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Covid and Computer Rooms

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by bmouthboyo, May 15, 2020.

  1. bmouthboyo

    bmouthboyo New commenter

    I am in a strange situation whereby I have this year been teaching some Year 6 classes to support the junior school at the school I teach secondary at. This means that there is a good chance I will be required to head in to teach the two year 6 classes from 1st July, whilst also trying to deliver content live for my secondary pupils, nightmare.

    Anyway, I was wondering what measures you have in place for the computer room moving forward? Surely keyboards, mice, touchscreens etc need a deep clean after every use. Computer rooms are usually tightly packed, and to support I usually have to be well within 2 meters to be able to see their screens, advise on how to correct things etc.

    I have contacted IT services at my school regarding network monitoring software so I can try to see their screens without being within social distancing range but this would be a fast deployment by 1st July so may not be available. I have no idea how such deep cleans of equipment can be conducted between lessons.

    I would much prefer continuing our distance learning, live video calls and live support I provide via Teams on my cutting edge home PC. However I imagine with govt pressure I will be required for what is essentially baby sitting duty so parents can go to work, despite this will mean a split experience for those attending school and those not, reduced support from me for those years distance learning and 2 completely different schemes of learning for those at school and those not.

    Any advice?
     
  2. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    I no longer have to teach, and I don't envy you having to work around the current situation, but some thoughts......

    Social Distancing:


    Presumably you won't be asked to have a full complement of students in the class at one time anyway. So could you arrange the desks so that the students are sat facing the wall, rather than each other? Maybe you can arrange the desks in a U shape, leaving a clear corridor for you to move around the classroom?

    Monitoring student work:

    Rather than opting for a full blown remote access solution, could you not use a program which simply allows you to view their screens remotely. If you could do that using something like that with an iPad for example, means you could still walk around the room, see what their problem is, and help as required, without having to be up close and personal.

    Cleaning:

    To reduce the frequency with which the mice, keyboards and desk surfaces need to be cleaned, perhaps you could implement some low-tech stopgap measures. Many of your students will have their own keyboard and mouse, which they could bring in with them from home. Maybe use USB extension cables, terminated in some sort of shroud, to allow the kids to plug in their keyboard and mouse without having to touch the PC.

    They could also be asked to bring in their own desk covering. Something simple, like a hand towel or pillow case for example. When entering the lesson, they place the desk covering down, and put their keyboard and mouse on top of it.

    Supporting different student groups:

    I imagine there will be an ongoing need to provide materials in both formats for quite some time yet. Even when students start to return in greater numbers, any showing symptoms will still then need to isolate, so I think it's likely that having to supply alternative learning platforms will be the norm, for the foreseeable future.

    I think you also need to ensure people understand that some of your online content will need to be static, rather than live, as you clearly cannot be doing two different things in two different places at the same time.
     
  3. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    What does the school IT risk assessment say?
    For example keyboards are a major risk in normal time, more contaminated than a toilet, and should be cleaned regularly.
     
  4. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Ask for the school risk assessment in an email.

    That should set the cat among the pigeons.
     
  5. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Why would any student own a keyboard and mouse?

    That would not reduce transmission in any way, in fact, could increase it.

    I'm sorry if this comes across as rude, as I don;t want to take a pop at you personally, but this demonstrates how deep in the **** we are going to be, returning to school, if the people with absolutely zero comprehension of the risks or how to mitigate them are the ones devising routines and procedures.
     
  6. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I think we have just had a example of why a risk assessment being written by someone who knows nothing about virus transmission is going to be worthless, or make the situation worse
     
  7. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    students need to be 2m from each other and remain stationary throughout the working day. Typical IT classrooms are likely to be able to seat around 8 students, maximum. They will need to queue up outside 2m apart, and enter with the people sitting furthest from the door first. Each student needs to bring a bottle of hand gel, and clean their hands before they touch the computer. The teacher needs to remain at the front, and bring up screen views from each individual on their own screen, and use the white board for teaching. Students need to refrain from touching their hair or face at any time. The whole room needs to be deep cleaned at least twice a day.
     
  8. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    How are any of the measures mentioned going to be an improvement on the learning environment currently afforded by their domestic arrangements ? I totally agree with the poster that this is how it may well have to be.
    The disadvantaged children whose identity is very blurred indeed have been allowed access to school throughout this crisis but have failed to turn up in any appreciable numbers. I suspect that they will continue to do so.
     
  9. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    A risk assessment legally must be carried out by a qualified person. Part of the risk assessment requires the qualification of the person who carried out the assessment.
     
  10. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I sincerely hope so, but I don't have confidence
     
  11. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I have stated previously that I have no confidence whatsoever that MAT CEOs will go to the expense of putting the proper procedures and arrangements in place. However, they will not defy the law unless they can blame someone if they get caught.

    I have been on health and safety training and I have a certificate proving that I am qualified to carry out risk assessments. However, I would not feel qualified to carry out risk assessment in a school. The government guidance is just guidance. It needs to state specific requirements about lining up, seat placement, hand washing etc.

    I advise everybody going back to school to ask for the risk assessment. Every workplace legally must have one.
     
