Tablets, laptops, smart boards, and digital cameras are just a few ways technology is connecting kids to the world, each other, and a new way of learning. And, especially this time of year, it is also connecting them to something a little more unexpected: germs.
Keeping classroom devices clean at any grade level can be a challenge, but if you keep these tips and processes in place, you can help keep your students—and yourself—healthy all year long.
- Start at the source. A little prevention can go a long way to keeping your classroom technology clean and free of debris. Remind students to cover their mouths with their elbows when they cough, to wash their hands regularly, and to stay home when they are contagious.
- Stick with a schedule. Grime, fingerprints, dirt, and spots can accumulate quickly on classroom devices, so it’s best to set aside time every week to clean them.
- Use only water on displays. Touchscreen technology is created with the intention of being touched, and most screens are treated with chemicals that work with the natural oils on fingertips. Abrasive chemicals can remove this layer, and the instant shine they provide may end up costing you in the long run; stick with plain water on a soft microfiber cloth and lightly buff out smudges.
- Clean keyboards with compressed air. Compressed air is one of the most effective ways to clean keyboards; it forcefully blasts dirt, crumbs, and lint out from hiding. While compressed hair handles the nooks and crannies, use a damp (but not wet) disinfectant wipe to clean the tops of the keys and stop germs in their tracks.
- Restore brilliance to laptops. There’s nothing like those foam cleaning erasers to bring back a laptop’s former glory. Use only on the exterior (NOT the display) and be careful not to remove identifying numbers; foam erasers can’t tell the difference between permanent marker and day-to-day grime.
As anyone who has ever cleaned 20 laptops after a sixth-grade class knows, it can be a pretty gross world out there. With the above tips and a little luck, you can keep germs at bay, your technology in good shape, and your students healthy and ready to learn. As always, feel free to reach out if you need more tips about technology in the classroom.