Solving the laptop cart/USB crisis

You’ve probably heard it all:

“Excuse me while I interrupt your whole class, I need laptop 4 from Cart A.. oh it’s being used? I’ll wait for you to find your USB to save your stuff so I can take it.”

“My USB is at home. ” “I lost my USB!”

“I don’t have the same program at home so I couldn’t work on it.”

USB Drives seemed to solve the problems of saving and the 'right' computer at first..

USB Drives seemed to solve the problems of saving and having the ‘right’ computer at first..

“Please save to your USB as well as your Desktop so if you forget your jump drive at least we have something”

“Laptop 16B isn’t in the cart! All of my stuff is on it and now I can’t work on my stuff!”

From experiencing all of these excuses, reasons, methods of avoiding these excuses and reasons, nothing seems to make more sense to me then having students use accessible, free, internet based programs. Students can access them from any laptop or desktop computer no matter what cart or number they use. All thats’ required is an internet connection either at home or at a local library.

In replace of word, pages, text edit, etc:

Google docs

Emailing yourself with drafts that auto save

Creating own blogs using any of the numerous blog sites with appropriate privacy settings

 In replace of Keynote, PowerPoint, Presentation software:

Prezi

Ahead.com

smore.com

Now this isn’t by any means an extensive list but with there being so many other options to save this time suck and constant nuisance of saving/compatibility issues why can’t we try these out? Solves the mac/pc translation problem, accessibility to software, “forgetting” USB sticks, and having the wrong cart.  Less headaches and more time spent with students creating and exploring. Win: win. 🙂

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