It’s time to simplify the login process for student machines. After a decade of watching students log in to their laptops, mobile devices and desktops, I’ve come to the conclusion that that student machine logins are more a barrier than asset to the effective use of technology. In most cases, they seem to slow down processes and increase opportunity for disruption.
Here’s an example. In one class, one student does not have a password, another student has an expired password and yet another student makes a typographical error while trying to log in. All three cases cause needless slowdowns and teacher frustration.
I recommend moving all machines to a kiosk-like state (Mac and PC) and have students save their work to the cloud. You have a number of choices, including Google Docs, Dropbox and OneDrive, to name a few. Syncing documents to a local server and using overly complicated student profiles do not teach students how to work and retrieve data in today’s world.
Consider simplifying the network environment with a focus on the idea of quick access. Additionally try easing back a bit on control and you may be surprised by the results.
James Roodhouse is the technology director for Geneseo CUSD 228, in Geneseo, Il. In his eight years with the district, he has helped it earn two national “Digital School” awards and was named among the “20 to Watch” by the National School Boards Association in 2012. Previously he worked three years as the technology director at Kealakehe High School in Kona, Hi.
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