We Need to Toss the Chalk, Kids

Being a Technology Integrationist is a joy.  I truly love the variety of what I get to do each day. In very few jobs do you get to "play" on the newest forms of technology, figure out techno-puzzles, and help out such a wide variety of students and teachers.  I do, however, have a part of my job that is less than stellar, but necessary.  I am a computer ninja.

Part of staying on top of proper use involves monitoring what is going on with student computers.  We use LAN School as a way to monitor student computer screens and content on the computers.  We also use iBoss and Fortigate content filters to help us ward off any threats or access to inappropriate sites. The best laid plans still result in our IT guy and I digitally slicing our way through some computers detecting improper downloads and non-academic use that could be potentially harmful.  I spent over 1/2 day yesterday dealing with this.  I did have a few other things to be doing.  Now my family will feel the brunt, because I'll be doing that work this weekend.  Kids are kids, and I get that, but I'm frustrated.

There is not a 1:1 or tech-infused school that does not deal with this.  Everyone has their own way of dealing with the issues, but I really feel that opening up this conversation would be to the betterment of all involved.  What has me chapped, more than anything, is that kids are playing the victim in all of this. Hence the above-mentioned photo.  What they don't realize is that we aren't out to limit their every move.  We aren't there to make their lives miserable.  We, are, however, allowing them the use of a school (and thus taxpayer) owned machine for their educational benefit.  Period.  Shutting off your wi-fi to avoid detection is a blatant breaking of rules.  Downloading web-based games to your machine, same thing.  So just quit already.  We are here to make sure you learn, not become a better gamer or have better rankings on your Fantasy League.  If you used as much ingenuity on your schoolwork as you do on seeking ways around the system, who knows what you'd accomplish.

It isn't "us" against "you".  Toss the chalk, kids.  It's time.

So, there.  I'm off my soapbox.

I'd love comments about what you and your district are doing to help get this message out to kids.  Do you have things that are working well?  Things that are epically failing and in need of overhaul?  Share! Comment.  We ninjas need to stick together....


  1. I feel your pain. My feeling is that, instead of blocking and limiting, we teach the Spiderman philosophy, "With great power comes great responsibility." When they mess up, they pay the price…and they pay it hard. We implement parental controls and that not only locks down their computer, it makes it very frustrating to do anything. I also think we have a LONG way to go toward digital citizenship and simple time management. I like that we're letting them learn this in a controlled environment so they have some skills before they're let loose in the big, scary internet world without a net (as in… under them… not like a net over their heads from a psycho ward…ha!)


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