21st century excuses

Homework’s not done? British students blame their computers, a survey finds.

Of the top-five tech homework excuses, computer crashes resulting in lost essays came out on top.

Others were accidental deletion after completing the homework and a failed internet connection preventing the carrying out of research.

Some complain of unresponsive printers. The creative blame  Russian hackers. And then there’s the classic:  The dog peed on my computer.

About Joanne


  1. Hey, don’t the schools want to teach students “21st century skills”? Embrace the learner-centered initiatives!

  2. Lightly Seasoned says:

    Ha. I have the amazing power to break computers and printers all over town simply by assigning an essay. Should I ask for a cut from the computer repair dudes?

  3. I rarely assign something for which a computer/printer is absolutely necessary. But when that time comes, the number of printer and computer problems grow exponentially. It’s laughable.

    I haven’t had a problem with either in over two years.

  4. Miller T. Smith says:

    The common excuse I get is, “My computer wouldn’t open my email at home.” To which I say, “The www means World Wide Web. You can access your email from anywhere, not just your home computer.”

    I use a class web site to duplicate what is posted old style in the classroom. The emails and website are an additional way of getting what is available in the classroom. But dig this. Students will say they couldn’t access the web site to get the homework so it ws my fault they don’t have their homework. I laugh.

    “Do you see the in class posting there child?”, I say, pointing to the big chalkboard on the side wall. “Nooo!” whines the child, “I didn’t see that.” I then say, “You didn’t see it on the web and in the classroom, so now I have two good reason for giving you this zero.”

    We have computer access at school, the public library next door, and any computer they wish to use in the world all in addition to everything being posted in class. They’re kids. Zeros will teach them very fast to see.

  5. Students should be required to do all assignments by hand, including essays, until about the 9th or 10th Grade, in my opinion. When you let a computer do all the work for you, you never learn how to organize your thoughts or improve your penmanship.

    Now, once you’ve effectively learned those skills, sure, have fun with MS Word! But until then, MS Word does for writing skills what a calculator does for Math skills if the student’s skills are not yet developed…

  6. Lightly Seasoned says:

    How does Word organize your thoughts? I might need to find that feature…

  7. Robert Wright says:

    Nine times out of ten it’s, “My printer’s out of ink.”

  8. I’m sure it’ll be included in MS Office for Windows 7. 😛

    I suppose you could use MS Visio to help you make outlines and flow charts, etc. when organizing your thoughts.

    But what happens if the PC dies, or there are no PCs around, and you need to get the work done?

  9. I haven’t had a problem with either in over two years.

    Oops, when I wrote that I forgot to specify that that is ME personally — me and my own computer. 🙂

  10. Nothing a cheap flash drive can’t solve.

    Our printer did go out when a big essay was due. My son just put it on the drive and printed it out at school. He’s had to do that a few times. He keeps it on a key chain.

    No excuses anymore.

  11. I retired four years ago, and students were using their computers and printers as excuses back then. I told them that they had to have a back up plan as I would not accept that excuse. Of course, they still used it.

  12. “Mr. S, my printer ran out of ink.”
    “Sorry to hear that. Turn it in tomorrow… but you’ll still have the 20 point reduction.”

    “Mr. S, my computer got infected by a virus.”
    “Sorry to hear that. Turn it in tomorrow… but you’ll still have the 20 point reduction.”

    “Mr. S, my computer crashed.”
    “Sorry to hear that. Turn it in tomorrow… but you’ll still have the 20 point reduction.”

    I feel comfortable doing this since I give plenty of heads up on assignments and also allow for non-computer methods of turning in the work.