We’ve all been there, and it usually happens at the worst possible time. You’re already running late, and the cell connection on your phone isn’t loading the map app. Or, you’ve been waiting for that new episode to come out on your favorite streaming platform, and your local internet provider decides your day off is the day they’re going to spend all day “upgrading” your service. What I’m here to tell you is that all of these events are actually caused by a Disconnected Internet Gremlin (DIGs).
Yes, like Rumplestiltskin and those nasty critters you shouldn’t feed after midnight, the DIG’s goal is maximum mischief and drama, and they are attracted to exactly the kind of situation that online discussions and online quizzes create. After spending 2 hours on that essay question quiz, the laptop loses battery and goes to sleep, along with the connection to Canvas’ servers. Or, a roommate unplugs the router by accident. These are are two events that happened to students, and they can happen to anyone. But, like guessing their name, DIGs have a weakness you can exploit. Offline work!
Next time you see several essay questions on a Canvas quiz, or a text entry box for an assignment submission, or even your SpeedGrader comments if you’re grading student work, boot up that version of Word you have. Or Pages. Or your basic word processor (WordPad or TextEdit). Next time a DIG tries to wreck havoc on your digital life, use this technique to shine allegorical sunlight on them and watch their power melt away. If you’re a student, share this with your friends, and if you’re a faculty member, be sure to share this with your students. As for the Procrastination Gremlin, I’ve got nothing. If you figure something out, please let me know.