No longer do students need to scribble out a note and pass it from student-to-student to get the note to the desired person. Instead they use their laptops. They very ones the school has given them to use. On those laptops the teachers are using Google Docs to do collaborative exercises and help students follow along with the lesson plan. The students, however, are using it to organize running conversations behind teachers’ backs. Aka their version of passing notes.
Their phones may be put away, per the teacher’s request, so instead they’ll use the service’s live-chat function, which doesn’t open by default, and which many teachers don’t even know exists. (Did you?). Or they’ll take advantage of the fact that Google allows users to highlight certain phrases or words, then comment on them via a pop-up box on the right side: They’ll clone a teacher’s shared Google document, then chat in the comments, so it appears to the casual viewer that they’re just making notes on the lesson plan. If a teacher approaches to take a closer look, they can click the Resolve button, and the entire thread will disappear. Or if the project isn’t a collaborative one, students will create a shared document where they’ll chat line by line in what looks like a paragraph of text. One student shared how she simply emailed a doc to her friend in a different classroom and had an ongoing conversation. At the end of class, they would just delete a doc or resolve all the comments.
Imagine the full conversations that can be had?!
Imagine the flirting?!
One negative. No one will have a box of stored notes for them to keep for nostalgia.
Another negative is that parents are fooled too. If a child is on a social media ban, conversations can still continue via Google Docs. After all, they have to get their homework done. Too many parents don’t realize this option also.
The sneakiness of teens! But you were also. Right?
(photo credit: Pixabay.com)