How To Hack A Generation

, , , , | Learning | June 8, 2017

(It’s my last day of student teaching with a group of amazing sixth graders that I’ve been with all year. They’re playing on their Chromebooks after taking a test, when one of my favorite students comes up to me with his computer.)

Student: “I want to show you something that I’m really proud of but I’m not sure I should.”

Me: “It’s my last day. I won’t get you in trouble.”

(He’s shown me before that he found a way around the school firewalls, and I’ve told him repeatedly that as long as he doesn’t do anything illegal I don’t care.)

Student: “Okay.”

(He sets down his Chromebook and types something in, then shows me the screen, which has a picture of the sixth grade hallway on it. I figure he’s been using his Chromebook as a camera, until the student sitting at one of the lockers moves.)

Me: “Wait, is this the camera feed?”

Student: *very proud of himself* Yep!”

(He shows me several other cameras, then the Google document where he has all the IP addresses for each camera listed, along with a label, and the password and name information for both the school’s camera system AND the intercom system.)

Me: *stunned silence*

Student: “And look, this is the outside camera.”

(He shows me the front door cameras and explains how the grid on the screen reacts to movement and takes pictures of any car that pulls up.)

Me: *sits in stunned silence before cracking up* “Oh, my god, you’re a hacker!”

Student: *still incredibly proud* “Yep!”

Me: “You’re going to be in charge of your senior prank. You realize this, right?”

Student: “I already have some great prank ideas!”

Me: “As long as you don’t do anything illegal, I won’t say anything.”

Student: “I know.”

(He went back to his desk, perfectly happy with his rule-breaking. I don’t think I’ll ever cease being surprised by middle-schoolers!)

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