From time to time everyone in your class is on a computer at once. Sometimes, to make sure you have enough computers, you have to sign out a rolling cart of laptops or even let a student use yours during class. After all, that school-issued laptop you take home every night is expressly expected to serve students, and you do get some cred for letting kids use your laptop, which is generations ahead of the machines you’ve gathered in your room. Other teachers never let the kids touch their computers.
Today is one of those busy days on the machines. The end of the marking period is in three days. The kids have a big multi-media project due – maybe you should have planned for another day or two of work, but here we are. You’ve been underlining the end of the marking period as a deadline for the project to motivate kids to finish. Also, they’ve been working on the project long enough that you feel you need a grade from it to bolster up your gradebook.
Busy is good. This is one of those days when suddenly you realize there’s nothing for you to do for that minute or two during which every kid is engaged at work. You look around and kind of marvel at these kids. You are proud of them. You are proud of yourself. These projects will be awesome. They will be done on time. You will show a few to your principal on your way out of school on the workday coming up for finishing report cards online.
You lock up your room at the end of the day and walk out of the building feeling great. This is teaching, you remember.
That night you get a DM from a co-worker (one of those colleagues who friends students on social media although you would never cross that line). It’s a screen shot of a Facebook update from one of your students, including a link titled “All of our English tests for the rest of the year.” You open a browser – the one you teach kids to use – and type in the URL from the screenshot. It’s a sprawling cloud doc holding all of the tests from the book unit folders you keep in your class folder on the desktop of your computer.
Several anonymous users are on the doc crowdsourcing the answers.
You remember the kid who used your computer that day – the one who was a part of that symphony of engagement you conducted in class through the work you designed and delivered to your students. You remember that episode of Freaks and Geeks when Daniel steals the algebra test.
What happens next?