Technology is a blessing. Technology is a curse. Teaching classes at a school that has started this semester with a 1:1 initiative is slowly adding to my insanity. The abuse is rampant.
Before I just had to deal with phones. The constant battle of wills between teacher and student. Student- when and where to bring out phone; hiding places, behind or inside purse/backpack, inside hat, over to the side, between the legs, peeking out the hoodie pocket. Teacher- when to take, when to let it slide, when to give the evil eye, roll the eyes, count to ten, breathing exercises, calming mantras.
I’ve heard of paint used in offices of corporations that block signals for the cell phone. There are studies on the amount of time lost and money lost while employees are using cell phones or online for personal use. I want that paint. It doesn’t need to coat the entire school. Just the classrooms. The hallways, office, cafeteria, etc. will all have a signal. But not the classroom. Just last week I had a student ask if he could answer his phone because his father was calling him. In class. During the school day. In my class.
Now I have Chromebooks to manage. Yeah! Videos and games and various other pursuits all not related to school or the content of my class seem to be constant. There is now a new game of the quickest draw. While I walk around the room, monitoring as one does, students get to see how quickly they can close or minimize a window before I see their screens. I want the see through screens of the future where I can easily see at a glance who is doing what and where. I want the technology that costs a fortune where I can monitor each screen easily from my own computer.
A new school club needs to be formed. I shall call it S.T.O.P. It is a support group for those afflicted with Sad Technology Obsession Problem. For those who can’t stop themselves from abusing technology while in a setting where it is known people shouldn’t be using their various electronic devices. School, work, restaurants, church, funerals, driving, etc. We’ll craft it based on Alcoholics Anonymous steps. They seem to be used and modified quite often for any addiction out there these days. But with technology, we need to get them while they are young. It’s harder to train those old dogs. A forced time to be unplugged. It will be a cleansing time for all.