Technology has been an incredibly valuable tool in for education. What used to take entire buildings to store can now be kept online. Knowledge can be shared further and faster than we thought possible. With just a few clicks we can tend files and folders with assignments, instructions, videos - you name it!
Of course, new technology means new ways to screw it up and embarrass yourself. Or if you screw it up badly enough embarrass you and everyone around you.
That secondhand embarrassment is the worst.
One reddit user asked:
So listen, here's the deal... before we dive into this we need to make something very clear. There is as much porn in these responses as you think there is. This is not the article for your kids to read as a cautionary tale now that almost everyone is doing online schooling.
This is, however, the article that you as parents might want to read so you can be reminded to be extra careful about what flash drives you let the kids borrow, who you're firing that text to (make sure it's not your kid's teacher unless you really really mean for it to be) and what pictures you're adding to your kid's Powerpoint presentations.
It' a technological jungle out there, fam.
I'm a TA and sometimes accept submissions into my email. Someone emailed me a pdf of their hw, but instead of their hw it was a fanfic about the class professor being a snail.
I memorialized their fanfic by later drawing the professor as a snail and:
putting it on the school reddit
putting it on his door
putting it on my instagram
putting it on the board in our major lounge
I like that student. It was a good fanfic that included a section about him walking on salt.
I have a relatively harmless but funny reverse example. When I was in high school sometimes I would randomly type up my thoughts about various TV shows while I was watching them. I have absolutely no idea why I did that - I would just type up my stream-of-consciousness thoughts in the bottom of some document.
Apparently one time I did this on the bottom of a draft article for my 9th grade journalism elective, which the teacher projected onto the whiteboard and read aloud to the entire class. I have no idea how I accidentally left it at the bottom of the draft, but it was very awkward. I'm pretty sure I'd written comments about an episode of America's Next Top Model in a random paragraph at the end of my draft.
Luckily the submissions themselves were anonymous so no one knew it was mine, but it was awkward. The teacher was like "...hmm, I guess someone's document got mixed up...I don't think that's part of the article...so...comments?" She then left it up for like 10 minutes. I wanted to die.
A Random Flash Drive
I had given students the simple come up with a commercial project. Students had the option of performing in class or recording a short video.
One student brings in a random flash drive with her project. I plug it into my laptop so we can watch as a class and the thing was full of named porn files. She was in 7th grade and it was all uncomfortable. She told me to just click on the folder with her name and we all pretended like we didn't see anything else.
At Least Plagiarize Correctly.
Had a student complain that their assignment wouldn't upload to google classroom. Turned out that he was trying to turn in work that someone else had done and had just shared with him. He couldn't because he didn't "own" the document.
When Bullying Backfires
When I was in high school, I was working with the art teacher to create a book of art and writing by seniors that would get printed and passed out to them at graduation. Usually files would get sent to me, and I would decide if they had enough effort to go into the book, and then I'd email the file to the teacher.
Our emails were just firstnamelastname123@schoolmail, so everyone knew everyone's email. There was an older student that had been bullying me and being absolutely nasty to me, both in person and via email. When he sent his piece, I didn't pay attention and forwarded the entire chain of emails to the art teacher, including the bullying.
He lost his place on the cross country team and instead of a page for him in the art book, there was a page about bullying and how to reach out for help. So. That's what happened when I sent the wrong file.
Elbow Deep In A CowGiphy
A student once sent me a video of themselves artificially inseminating a cow.
It was an 'instructional speech' for a class that was not mine.
Actually I am the student and it happened today. Instead of sending my teacher a screenshot of my quiz results I sent her a screenshot of ... a page on how to take a screenshot.
I was the student and I will be forever traumatized by my mistake.
I write fanfiction for a relatively niche fandom and wrote a novel-length fic for my OTP. Around the end, I had just shared the link to the Google Doc with my beta reader, and thus, the link was copied to my clipboard. While waiting for her to approve the draft, I went to a class's website to submit an online homework assignment.
Our system allows submissions of Google Docs. I went to the homework assignment, a different Google Doc, and "copied the link" to submit to my professor. And actually pasted the one to this massive, in-depth, 200+ page fanfiction, because the automatic link copying didn't work properly.
The professor emailed me informing me of my mistake, and I had a minor panic attack and apologized profusely before sending her the correct link.
She never mentioned it again, but sometimes I still wonder if she read my fic.
Student, not a teacher, but in my year 9 IST class (Information and Software Technology) we were given an assignment to make a short 8-10 minute movie in premiere. I wasn't going to be in class on the due date because of a funeral, so I emailed the file to my teacher. Turns out I sent the teacher the slideshow movie I'd made for my mum's funeral.
A combination of a student and his mom. And they got me twice.
I taught history and one of my sophomore kids was essentially useless.
His mom did everything for him. Including his assignments. I didn't give homework except for papers, and the final project, which was to make a power point about any year of your choosing.
This kid chose the year he was born. Which is literally the one year I tell them not to do because, being the same age, I didn't want to make the class sit through 15 presentations of the same year. It was obvious his mom had done the PowerPoint because he was genuinely surprised when we got to "August" and it was a close up photo of the mom's vagina giving birth to him.
This was partially on me, because the students were supposed to email me a copy of the slide show so I could review it and I didn't.
I emailed the mother about it and my email included my cell phone number. She called me, completely oblivious that showing the literal moment of her son's birth was not appropriate for history class.
Fast forward to a few days later.
I'm sitting at home and I get a text with a picture from her. She's literally this 40-something Mrs. Weasley looking woman, totally naked. The message said "Can't wait to see you Friday".
I deleted it and willed that from my mind.
We were having presentations on Economic models in our class and this guy came up with a USB. He plugged it in and began opening his file. Just as he opened a folder, there were two files. One was "Economics presentation" and the other one was "POM" (principles of management) but before we could take a good look, the projector crashed and the screen went black. Everyone thought they saw "PORN" instead of POM and the guy looked visually embarrassed. The whole class was laughing and the teacher looked pissed. She thought this was some type of prank.
Anyhow, the IT guy was called and when the screen lit, it turned out to be "POM". The guy kept laughing throughout his presentation.
Turns out, our thinking was corrupt.
In elementary school, instead of submitting my marble composition notebook with all my grammar lessons, I accidentally handed in my marble composition notebook with all my DragonBall Z doodles. The teacher had no idea what was going on.
I have so. Many. Dumb. Plagiarism stories. My personal favorite story is when a student submitted an essay from a previous year (through turnitin). When I emailed the student about our zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism and filed a zero in the digital grade book, he immediately emailed me back; "Well, I wrote a new intro so it was only 70% plagiarized. Can't I get a 30%?" Like... our university had a policy you could get a zero for the CLASS for plagiarism and you're asking for a 30% on a paper that really didn't matter? Needless to say, that student DID plagiarize again, and got the department chair involved because I was "Unfairly grading" AND got his MOM involved (the student was a Sophmore so maybe 19?) who told the chair I was "grading based on creativity" and that her son was more "left-brained" and shouldn't be expected to create his own sentences.
Had this kid named Andrew (not real name) and he was a little odd. One day at like 8PM he sends 20 or so dick pics to me. The next day he went on like nothing happened
Be More Careful
I have WhatsApp groups with the senior classes I teach. I have had the accidental nudes and things like that. But they delete almost instantly. I delete it from my side as soon as I see it,then I remind them to be careful when sending files and things like that.
My teacher has been sending me random funny videos via whatsapp for the last few weeks. Think she's got the wrong number....