COVID-19 Educator Help Desk

Disinfecting Shared Technology

  • 1.  Disinfecting Shared Technology

    Posted 18 days ago
    As we start to plan for the upcoming school year, I am looking for thoughts on how others are dealing with shared technology -  We are not a 1:1 school and our teachers use laptop carts to bring technology into the classroom.  How are others in this situation thinking of disinfecting the laptops between use (our carts are heavily utilized)?  Similarly, desktops in a computer lab?


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    Patricia Krueger
    Director of Technology
    Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School
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  • 2.  RE: Disinfecting Shared Technology

    PLN Leader
    Posted 17 days ago
    Hi Paticia, I teach in a rural school in Victoria, Australia. Our students came back in 2 stages - prep to 3 and years 10 -12 returned 4 weeks ago and years 4-9 returned 2 weeks ago. We have a lab of desktop computers that is used by a number of classrooms. Students are supposed to bring their own device but for a number of reasons they have to use the desktop computers at times. Students sanitise their hands upon entry to and exit from the classroom. We have disinfectant wipes available in the computer lab and each student wipes down the keyboard and the mouse with the wipes before using. Three cleaners are employed from 10am to 2pm and they surface wipe everything - benches, boards, computer hardware once a day. This surface wiping occurs across the school.

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    Anne Mirtschin
    ISTE Global PLN
    Leader at Large
    ICT Teacher
    Hawkesdale P12 College
    Victoria, Australia

    ICT Teacher
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  • 3.  RE: Disinfecting Shared Technology

    PLN Leader
    Posted 17 days ago
    Out of curiosity I did a quick Google search and found a few links that had recommendations.  Lots of consistent ideas throughout.


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    Dennis McElroy
    ISTE Teacher Education Network President-elect
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    Professor Emeritus
    Graceland University
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  • 4.  RE: Disinfecting Shared Technology

    Posted 14 days ago
    In general, all of the major manufacturer's are recommending a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution and a microfiber or soft cloth to clean casings, keyboards, etc. As you would expect, they all caution against getting any liquid into ports, etc, and advise you to spray the disinfectant on the cloth, not the device. The alcohol solution has the advantage of evaporating quickly.

    Apple's website also noted that Clorox wipes would be OK too, but never bleach. Bleach is the other common disinfectant listed on the CDC website (1/3 cup plus a gallon of water). For countertops and such, I supposed you could use the bleach solution, but it's definitely harsher and stinkier. If you can maintain adequate supply of the alcohol solution, I'd stick with that so there people don't accidentally pick up the wrong spray bottle and use the bleach solution on a computer.


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    Jeff Mao | jeff@edmoxie.com | @jmao121
    CEO and Founder | Edmoxie LLC | edmoxie.com

    Education Technology Consulting services for schools and developers.

    Implementation is as important as vision. Innovation does not have to be complicated, just different.
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  • 5.  RE: Disinfecting Shared Technology

    Posted 7 days ago
    Hi Everyone,

    I was asked by my principal about wipeable keyboard covers. My initial reaction was "Why? Can't we just wipe the actual keyboards?" However, I did some Googling anyway and found that the CDC suggests to "Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics." Is anyone planning to do this? I don't think that it is necessary, but am worried about the liability if we don't.

    Here is the link to the CDC article. 


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    Noah Goldman
    Technology Coach
    Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School
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  • 6.  RE: Disinfecting Shared Technology

    Community Champion
    Posted 6 days ago
    Several of our teachers have suggested those rubbery keyboard covers you can buy on Amazon for students to use with a Chromebook. Not sure whether students would provide or the school would, but that is an option we are considering.

    Shared technology will be a challenge to keep clean. Students will need to sanitize before using technology. They will need to clean it in some fashion, but how that looks is tricky. An alcohol solution is ideal, but teachers will need rags - one for each kid? several throughout the classroom? Will these be swapped out every day? Clorox wipes are more convenient, but also a lot more expensive and virtually impossible to purchase at least in our area. I also worry about the environmental impact of using so much disposable stuff rather than more environmentally sustainable products.

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    Allison Thompson
    Director of Technology
    St. Gerard School
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  • 7.  RE: Disinfecting Shared Technology

    Community Champion
    Posted 5 days ago
      |   view attached
    We haven't thought about using covers, but I thought I would chime in to say that I use a keyboard cover for my MacBook Air and it takes some time to get used to it. I love that it protects my machine, but at times I will admit that I'm not able to type as comfortably because of the rubber.
    Just something to keep in mind. Attached is an image of what I am using. One of those awesome freebies that I received at an ISTE conference!

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    Linda McBride
    Technology Support Specialist
    St. Louis University High
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  • 8.  RE: Disinfecting Shared Technology

    Posted 4 days ago
    I think the wipeable cover for the keyboard is mostly an optics thing, but not really an effectiveness thing. That is, it gives the illusion of safety, but it is no safer per se than cleaning the keyboard itself. It's a lot like gloves. You can wear latex medical gloves like you see doctors wear, but that won't prevent an infection. You don't catch get infected by the corona virus by touching it and absorbing it through your skin. If you catch it by touching an infected surface, it's only because you then transfer that from your fingers/hands to your face by then touching yourself. The gloves won't affect that reality. In a computer lab, there are a lot of surfaces that kids will touch, and where a sneeze or just breathing could expel infected moisture like the tabletop, door handles, chairs (arms, the handle you use to adjust height, etc.), laptop casings, power button on the monitor (for a desktop), mouse, trackpad, etc.

    If you are going to take the precaution to clean all of those surfaces between classes, then you neither save yourself time nor have any greater protection by putting a cleaned keyboard cover over the keys. If you have just one cover per device, then you will have to clean that one. If you have more than one, and you swap it for a clean one, you're still going to have to clean them sooner or later. Seems to me to be something that could increase your risk because people will get more complacent thinking that the cover somehow is protecting them when it offers effectively no protection at all really.

    I'm not a doctor, so this is just my amateur opinion, but I'd stick with an alcohol solution wipe down of all high touch surfaces, everyone wear face coverings, and have kids wash their hands before and after class. Keyboard covers will just cost you money that is in limited supply, be an annoyance to most because they won't type with it often enough to get accustomed to it, create a false sense of security, and create more work because you'll have to clean the cover AND the keyboard too.

    ------------------------------
    Jeff Mao | jeff@edmoxie.com | @jmao121
    CEO and Founder | Edmoxie LLC | edmoxie.com

    Education Technology Consulting services for schools and developers.

    Implementation is as important as vision. Innovation does not have to be complicated, just different.
    ------------------------------

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  • 9.  RE: Disinfecting Shared Technology

    Posted 3 days ago
    Since my international secondary in Italy has been a 1:1 student-owned BYOL for several years, we are choosing to remove desktops and printers from student use in the final push to be paperless and to limit potential contagion.  The library, which has loaned out Chromebooks throughout the day to students whose battery has died or forgotten theirs, will instead put them on long-term loan to our frequent fliers, say a month at a time or more.  Our smaller numbers in cohorts in the building should help in providing time to roll-over the school-owned laptops used in our required tech class.  Other items, like robotics parts and art materials, will be boxed into kits for each student so they aren't reaching into bins of shared material.  Robotics will shift from EV3s to Arduino and Make:bit to avoid sharing and to enable each student to take their kit home.

    --
    Elizabeth Nye Di Cataldo
    she/her/lei
    Director of Library and Educational Technology 
    Innovation Lab (iLab) Director

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