plague related 667px-1607-35_Pesttafel_Augsburg_anagoriaA bug is going around at school this month, and I was down with it last week.

Three days of fever plus cough, and for two of them, the Beloved was felled too, and we were both home sick together.

A few techie consequences of this little bug had me thinking about the bigger picture. Firstly, I was asked to add ‘disinfecting the school iPads’ to my list of weekly iPad maintenance tasks. The teachers worry that the smooth, glass surfaces of the iPads might be yet another vector for the spreading of germs and bacteria. So that’s one thing.

But the other thing is, it made me long for the future time where every child has their own inexpensive tablet, when it’s part of the school supplies the same way a calculator or pencil case might be. We had at least three parents leave sick kids at home while they drove into school to pick up work for them. How much easier would it be if the teacher could simply log into a web interface, choose books, video or podcast materials for their absent student, and push it onto their device for them?

And how easy would that be for the teachers! Sure, we’ve made a few advances. Our school has gotten our money’s worth out of our Reading membership, and it’s quite nice to be able to print a new leveled reader, on demand, for any kid in the school. But it still means that when Absent Kid’s parents come in and say hey, give us some readers to take home for him, the teacher is spending their lunch hour printing, compiling and assembling the package for them. I’d love to be able to assign the kids e-readers.

I know Reading A-z has an on-line arm as well called Raz-Kids. I think it does allow students to log in from home, not just from a school device. It may be a solution for cases like this. But I’m not quite ready to take charge of setting up 100 user accounts for every kid in the school. One day, it will be par for the course and every kid in the city will naturally have accounts for sites like these. In the meanwhile, all we can do is celebrate the advances we’ve made so far, and dream about the seamless future when content can be managed with one little tap.

Image credit: Here.

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"I’m a journalist, a teacher and an e-book fiend. I work as a French teacher at a K-3 private school. I use drama, music, puppets, props and all manner of tech in my job, and I love it. I enjoy moving between all the classes and having a relationship with each child in the school. Kids are hilarious, and I enjoy watching them grow and learn. My current device of choice for reading is my Amazon Kindle Touch, but I have owned or used devices by Sony, Kobo, Aluratek and others. I also read on my tablet devices using the Kindle app, and I enjoy synching between them, so that I’m always up to date no matter where I am or what I have with me."


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