging cables can be stored in the front zip pocket. It comes in two sizes, an 11" and a 13" version. (I requested the 11" version.)

The cool thing about the Vert 3.1 case is it can be use as an over-the-shoulder bag ...

or a cross-body bag...

or it can morph into a backpack! 

It is as easy as pie to change it from one configuration to another. It checks all the boxes for how teachers  and students might want to carry their devices! The Vert 3.1 Convertible Case has great drop protection on all sides, too.

The Data Sheet about the Vert 3.1 can be found here with much more information, specs, and measurements for the the small and large cases.

The second item I requested was the Elements Plus Sleeve. For those teachers and students who already have a favorite backpack or "teacher bag", the very slim Elements Plus Sleeve protects the laptop, Chromebook, or iPad when it is carried in a backpack or bag. It also comes with a shoulder strap to use when a teacher wants to travel light! (I did fit both my 14" Macbook Pro and my 10.5" iPad Air in the sleeve, but I would recommend only putting one device in it!)

The Elements Plus Sleeve comes in both  small (11" and 13" devices) and large (14" and 15") sizes. I requested the small size. It has a detachable shoulder strap and a top carry handle, too.

This sleeve provides basic protection from scratches and dings to your devices.

Here is the link to the datasheet with all the specs and options for the Elements Plus Sleeve.

I am always impressed with Higher Ground Gear's attention to detail for even the little things.

For the Elements Plus sleeve, the shoulder strap has a secure and unique connection. 

By snapping the metal loop over the hook, teachers and students can feel confident the shoulder strap will remain securely fastened!

Higher Ground Gear: Elevate CS Sleeve

The Elevate CS Sleeve has a "transformer-like" quality. With its rugged rubberized case, it can protect your laptop from a fall, shocks, and the elements. It has a top handle for carrying and room inside for small cables, dongles, and accessories.

The "CS" in its name indicates that this sleeve is made with Higher Ground's CleanShell™ technology which easily allows the wiping away of dirt and germs from the outside surfaces.

The transformative property of the Elevate CS Sleeve allows a teacher or students to elevate their laptop to one of three ergonomic positions for typing. 

The laptop is removed from the sleeve, the kickplate you see at the bottom of the image above is opened up, the elastic strap you see below is moved to the outside of the sleeve, the laptop is slid through the strap so it rests on the outside of the sleeve, and then the adjustable support you can see on the left below is folded out.

The image below illustrates what the Elevate CS looks like when it is "transformed". The support stand can be set for three different angles, so the teacher or student can pick the angle that feels best for them.

When I use an angled keyboard, I lower my seat so my wrists remain straight and not bent while typing and my bent elbows remain at a 90° angle.

If your district is looking for quality cases or sleeves, get in touch by calling or emailing Higher Ground. They can provide you with the solution you are looking for to protect the devices in your school or district!