Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Monitoring the Students

Sometimes it's fun to be Big Brother.

Reentry. They do most of their work on computers.

Many of them stay on task. A few of them do not. (I can only ask them to get on task so many times. After that I make a note of who is not.) The few try to hide their other activities by having what they're supposed to be working on open with a smaller window with what they're actually doing on top.

I approached two students who would not get on task. Of course, as soon as I got to them, their Internet search (of car parts) had vanished. I commented on the car parts search (nitrous oxide systems). They played dumb.

"You know, I can see what you're working on from the teacher's computer."

They had no idea.

They didn't realize I could read the Twitter feed they accessed. I knew what radio station they played in the background (and I watched as they input a playlist). I saw what fight or basketball game they watched instead of doing their work.

After that, their screens only showed the proper assignment. But I also watch them, and their monitors were doing something strange. They had flipped the screen. That is, the output on their monitors was upside down.

(I've seen this game before. I'm not sure how it's done, but the arrow keys and one of the function buttons used together achieve this result. I think. By the time I get there, the culprit either fixes the screen or is gone and no one knows how to fix the screen.)

Funnily enough, this did not show up on my screen. Just theirs. So, of course they weren't getting any work done, but it kind of looked like they were on task.

Sigh. What they'll do to goof off...


  1. It's in the display properties. Right click to access and rotate screen to turn it upside down.

  2. I remember being able to do that on my monitors. It was fun. I wish I could have been there to see their faces when they found out you could monitor what they were up to. I have to assume that when I was in school, my computer teachers were unable to.


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