We found that many were posting personal information onto chat sites, accessing video streaming, and downloading porn onto the computers. We found wallpaper and screensavers with pornographic and drug-related themes, hard drives filled with illegally downloaded music and photos with random subjects non-related to instruction, and Web browsing histories that showed that they were playing games during class time or downloading pirated software. It seemed at times that the only thing keeping them in check at all was teachers looking over their shoulders as they worked in class.
In an attempt to keep the chaos under control even a little, I taught myself to write scripts and batch files that would automate the process of cleaning the computer somewhat when I received it.
It had gotten to the point were I was getting computers brought to my classroom twice a day, interrupting classroom instruction. Other teachers were having similar problems. Consequences for students who misused laptops were few and far between. All we could really do was warn them to stop doing it -- not a very effective method.
The faculty and staff would meet often, trying to figure out how to fix the latest computer problem or how to limit access to inappropriate material.
It was absolute mayhem and, to make it worse, the principal didn't seem to care. All of our fears and recommendations fell on deaf ears. As far as she was concerned, no parents or students had complained and our school looked good because we were giving our students technology opportunities. She still failed to recognize the importance of IT oversight and involvement and never called for assistance because she didn't want to "bother" them.
I ended up leaving the school for a new job, as did others. It's still amazing that no public scandal or other fallout arose.
Sue is still there and, for some reason, still in charge. I've heard rumors that they have new computers now, and the students do not have admin rights. One can only hope the situation got better.
I wonder, how many horror stories like this are out there, and just how pervasive are these kinds of situations?