When Computers Turn Against the Teachers

A tiny life blocked by a giant one. (I took this one!)
A tiny leaf blocked by a giant one.
(I took this one!)

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I actually quite like computers. I’m the kind of girl who gets excited by Adele Raemer’s latest post Actively Teaching Passive” – using Google docs and QR codes to have students work independently is just the kind of issue I want to spend time on.

But at the moment computers are making my life miserable at school. And work overtime at home. To be more precise, it’s the computerized Moodle grading system.

First of all, there is its basic “meaness”. Going into the “add grades”  section isn’t enough for it. When you’ve finished doing all that is required in THAT section you have to go to another section and CRUSH (actually the literal translation would be “run over”, as in car accidents) the grades so that they will appear on everyone else’s sites. What’s wrong with the simple word “REPLACE”?!!

This tree seems to drop purple leaves.  (I took this one too!)
This tree seems to drop purple leaves.
(I took this one too!)

Then there is it’s computer trait of not dealing well with exceptions to the rule. To be fair, the support system did find a solution to how a weird teacher like me who teaches multi aged mixed classrooms can record attendance but the school administration can’t see it during pedagogical meetings. In addition, I needed the central support service to discover the awkward way I can check exactly how many lessons a certain student missed (not the normal way). The answer I had gotten before from inside the school was:

“What? You don’t record the absences by hand in your diary and then type them in?” 

But today was the LAST straw.

O.K. It can’t be “the last straw” because I’m stuck with the system.

I know how to type in the final grades and CRUSH them for processing before our national finals on May 15.

Honestly, I do.

The lovely computer lady at our school says that they weren’t there. They all vanished! I have to sit with her and read her the grades tomorrow.

Did it eat my grades? (Yup, took this one too).
Did it eat my grades?
(Yup, took this one too).

I contacted the central support (they do have a really friendly person there, I am so grateful for that). He said he could see most of them, but not all.


I did the same thing for all 10 groups, what is going on?

I never had these problems when I used to hand in a neatly organized piece of paper to the secretary…



6 thoughts on “When Computers Turn Against the Teachers”

  1. At the teacher training college I worked at we also had the worst time putting in the grades. Half the time it didn’t work at all and it was incredibly stressful . I oftwn wound up begging the secretary for help. Bad enough we havecthexstress of marking papers, correcting exams and figuring out grades, but then we struggle to post them. I sympathise totally and hope you can get it straightened out.

    1. Thank you Marjorie!
      It seems that things did work out after wasting hours on it though I still have one final stage that can only be done when the prinicipal authorizes the grades. The I can say emphatically (at least for grades 11 and 12) DONE!

  2. You have my empathy and sympathy. Believe me, I, too, have had times when I wanted to chuck the whole darn thing out the window. And yes – I ALWAYS write my grades in a few places: by hand in my gradebook, and Mashov (where I write only the final grade) and a Googlespreadsheet – (where I split it up into the different sections and share with my coordinator). I have learned the hard way that the extra 10 minutes or so that it will take me to do this multiple recording, is worth my while if ever what you describes here, happens to me. Of course, thanks to Murphy, it has NOT happened yet, and will ONLY happen when I allow myself that ONE TIME not to multiply record the grades.

    But the truth is, it is not only the fault of computers. It is my general discombobulation that has taught me to write things down in more than one place, because the gradebook can get lost / splattered with food, eaten (or worse: peed on) by the dog, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseum. So my disorganization has taught me to super-duper seriously back up. 🙂

    Happy Independance Day (but don’t REALLY expect the computers to give you the independence…. it’s still up to us)


    1. Adele,
      You are so right. I DO record the grades by hand first in my diary so I have copies of those. However, I stopped bothering with the attendance. I have a computer in the class – why not record attendence online? Now that I know how I can see total number of absences (akward as it is) I don’t think I’ll spend the extra time recording by hand. It does make a difference.

  3. I feel like I’m spending more time doing paperwork than renewing my teaching skills or helping my students. It’s frustrating. This said as I wasted an hour trying to sign in on the expert site.

    1. Tzillah,
      Oh, I haven’t finished signing up to that site, sigh.
      We’re in the same boat, I see. I hope it will get better in the future though I have no evidence to believe it will.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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