Microsoft offers online tools for Swine Flu infected kids
Perfect captive (quarantined) audience
Microsoft is leveraging this year's most fashionable pandemic to pitch its online storage and document sharing service for Office.
Swine Flu is a major hit with kids these days, and alas, infected tots must be kept away from the classroom. That's why the software giant today launched the website microsoft.com/education/h1n1 encouraging teachers to use Office Live Workspace to hand out work and assignments to children suffering terribly at home from piggy influenza.
Nothing makes a kid feel better than a PowerPoint presentation
Microsoft's Office Live Workspace is a free web-hosted service (currently in beta) available in many countries that lets users publish and share Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations.
The company said the service will allow educators to easily create an online class workspace, especially amidst a massive outbreak. Office Live Workspace allows viewing of documents and limited editing directly though the browser without the need for desktop Microsoft Office Software. An account comes with 5GB storage — enough for plenty of essays on how the class spent their time in quarantine.
Penmanship still counts, kid.
"The H1N1 pandemic highlights the need for institutions to think more holistically about blended learning environments…that these online and distance learning solutions are valuable not only when you have to respond to classroom outages or school closures, but also creates an opportunity to connect and share information between a student and teacher beyond the classroom all the time," wrote Anthony Salcito, veep of Worldwide Education at Microsoft in a blog post.
Salcito adds that "school leaders can quickly demonstrate their leadership" by using H1N1 to "increasingly drive the transformation of learning in and out of the classroom." He notes that Microsoft also offers plenty more robust distance learning solutions commercially. ®
Where are the flames?
I thought this would be a pretty easy target for the "I hate M$ therefore I am better than you" crowd.
Microsoft + Virus = Troll fodder.
I doubt my three daughters would be thinking about school work if they were struck down with Swine Flu. I think really all they'd want is to be tucked up in bed dosed up on paracetamol with a constant stream of Hannah Montana on the TV. The last thing they'd want to do is any school work (they don't like doing it when they're well, so there's even less chance of them doing anything when ill).
By the way, why haven't we got a swine flu icon yet?
Terminator icon because that's what my best mate looked like when he had Swine Flu last week.
As Fractured mentioned above, lots of places already have VLEs that do this. I do a lot of development for Moodle, which is free, open source, and already does all this. To hell with MS' ad campaign.