Clean and preen

clean and preenNot sure why I should be surprised. Teenagers probably have very busy bedrooms so it ought not come as a revelation their laptops are cluttered and clogged as well . We are in Term 4 and have a few weeks left of the school year. By this time their laptops are full of images, videos, music, files and docs for their school work. What does impress me is how neat and functional their desktops are and how neat and functional their flash drives are. They do try to be orderly with their electronic school work. We ought to take screen shots of some of their desktops because they are very inventive with how they organise their work. I know all of this because I have spent the last two weeks getting some of the student laptops to work more efficiently. It’s not my job, I don’t have to do it but if I have a spare 5 minutes in a lesson then I will help them sort out their clutter issues. They know my MacBook is running well and accesses the internet quickly so when I get a moan of “I can’t get on the Net!!” and I have a chance to have a look, more often than not it boils down to an overloaded laptop.I always ask permission and I generally show them on my laptop and get them to copy me on theirs.  They have often loaded software they don’t need to be running all the time, they have invariably filled the hard drive with music, videos and images and they often need to clean the recycle bin. They have all been given a back up external drive to save their work to and back up their Mac. I always ask if they are using it. I get the embarrassed face. Er, no. So then we have a little talk about how that would be good practice and how it can take the weight off their MacBook drive. In 5 minutes I can get their MacBook running better and then send them home with a few tips to clean it up even more and I know they will pass the word around because that is how their world works – share content, get feedback and reshare. The information feedback loop works well. What we need to do, though, is highlight a time at the end of semester one where we all focus on cleaning and backing up our laptops. It is a routine which just needs to be developed and would make this part of the year a bit easier.

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