The Dog Ate My iPad

A photo of my iPad

A photo of my iPad

I thought I would do a short post today and maybe change the tone a bit from previous posts for variety’s sake. Over the summer, as I prepared for our school’s implementation of a 1-1 iPad program, I devoted a lot of thought to ways that I could use the iPad in my classroom. As I researched what other teachers were doing with iPads and tried out various apps myself, I didn’t quite prepare for eventuality of students who did not have their iPads with them for class.

I suppose I was too worried about how I was going to use this new tool and keep the kids on task with theirs. It never occurred to me that I was going to adapt to the 21st century versions of “The dog ate my homework…” So, here is a list of the excuses I have heard so far this year–along with my thoughts on them.

The Reasons/Excuses I Hear the Most for Students Not Having Their iPad:

  • I left it at home/in the car: I’ll give people 1 time on this–just because I left mine at home one day.
  • Somebody took it out of my locker: I’m not sure what to make of this one; but it never fails that the students has it within the next 2 class periods.
  • Somebody hid it from me: I usually take this to mean that they forgot where they set it down and just don’t want to admit it.
  • I …can’t find it/lost it/forgot where I put it:
  • A teacher (usually described as unreasonable) confiscated it: This means that teacher caught you playing a game, or texting, or Skyping.
  • It is not working: 99.9% of the time this is solved by turning it off and then back on.
  • It won’t email: This usually means they didn’t do the homework, or they forgot to hit send.
  • It is frozen:The turn off/turn on move usually works on this one too.
  • The screen is broken: I usually cringe at this one because I can just imagine what my parents would have said if I broke something like this when I was a student. The best broken-screen story for the year so far is the student who left it on top of the car, drove off, and didn’t realize what they had done until a neighbor called them and told them they found it in the road.
  • The doctor told me not to use it for a while: This one may be a legitimate reason for students who had concussions. I do have an urge to check up on this.
  • It needs to be charged: I take this to mean that they have been playing games every chance they get during the day. This is usually followed up with “I don’t have a charger/can’t find my charger/no one will lend me a charger” excuse. I haven’t kept a count, but this could be the number 1 excuse I hear.

Usually if a student does not have his/her iPad I let them turn the assignment in on paper (which now irritates me because of my attempt to go paperless), or if it is possible I send them to the computer lab. For repeat offenders I knock off points for late work or give them a zero; it just depends on the situation and the assignment.

What excuses do your students use? What is one that really stands out from the crowd?