I am quite confident that I am able to speak on behalf of the entirety of Generation Z when I say, we are beyond exhausted of being told all about just how “easy” the Internet makes our educational experiences. As adults inhale a great breath, preparing to launch into their customary speech about how “back in my day, we couldn’t just Google everything,” we teenagers can hardly help but to roll our eyes, because most adults do not realize a lot of teenagers in Sanilac County cannot do that either.
Most large-scale Internet providers do not carry network strengths powerful enough to carry signals over the expansive fields covering our county. The small number that do reach, are often unstable, or limited in data usage. This may be perceived as a mere inconvenience, rather than an actual issue. Consider this, however, roughly half of all assignments given to high school students are online.
For example, this past summer, all of Marlette’s Advanced Placement US history class was required to complete a diagnostic assessment and over eighteen hours of instructional videos, all only accessible through the Internet. Many of these students do not have Internet, and were unable to complete their assignment at home.
The obvious solution was to simply travel to our district library, where there is free computer access. Unfortunately, along with the limited number of computers available, each student was forced to race against a timer, rushing through videos and quizzes, attempting to save all of their work before they were automatically logged off. Much to the dismay of these students, they were not able to finish this work over the summer, and had to stay after school for the first week, limiting the time they were able to spend on additional work.
Numerous situations such as this illustrate the headaches the Internet causes students of today. I apologize for the absence of my column, last edition: The computer ate my homework.