Students discover an app smarter than SMART Boards

An+app+for+Android+smartphones+allows+students+to+control+a+SMART+Board+from+their+seats.
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Students discover an app smarter than SMART Boards

An app for Android smartphones allows students to control a SMART Board from their seats.

An app for Android smartphones allows students to control a SMART Board from their seats.

Jill Albertson

An app for Android smartphones allows students to control a SMART Board from their seats.

Jill Albertson

Jill Albertson

An app for Android smartphones allows students to control a SMART Board from their seats.

Jill Albertson, Staff Writer

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Students are gathered in class with pencils out and minds at attention. The teacher is at the front of the room, reviewing last night’s homework. Suddenly, the SMART board is zooming in and out and flickering on and off, all while the teacher is across the room with no control.

Welcome to a new reality of classroom hacking.

Carlmont students have begun to hack into the SMART board system installed in every classroom using an app called “Peel Smart Remote.” This app allows only students with an Android smart phone to control a SMART Board from their seats without the teachers being aware of their actions. Although there are limitations to the amount of control the app gives students, it still has the power to command the attention of a classroom.

Sophomore Isabel Mayoss said,“The board will just freeze randomly, or spaz out during the middle of class and the teacher always thinks it’s broken or malfunctioning. One time someone put on SpongeBob during a lesson, which obviously disrupted the whole class. It can be pretty annoying, but it can also be entertaining in the moment.”

The discovery of this app on Carlmont’s campus has created a strict environment within the classroom for many students. Teachers have begun to implement consequences for messing with the SMART Board during class.

Sophomore Angela Grundig said, “I only heard about this issue when my teacher started off our class by saying that if anybody tried hacking into her SMART Board during class, there would be severe punishments. I didn’t even know what it was at the time, so it really freaked me out.”

For some students, a malfunctioning smart board in the middle of class can act as a tension breaker in perhaps stressful situations.

Senior Brent Jang said, “I find it really funny when the SMART board is going crazy, and it makes for a good laugh for the whole class.”

While students might find the situation humorous, many teachers were not pleased with the capabilities of this new app.

Foreign language teacher Roberta Scott said, “It was last Thursday during third period that my SMART Board started malfunctioning. I was very concerned because I use my SMART board in each of my classes, and it’s crucial to all my lesson plans.  Then a colleague of mine informed me that a student was the one messing with it, and me. I would have never in my wildest dreams imagined that a student was capable of that. It really upset me to hear that because I put a lot of time and work into preparing lessons that will benefit my students’ education. When somebody disrupts that for the whole class, it’s not fair to me or any of the other students.”

As rules and punishments against SMART Board pranks have begun to take place, there has been a steady decline in the amount of hacking on Carlmont’s campus. But the app has left a permanent scar on teachers and administration as they realize the extent to which technology can affect a learning environment.

Scott said, “The culture on our campus needs to change if it has come to students preventing other students from learning. We all do small pranks sometimes; even I did as a teen, but when it’s fooling around with your education and the education of others, it’s not okay.”

 

 

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