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Technology Really Is Ruining Our Youth, Apparently

, , , , , , | Learning | September 22, 2022

I’m a high school teacher. Throughout distance learning, one of my students became infamous for “being on mute” when he started talking. It started as simple forgetfulness, but the kid realized he could make a game out of it, so as time went on, it turned into an annoyance as he pressed his luck longer and longer before “realizing” that he was still on mute and “apologizing for his forgetfulness”.

When we finally get back to in-person learning, I spend the first day on a simple discussion on classroom expectations now that we’re all in the same room again. As I go over each expectation, I give the kids a chance to ask questions and discuss why that expectation is in place. Eventually, the “forgetful” student raises his hand for a question.

Me: “Yes, [Student]?”

[Student] moves his lips but doesn’t make a sound.

Me: “[Student]… I’m going to give you one chance to answer. Did you actually lose your voice, or are you just playing games again by pretending you’re on mute?”

[Student] thinks for a few seconds, and then responds in a perfectly clear voice.

Student: “Well… you caught me. I just wanted to see what would happen.”

After allowing the class to giggle for a moment, I got their attention back and told everyone that while it was funny this time, those kinds of antics would not be tolerated in the future.

So far, nobody has tried it again, and with distance learning moving farther and farther into the past, I’m hoping it’ll stay that way.

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