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    Category: Technology

    Adorably Radioactive

    | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Extra Stupid, Pets & Animals, Students, Technology

    (I am in an honors chemistry class and the teacher is assigning projects about the uses of radioactivity in science.)

    Teacher: [Student #1] and [Student #2] will be studying PET scans.”

    Student #3: “Awwww… that’s so cute!”

    Disconnected From Reality

    | UT, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Extra Stupid, Students, Technology

    (Our college has several servers, one which is dedicated to course support for faculty and students. Students will sometimes call if they are having difficulty connecting to the server. Since we do not maintain the student computers, we usually have to ask them several questions about their computing environment in order to help them. Typically, this is not an issue.)

    Me: “[College Help Desk]. This is [My Name].”

    Student: “Who is this?”

    Me: “This is [My Name].”

    Student: “I can’t get to my folder. I’m in [Course].”

    Me: “So, are you not seeing the course folder, or—”

    Student: “I can’t login. You need to help me.”

    Me: “Okay, are you trying to connect from on-campus or off-campus?”

    Student: “I’m at home”

    Me: “Are you on a Mac or—”

    Student: “No! I have a PC.”

    (For security reasons our University requires that Windows users either be on-campus or connected to the Campus VPN to access servers.)

    Me: “Okay, have you connected to the campus VPN?”

    Student: “Just help me connect. You need to stop asking questions. I am telling you everything you need to know. Just help me!”

    Me: “I am trying, but I do need to ask you some—”


    Me: “Did you get an error message when you tried—”


    Me: “…”

    Making A Bad Compression Impression

    | Omaha, NE, USA | Staff, Teachers, Technology

    (I work for the help desk at a college of education. One part of student teaching has students taping themselves teaching. Our office checks out iPad Minis for students. We require an instructor to sign off for them just so we have someone connected to the university to call if someone doesn’t return a checked out item. Most practicum professors understand that students can only reasonably hand in 8-10 minutes of video to make it fit on the online portfolio and have decent quality. The ones that don’t are sadly in charge of student teachers.)

    Boss #1: “Hey, [My Name], I have a student out here that says someone came up here and told us that they didn’t need an instructor sign off to student teachers.”

    Me: “I haven’t heard anything.”

    (I go over to check on what’s happening.)

    Student: “They told us at orientation that everyone in this office had been told that student teachers would be coming and we didn’t need our supervisors to sign for us.”

    Boss #1: “I don’t ever remember agreeing to this.”

    (He checks with the other two bosses and neither of them remember being notified either.)

    Boss #2: “We can sign off for you, I suppose. Just write down who your supervisor is, too.”

    (She takes the iPad and we don’t hear much more about it until the day she’s scheduled to bring it back. She’s nearly in tears.)

    Student: “I can’t get my video to upload.”

    Me: “All right. Let’s take a look.”

    (I realize she’s trying to upload a twenty-five minute video. It’s no surprise that loads halfway and then crashes because the file is far too big.)

    Me: “I’ll try compressing it. It’s going to be very poor quality though.”

    Student: “I was told we weren’t supposed to compress it.”

    Me: “There’s no way they can view this unless it’s under 50 MB.”

    Student: “Just do it. I don’t even care anymore.”

    (She proceeds to call her supervisor and puts her on speaker so I and my three bosses can hear.)

    Student: “Dr. [Supervisor], this is [Student]. I was trying to upload my teaching video to the site but it kept crashing. I went to the tech office and they said that I have to compress the video.”

    Supervisor: “No, no, no. You’re supposed to leave it as is. We gave you directions.”

    Student: “And I’m telling you that didn’t work. I’ve been trying to upload it for hours and it just crashes.”

    Supervisor: “You’re uploading it now? How are you going to get your reflection paper on there? You’re only allowed to upload once.”

    Student: “You’ll have to open it up, because I am not doing this again.”

    Supervisor: “You’ll have to call [Professor]; she knows this better than I do.”

    (The student does so and re-explains the situation.)

    Professor: “Go to the tech office. They can help you.”

    Student: “I told you, I’m calling from the tech office.”

    (At this point, Boss #3, who is new and a bit of a pushover, asks for the phone.)

    Boss #3: “[Professor], this is [Boss #3], just downstairs. I would like you to walk down one flight of stairs and down to this office and explain how you conveniently forgot to notify us how fifty plus student would be needing iPads and how you gave every one of them faulty directions.”

    Professor: “I gave them the right directions.”

    Boss #3: “No, you told them to tape entire lessons and load them up without trying to lower the file size. We’re going to have panicking students in this office because you couldn’t take the five minutes to check with us on the proper procedure. I also understand that they can only submit items in once.”

    Professor: “Yes, to keep them from changing things.”

    Boss #3: “I see. So they have to submit a video on an iPad and a paper on a computer magically at the same time.”

    Professor: *silence*

    (In the end, the student managed to get her video up and they changed the amount of submissions each student could put up. All of us agreed not to check out iPads next semester until every professor and supervisor made a video and uploaded it themselves to see what they made their students go through.)

    Email Fail

    | MD, USA | Language & Words, Students, Technology

    (I am a tutor for a sophomore class and help them prepare for college. I show them a website where they can organize their grades and things for college representatives.)

    Me: “Now, notice how my email for colleges to contact me is just my full name and a random number. This doesn’t seem important but it is. How many of you have an email address?”

    (All of the students, about 20, raise their hands.)

    Me: “Okay. How many of you have an email address you would actually say in public?”

    (Only five have their hands raised.)

    Me: “How many of you would say your email address is professional?”

    (One hand is left. I call on him.)

    Me: “Tell me your email address.”

    Student: *hesitates and then hangs his head* “str8gangsta420.”

    (Needless to say, I told him to change it.)

    The Level Of Professionalism Is Bottomless

    | Amherst, MA, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Rude & Risque, Teachers, Technology

    (The professor in this graduate-level course has just incorrectly written the general form of a 2×2 matrix inverse on the board.)

    Student: “The inverse is wrong.”

    (The professor tries to explain why he used the matrix inverse here.)

    Student: “No, the matrix. It has the wrong entries.”

    Professor: “Oh, that is embarrassing. Maybe I’ll just remove my pants to distract you.”

    (He did not, thankfully.)

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