*Good* news involving swine flu

There just may be an upside to the swine flu: It may be the cause of more educators becoming comfortable with using interactive technology (aka social media) in the classroom. With the message that its wiki-like online collaboration tool, Office Live Workspace, can help keep classes on track if schools close for flu outbreaks, Microsoft “has launched a how-to Web site that walks teachers through the steps of setting up accounts for their classes on … the free Web service,” the Associated Press reports. Pretty much like Wikispaces.com, Google Sites, and Wetpaint’s Wikis in Education, the service can be used by teachers to post assignments and handouts so that students can work on the assignments individually or collaboratively from home. According to eSchoolNews, Microsoft and other companies, such as Pearson Education, are responding to a call by Education Secretary Arne Duncan “to help keep home-bound students sick with the H1N1 flu virus connected to school.”

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