Today we had a chance to find out the extent of the damage the students have caused.
In one classroom, we have so far found two defunct DVD drives. The mechanisms were completely trashed, most likely by ejecting the drive, then grabbing hold of the tray and forcing it in and out at great speed, far greater than the motor and gears will allow, causing all sorts of horrible things to happen.
Also a common occurance is the ‘moneybox’ effect. Student places money on the CD tray, which goes into the drive, and doesn’t come out again.
We have a portably trolley of laptops, which we take to classrooms to allow students to work. Today, we took them all out of the trolley, set them all up in a room and examined them. We had several wireless PC CARD (or PCMCIA, why did they have to change the name?) missing, and we were dismayed to find 4 or 5 laptops with keyboard keys missing.
It makes me so angry. We passed the info on to the higherups, which prompted the following email to be sent to all staff:
ATTENTION ALL STAFF WHO USE COMPUTERS (COMPUTERS IN COMPUTER
ROOMS OR LAPTOPS) WITH THEIR STUDENTS
Incidents of petty, and not so petty, vandalism concerning IT
equipment are becoming almost routine and we must act to stamp
them out. In the latest incidents, several laptop keyboards in
the same set were seriously damaged and two CD units were made
inoperable. In both cases, the damage can only have been done
while the equipment was actually being used by a class with a
teacher present. A monitor has also been ripped from the wall
in [a classroom].
The cost to us all, in terms of physical and financial resources,
the additional work all of this creates for the IT Support Team
and the likely disruption to our own teaching because of
equipment-damage are unacceptable.
We must all review our working practices with our computers/
classes, be mindful of what our students are doing at all times,
tighten up classroom access and security procedures (including
shutting down at the end of lessons), remind students of the
disciplinary consequences of vandalism and generally be ultra-
I would urge course teams to discuss these matters at their next
meetings. It is an urgent issue for all of us.
Thanks for your help and cooperation.
Let’s see if it has any effect.