So you’re integrating technology into your teaching? Great decision! You’ll find heaps online on how to use technology to enhance teaching and learning. You’ll also find a great deal on how to set up your infrastructure effectively and how to reimagine your daily routines, procedures and pedagogies in order to maximize the benefits of technology in education.
But you will not find this: keep it clean. I’m not talking about blocking and discouraging dodgy content – that is a given. I’m talking about basic hygiene.
Numerous tests and studies in office spaces have confirmed: smartphones, tablets and keyboards in the workplace harbor many dangerous bacteria – often many times the amount found on a typical toilet seat. How much worse might this trend be in schools?
Kids (and teachers) are not the best hand-washers and are notorious for eating on the run. (The school day is a busy one, okay?) I have seen keyboards with all manner of crusty residue – built-up, no doubt, over months. And I have seen touchscreens opaque with finger grease. And then they call me over and ask me for assistance! Eek! No! Natalie, wipe!
And let’s not even talk about how often people take mobile devices to the bathroom with them. (Yay 9Gag!)
So my strange piece of EdTech advice: keep it clean! Encourage teachers and students to use a disinfectant sprayed into a soft cloth, or disinfectant wet wipes to wipe and clean personal devices. (But make sure no moisture gets where it shouldn’t – and like freshly washed hands – make sure everything is properly dried off afterwards.) And please keep the soap in the bathrooms topped up!