Laptops

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pencil Monkey, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Sep 25, 2018

    I am in a 1 to 1 district. When I found out that we were going this route I was excited for all the possible engaging lessons I could do with my students. However, now that we have been 1:1 since last year I have found many pitfalls. So many that I don't want the laptops in my classroom any more. I view them as more of a liability. My students have figured out how to get around the filters/nannyware and obsessively play games.

    I can not stop them. It is impossible.

    If I am constantly walking the room so that I can see their screens at all times there is no way I can see ALL screens ALL the time. We don't have a management software in place and the filters don't work. I have caught kids in all kinds of places on the internet that they should not be and issued consequences until I am blue in the face. I'm very tech savvy. So I know all the ways they try to hide that stuff. Then it just becomes a cat and mouse game.

    So I have given up on the laptops. The problem: I still want to use the laptops for lessons. But I don't know how to keep the kids from going into all the things that they should not be on when they are supposed to be working on a lesson. Should I just give up completely? Any strategies for this?
     
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  3. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Groupie

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    Sep 25, 2018

    That is frustrating that you do not have software that lets you see all of the kids' screens. I wonder if sharing laptops would help prevent this problem. It seems like kids would be less likely to play games, etc. if they are working on something with a partner and if you strategically assign partners.

    Personally, I would also give up on the laptops and maybe give the kids another chance in two weeks.
     
  4. mrsf70

    mrsf70 Companion

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    Sep 26, 2018

    Assignments through Class Kick and Pear Deck can be seen from your screen. You can also interact from your computer with students as they are working. These might be an option for you.
     
  5. Kelster95

    Kelster95 Companion

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    Sep 26, 2018

    My district has management software and kids still get around it and can hide things so it doesn’t solve the problem completely. I make most assignments paper pencil and set firm time limits for computer based assignments that are always for a grade, knowing there is a time limit and a resulting grade takes care of most of the playing around until the work is done.
     
  6. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 26, 2018

    I've had some issues with tech this past week. Starting today, when the kids are on computers, they will have to sit with their backs to me so that I can see their screens at all times. The reorganization of the furniture is going to be inconvenient for them, but that's what needs to happen right now.

    Edited to fix all of my typos!
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Sep 26, 2018

    This was my thought. Is this a possibility, OP?
     
  8. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Sep 26, 2018

    Your school does not have proper management software in place?! My school not only has that so that teachers can monitor on their screen what students are seeing on theirs, but it has multiple layers of filters and firewalls which prevent students from accessing innapropriate or unauthorized websites. The filters cannot be adjusted by students and the IT department can only make changes to them. Plus, many websites are blacklisted so students cannot even access them (e.g. YouTube, popular gaming websites, slader.com, adult websites, etc.).

    I’m very surprised that your school doesn’t have safeguards in place which can solve this problem. And cellphone use is strictly prohibited at my school, so students can’t use a VPN to circumnavigate the filters.

    I really wish your school better equipped you to deal with these problems... It’s not fair to you as a teacher if they expect you to use the computers and to actively monitor everyone without the necessary supports.
     
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 26, 2018

    We have all of that; it does stop most of the kids, but some will still find a work-around. There are many ways for students to use technology inappropriately that don't involve them accessing blocked sites.
     
  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Fanatic

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    Sep 27, 2018

    My school invested in advanced security measures. My colleagues and I joke that our internet is like the North Korean and Chinese versions because it is so restricted. Many students have attempted to try and get around them and none have succeeded thus far, or at least as far as I know. Only sites that are whitelisted are accessible by students. We even have staff who actively monitor the sites students visit as there are logs created in real time where each student goes to online. If a student tries to enter a search string that contains illicit or unauthorized content, it is immediately flagged and sent to the IT department for review.
     
  11. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Sep 28, 2018

    I was at a workshop recently in which the presenter, a lang arts teacher, said she has had more success when the kids are grouped about 4 or 5 to one lap top. The person whose laptop is used is the "researcher" and everyone else also has their roles. At my school we are able to see who has been where on each lap top, but I haven't done it yet, (research histories of individual lap tops) as I'm not exactly sure how. I am not comfortable with allowing them on the games after their work is completed, even if the level of work is excellent, because I am uncomfortable for my class time being used to reinforce their addictions, but unsure how to stop it without just telling them that if they are done with the work early, they must close the lap top fully and they may quietly read. I'm highschool and they act as if I am torturing them. That's me - professional teen torturer via books. And in class, sorry, no ebooks. maybe when they become teachers...again, I just can't police it otherwise.
     
  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Sep 29, 2018

    That's a bummer. Unfortunately people will always find ways to game the system. But I'll say that it's never ALL students. I guarantee you have at least a handful who are responsible and using the tech. appropriately. Can you narrow the offenders down to a handful and just micromanage their computer usage? To ban them completely isn't really going to solve any problems or teach the students how to use the tech. appropriately. In my district games aren't even the biggest issue... the way that the students mistreat and handle the Chromebooks is seriously ridiculous. We provide tech to "equalize'' education and many just mishandle and completely destroy the tech (removing the keys, pulling the screen out... I see students just throwing them down the hallways...) :mad: But that's another topic.

    I mean all you can do is teach your lessons, teach how to use the tech appropriately and assign the work. If students CHOOSE not to use it appropriately and don't complete their assignments, then they can fail. It's a natural consequence. My question would be: do they do X activities instead of your assignments when they are supposed to be working? Or do they do them afterward? Or do they work a little bit, then switch to the other stuff, and then switch back?
    This is just unfortunately one of the issues that plague teachers in the 21st century. But I suppose it's no different when I was a kid and we had Ask Jeeves. Instead of working we'd be asking random questions. Or spelling "BOOBS" on a calculator when we were supposed to be doing math. Kids pretty much find a way to misuse ANYTHING you give them... math manipulatives included. Do you give up and take them all away? Or do you just accept it as a reality, and continue to teach appropriate use?
    That's the $100,000 question.
    :D
     

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