Teachers abuse computer privileges


Julia Schaller

A busy day in the RBHS library. Photo by Carleigh Thrower
A busy day in the RBHS library. Photo by Carleigh Thrower
Intense trains of thought chug from my head to my hands as my fingers click at the keyboard to let those thoughts free. It’s first hour, and while other kids on Alternating Unassigned Time are at home wrapped up in warm, cozy bedsheets, I’m in the media center working to the wire on a paper due second hour. The night before was long and stressful, and this is really my only chance to get this paper done. The students on the computers around me are all in the same sad situation I find myself in.
A teacher marches in to the media center, followed by a class, and that’s when my heart drops. I know what’s coming from experiencing it numerous times before.
Shouting with fake authority the teacher said, “All students off the computers. My class needs them. Again, if you are not in my class, you need to get off the computers now.”
Forced to obey the teacher’s demand, we dutifully log off, unable to finish our projects.
Teachers abuse their influence in the school by believing they have any control over the process in which students ‘dibs’ computers. The students only remained on the computer for a limited amount of time, yet the second a teacher enters and kicks them off, they must leave the vicinity, cursed to turn in late homework or beg a teacher to lend them their classroom computers.
The media center is a public area for students and teachers from anywhere in the building to use the computers as they need. When school work overloads students, and they want to finish something during AUT or need to use the printers in the media center, students should have that access.
For a teacher to claim the grounds of the public media center computers when labs are open and available is unjust. Teachers should not be allowed to reserve computers in the media center. The computers should be on a first come first serve basis. A teacher’s “because I said so” attitude has no place in the public space. They can plan weeks in advance when they will need computer use. Using their lesson plans, they can follow the rules and sign up for the use of one of the many computer labs RBHS offers.
Even when it’s a last minute change, they can check out laptops from the media center and take them to their classroom. The media center now carries the student portal, which allows students to connect to the wireless internet at
school and get work off the server. It enables them to work, just like they were connected on the server. The new portal system was a necessary investment for RBHS. Now students can get any work they’ve saved on the server of a school computer, on a laptop or any other computer. When it comes down to it, no one can stop a teacher and his or her class from using the media center computers if there is absolutely nothing else accessible.
The solution? More technology. Media Specialist Dennis Murphy said the media center has 30 laptops on the laptop cart, and RBHS is getting two more carts. The media center specialists hope for a one to one ratio of students and electronic devices in the next few years. Sadly, the goal probably won’t be achieved this year, leaving us to suffer.
Media center specialists recognize the problem, but unless RBHS gets more computer access in the form of laptops or other kinds of portable devices, the problem will still exist. Until RBHS gets enough new computers, teachers should only be able to kick off students for half the period.
By Julia Schaller
This is labeled as opinion on the desktop version.
Where is your special hide out to use a computer at school? Do you just bring your own? We want to hear how you deal with getting on a computer.