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Homework late? Blame Russian hackers

Teachers wise up to tech-based yarns

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Teachers are increasingly subjected to tech-based tall tales from students who've failed to get their act together in the homework department, the Telegraph reports.

Long-suffering Brit teachers are now apparently offered 15 different yarns a week, with many kids trying to "pull the wool over teachers' eyes by blaming modern gadgets that older staff members have failed to master", according to a survey by e-tailer Pixmania.

Most are pretty straightforward IT mishaps: "the computer crashed"; "the internet was down"; "the printer didn't work"; and "it was deleted by accident". However, top award for inventiveness went to the student who claimed dad's PC was ransacked by Russian hackers who made off with the homework.

Those of you who can remember when it was all blackboards, chalk and detention round here will be delighted to learn that the traditional miscreant dog still gets a look in, having urinated on one unfortunate's computer, which then exploded.

Around 70 per cent of teachers have noticed "an upsurge in the number of pupils blaming technology for not doing homework". However, the days of feeble "I accidentally tipped a bottle of cider over the computer and it broke" offerings may be numbered.

Sue Cooke, assistant head teacher at Wallington County Grammar School in Surrey, explained: "Initially I think teachers were more likely to believe technology related excuses but we are definitely wising up to their tech trickery. We are having to become more tech-savvy ourselves so that we are able to offer the kids advice to assist those who are genuinely having problems with their computer."

The top five non-extravagant tech-related absent homework excuses were:

  • My computer crashed and I lost it
  • I finished my homework but then I deleted it by accident
  • I could not print it out
  • My internet was down so I could not do any research
  • I lost my laptop

We've already noted the most improbable computer-based awol homework laments, but there are still those who prefer solidly non-tech works of fiction. The top three which popped up in the survey were: My mum put my homework in the washing machine, and then burnt it as she tried to iron it dry; The wind blew my homework into a pond, and then a swan ate it; My brother drove off with my homework in his lorry, and then he lost it in France. ®

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