My rant from a few days ago about losing laptops was triggered by the rash of news reports of public employees who’ve “lost” large blocks of personal data when their computers were stolen.

But in his comments, Doug related the entry to laptops issued to teachers (yes, I would certainly find a gentler term than stupid :-) and it made me think about our experiences in that area.

Three years ago we gave a laptop to just about every elementary teacher in our overly large school district.

Since then we have had very few thefts, far less than the number you might expect. And I think I know why.

Most teachers never took the laptops home.

The vast majority used them only in the classroom, locking them up at night and weekends.

Of course, that’s been changing.

An increasing number of our teachers are getting used to the idea of having a “personal” computer. There’s also a growing expectation that they will actually use them in other places.

However, it’s still going to be a long time before a majority of them will become as attached to portable computing as some of us have become.

For that to happen, the devices will need to get smaller, lighter, and have much longer battery life.

And the geek factor required to use them will need to drop by a factor of ten.

teacher, laptop, theft