How Chennai’s Tech-Savvy Students Make Online Classes a Nightmare

Ever since schools moved online, teachers say, tech-savvy students are increasingly rigging the education system.

4 min read

These are times when students oust teachers from classrooms. More specifically, in Chennai’s online classrooms, students who have technological upper hand are one-upping their teachers.

Says a Chennai based student on the condition of anonymity,

“We were all attending online class on Skype. All of a sudden, our teacher got angry as we were not responding to her questions. She scolded us for about 20 minutes. Irritated, one of my friends removed the teacher from the call, using the remove feature of Skype.”

Similar to this, instances of students using their technology skills to rig the education system have been increasingly happening, after schools moved their education system online, following the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020.


Sabotaging Question Papers, Online Bullying

Sharing a ‘horrific experience’, that happened during a school level test held a few months ago, a teacher from a Chennai school says that her students have even gone to the extent of changing the questions of an ongoing online test.

“It was the first time that I had prepared a question paper in Google form. On the day of the test, I unknowingly sent the test link without disabling the edit option. Taking advantage of this, some students of my class changed a few questions for which they did not know the answer.”
A teacher of Chennai school

The event, she said created a havoc for close to two hours. And several students were surprised and confused to see the question change, after they had answered them.

“It happened because the students are more tech-aware than us teachers,” admits the teacher, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

She adds that following the incident, they make sure to send test links only after disabling the edit option.

Besides, as the classes are now being held online, students, she says can choose to join the class and go about doing their personal work. “Many a time, despite our multiple requests, they mute both audio and video, and go about doing their own business."

A student from a Chennai school said that most of his classmates are also making best use of the online classes, to annoy a teacher whom they don’t like. He says that almost every day, ‘notorious kids’ of his school use a topper’s email id to enter the Google Classroom and create “ruckus” in class.

“In our class, one of my classmates, once used my email id and roll number to enter the class. He soon began shouting vulgar words, and played loud movie songs, disturbing the whole class. The poor teacher was struggling to remove him, as he was new to the online mode of teaching.”
A Chennai school student 

Disturbing Class

That’s not all. Students have also got other ways to disturb or waste class-hours, online.

A student of another Chennai school, on the condition of anonymity, said that his friends make sure to waste at least 15 minutes of every class by disabling the screen share option in Google Meet.

“Usually, the link of the next day’s class, is shared with the class the previous day over WhatsApp.”

Using that, one of the students, he says enters the Meet five minutes before the scheduled time and becomes the host. He soon disables the screen share option. As a result, the teacher will not be able to share his or her screen and start the lesson, on time, he says.

He adds that when the class gets extremely boring, they even end the Meet for the entire class.

“So, we wait for a time, when the teacher is deeply involved in explaining a concept. And when the class is at its peak, we end the Meet for all. The class abruptly stops for everyone. And no one would be able to enter the same link again for the next 24 hours.”

The teacher, now will be left with the option of creating a new link for the class. And by the time, he creates a new link and the entire strength of 60 students join it, another 15 minutes would have gone waste, the student says.


Posing as Priyanka Gandhi

“Once Priyanka Gandhi visited my online class,” said a teacher of another Chennai school and laughed, recalling an ‘unforgettable’ incident, that happened a few weeks ago. The teacher said that in the middle of her ongoing class, a student entered the class posing as the Congress leader.

“Some 20 minutes after my class began, a user, with the name and photo of the Congress’ Priyanka Gandhi requested to enter the online class. I for once thought it was the leader herself and allowed the user to enter.”

After entering, she said, the user was silent for a while. And that made even the students think it was indeed the leader. Soon there was a lot of commotion. The class got disturbed, obviously. “But when the user began bluffing some rubbish in the name of women empowerment, I sensed it was one of my naughtiest students after all.”


Rampant Copying

The teacher adds that rampant copying also goes on when tests take place over Google Meets or Google Classrooms.

Almost all students, who have access to multiple mobile phones or computers at home have the option of copying answers from online websites, she says and adds, “But mostly, we do get to know they have copied, when we see complicated sentence structures or words in their answer scripts. However, beyond a point, we too are helpless.”

Explaining the kind of copying that takes place at his school, a student says, “Even as a test goes on in the school’s Google Classroom, the toppers in my class create a separate Google Classroom, where they are the hosts. They share the entire answer paper using the screen share option. And all the students copy it, quickly.”

But the teachers too are catching up.

Over time, though we find these tricks of students and become more alert, they tend to come up with new ways of disturbing us. And I personally take it lightly as long as the trick does not make any adverse harm to anyone.
A teacher of a Chennai school

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