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Are we being watched? The Chromebook conspiracy

Art by Morgan Eun

Waking up Monday morning, I hit my alarm and rolled out of bed. After stumbling around, I hit my light switch and rolled up the curtains, barely letting light filter into the room. Still disoriented, I unzipped my backpack and pulled out my Chromebook, just to make sure that there weren’t any Schoology assignments due. As I flipped open my computer, a red light blinked steadily next to the camera. “Hmm,” I thought, “I’ve never seen that before.”

Blinking red lights next to cameras, computers that mysteriously start without even being logged in, and mysterious Chromebook extensions that can’t be uninstalled. These things are all examples of how the Chromebooks are watching and proctoring us.

It is my belief that while Chromebooks are used by students to do school work, they serve a different purpose as well. The administrators and teachers of the school have employed the Chromebooks to watch us, the students. If you’ve ever wondered how the classmates who brought their own computers seemingly get away with playing Tetris on their computer, while everyone else is noticed quickly? The answer is simple. They aren’t being watched. With the power of cameras that follow students wherever they go, faculty know almost everything about what students do.

Let’s hear from Jonathan Robert, the leading expert on school conspiracy theories for more:

-Interviewer: “So, what can you tell us about this new conspiracy?”

-JR(Jonathan Robert): “Well, the one thing that we know is that the Chromebooks are the sole reason for any students getting in ANY type of trouble on campus.”

-Interviewer: “And how exactly do you know this?”

-JR: “Well, seeing as the students with personal computers never get caught, it's the only logical possibility.”

-Interviewer: “So, you’re saying that-”

-JR: “Yes, I am saying that anyone, except those with personal computers, get reprimanded for the sole reason that they are being watched!

-Interviewer: “Yes, but-”

-JR: “And this is my completely UNBIASED opinion, and I’m definitely not jealous of the other students for having their own personal laptops.”

-Interviewer: “May I continue?!”

-JR: “Sorry, I got a bit carried away.”

-Interviewer: “So are you saying that students should either get a personal laptop or cover their Chromebook cameras in some way?”

-JR: “Well, students definitely shouldn’t get their own personal computers, but yes, they should cover their cameras.”

-Interviewer: “Do you have any evidence that suggests that your reasoning is correct?”

-JR: “No”

-Interviewer: “Then what has made-”

-JR “Can we just be done? I have to get back to looking for cheap laptops from skeptical sources.”

-Interviewer: “Yes, but could you possibly answer my question?... Oh, he’s gone.”

Credit: Solen Feyissa; Unsplash

Based on the previously shown interview recording, it appears that even the leading and only expert on school conspiracy theories also knows very little about whether or not the administrators and teachers of the school are actually watching us.

We shall now conduct another interview with an anonymous source:

-Interviewer: “I understand that you are a teacher at ERHS, right?”

-AS(Anonymous Source): “Possibly…”

-Interviewer: “In that case, what is your opinion on the idea of teachers, including you, watching students?”

-AS: “This claim is COMPLETELY false, and we teachers definitely don’t have the ability to watch any of the students through their camera or proctor all of the computers in our classes. Additionally, I am POSITIVE that we don’t have any sort of program that sifts through what the students are doing, detecting any skeptical activity.”

-Interviewer: “If that’s the case, then how do you and other teachers always seem to know what students are doing on their Chromebooks?”

-AS: “Well… I can’t disclose that information. It’s classified.”

-Interviewer: “So you CAN see the screens of your students with your own computer!”

-AS: “DEFINITELY NOT! Also, I’ve got to go, one of my students just started watching youtube on their Chromebook.”

-Interviewer: “Both of today's interviews ended with the interviewee hanging up, this is GREAT!”

While the first interview turned out nothing, the second one from the anonymous teacher seemed rather dubious.

Now, neither of the interviews turned up conclusive, both were rather suspicious. Because of this, any students reading this should cover up their computer’s camera just in case. Though, it’s both possible, and likely that the teachers are proctoring us just as they might during an exam.

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