If H1N1 strikes your child’s classroom, Microsoft can help teachers, students and parents stay connected. But will this be a service teachers are willing to use?
On Wednesday, Microsoft launched its Class Workspace webpage which seeks to encourage teachers and schools to use the Redmond software company’s Live Workspace service to, “Address the classroom challenge of H1N1.”
“If the H1N1 flu virus keeps your students away from the classroom, continue the learning online by using Office Live Workspace to:
• share assignments
• distribute handouts
• post presentations
• enable group collaboration”
I have to wonder if this will be a resource that teachers are willing to spend their valuable time using. Wouldn’t it just be easier for them to throw the missing assignments on the sick child’s desk and have the parents pick it up? From my experience, teachers are already hard pressed to find the time to do just the standard duties expected from them. For example, last year I asked my son’s teacher if it would be possible for her to include a weekly update in his school planner that informs me of any specific assignments he hadn’t completed and was told that she didn’t have the time to do so. So I figure, if a teacher cannot find the time to do a 60 second task, they won’t even consider using a resource like the one Microsoft is offering.
I see how this free service could be of great value by helping teachers communicate with their students and how it can help keep kids who are infected with H1N1 from falling behind in their schoolwork. I also think it might encourage parents to keep their kids home from school if they’re sick – discouraging the spread of the illness – as they won’t be worrying that their kids are going to fall behind. If my son was sick, I’d love it if a system like this was set up for us to use. I have to wonder though, will teachers be willing to learn and use a service when it isn’t required of them? I know, of course, the answer will greatly vary from teacher to teacher, but how do you feel? Do you think your child’s teacher would consider something like this unnecessary and view it as the parent’s responsibility to come into the classroom to pick up homework or do you think your kid’s teacher would be happy to spend the time corresponding with their students this way?