When the kids in Skyler’s school want to tell a friend something in class, they don’t scrawl a note down on a tiny piece of paper and toss it across the room. They use Google Docs.
“We don’t really pass physical notes anymore,” said Skyler, 15, who, like all the other students in this story, is identified by a pseudonym.
As more and more laptops find their way into middle and high schools, educators are using Google Docs to do collaborative exercises and help students follow along with the lesson plan. The students, however, are using it to organize running conversations behind teachers’ backs.
As computers were first networked, students would figure out how to communicate. I heard the story of students chatting in a shared folder. They didn’t have rights to create a file in the folder, but they could create folders. More importantly, they could rename folders. To chat, they would constantly rename their folder for others. Crude, but effective.