  12. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    [QUOTE="Corvuscorax, post: 13130924, member: 26309568"]Why would any student own a keyboard and mouse?[/QUOTE]

    Based on previous experience of students, I think it's likely that some of them may well have their own computer at home.



    Given the fact they represent such a risk, would not allowing students to use their own personal keyboard and mouse from home, rather than those used by successive students, reduce the chances of something nasty being picked up?



    I was merely suggesting that covering the desk surface with a removable cover - which they take with them when vacating the desk - might lessen the chance of the student transferring anything onto the surface of the desk itself, which is then picked up when the desk is used by another student.





    I wasn't attempting to offer a risk assessment. I am not not qualified to provide one. I assume the OP hasn't been given either a risk assessment, or specific guidance, or they wouldn't be asking for suggestions on this forum. I was just attempting to offer a few suggestions of simple, inexpensive things the OP might be able to implement, to make a difficult situation more manageable.



    In an ideal world, everything you've suggested here makes perfect sense. But with the best will in the world, I'm not sure every school would be able to implement all of the measures you've recommended.





    So a comprehensive risk assessment needs to be produced by someone qualified in the field of epidemiology, then any school unable to fully implement all requirements of it, is unable to offer any form of computer-based learning.

    I absolutely understand the genuine concerns that teachers have about the return to school, not only for themseves, but also for their students. But maybe at some point you just have to accept the unpleasant fact that 'safe' is a relative term, not just for schools, but for all workplaces. I doubt schools could be made 'Covid Secure', and would be pretty uninviting places if they were.

    I read a piece this morning, where researchers have suggested that micro-droplets are dispersed through the air, merely through the act of speaking loudly. Does that mean we should all not be speaking in anything other than hushed tones in the company of others? Where does it end?
     
  13. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Based on previous experience of students, I think it's likely that some of them may well have their own computer at home.



    Given the fact they represent such a risk, would not allowing students to use their own personal keyboard and mouse from home, rather than those used by successive students, reduce the chances of something nasty being picked up?



    I was merely suggesting that covering the desk surface with a removable cover - which they take with them when vacating the desk - might lessen the chance of the student transferring anything onto the surface of the desk itself, which is then picked up when the desk is used by another student.





    I wasn't attempting to offer a risk assessment. I am not not qualified to provide one. I assume the OP hasn't been given either a risk assessment, or specific guidance, or they wouldn't be asking for suggestions on this forum. I was just attempting to offer a few suggestions of simple, inexpensive things the OP might be able to implement, to make a difficult situation more manageable.



    In an ideal world, everything you've suggested here makes perfect sense. But with the best will in the world, I'm not sure every school would be able to implement all of the measures you've recommended.





    So a comprehensive risk assessment needs to be produced by someone qualified in the field of epidemiology, then any school unable to fully implement all requirements of it, is unable to offer any form of computer-based learning.

    I absolutely understand the genuine concerns that teachers have about the return to school, not only for themseves, but also for their students. But maybe at some point you just have to accept the unpleasant fact that 'safe' is a relative term, not just for schools, but for all workplaces. I doubt schools could be made 'Covid Secure', and would be pretty uninviting places if they were.

    I read a piece this morning, where researchers have suggested that micro-droplets are dispersed through the air, merely through the act of speaking loudly. Does that mean we should all not be speaking in anything other than hushed tones in the company of others? Where does it end?[/QUOTE]

    No. The risk assessment does not need to be carried out by an epidemiologist. Any assessor can look at a set of specific requirements and see if they are being followed reasonably. For example the temperature of an office legally must be between a specified range. An assessor can stand in a room with a thermometer and see if the temp is within the stated range.
    Same could be done in any workplace. If the requirements stated that everybody must be 2m apart, no sharing of equipment, hand washing facilities are available, masks must be worn etc.. then any assessor can observe and do a risk assessment.
     
    Stiltskin likes this.
  14. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    yes, exactly.

    if a school is unable to full fill all requirements of the fire safety regulations, it closes immediately. That same minute.

    If it unable to full fill the requirements of a qualified epidemiologist, then the response should be the same
     
  15. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    and this is exactly my point. Your suggestion would increase transmission, not decrease it, which is why we cannot be taking suggestions from unqualified people
     
  16. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    but your suggestions would increase the danger, which is exactly my point
     
  17. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Thank you for clarifying that for me. So the Risk Assessment could be done by any member of staff, as long as they are qualified to do so. On the face of it, that seems straightforward enough, as long as they have a comprehensive set of guidelines to work through.
     
  18. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Hospitals have extensive measures in place to address infection control, drawn up by highly qualified professionals. They have dedicated budgets, and manpower in place, to ensure they are rigorously implemented. Yet in spite of this, infection still occurs.

    If our hospitals cannot manage to control infection, with the resources they have at their disposal, then it's possible that many schools will not be able to ensure the learning environment is risk free. On that basis, it seems some schools must remain closed indefinitely.
     
  19. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    I thought the HSE specify a competent person rather than someone with a particular qualification. At least I hope so as I carry out quite a few risk assessments but don't hold any RA qualifications..
     
  20. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Do unplugged activities. You could probably do a network packet activity using white boards for example. They could pass the message to the nearest person who can copy and show the message to the next person.. .
     

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