Life is not a computer game

Sometimes my mother's heart cannot bear the pain I hear and today is no exception. During the debates that have ensued after the posting of my eleven ways to monitor your child online, I have read the words of a mother (and educator) whose child has been a mourner at Dawson College.

She said this banner was hung at the college:

Life is not a computer game;
there is no 2nd level,
there are no extra lives
You’ve lost your reality.

It so moved me, that I have posted a question of the week entitled Life is Not a Computer Game for my students as follows:

This week the Dawson College killings are in the news. I have recently been blogging about it.

Kimveer Gill, the killer spent time on a website posting hate filled words and terror that foreshadowed what he would be doing. An eighteen year old girl is dead.

In response, a mother in Montreal posted her thoughts including the banner that was at the college (her daughter goes there) that said:

“Life is not a computer game;
there is no 2nd level,
there are no extra lives
You've lost your reality.”

Here is your question:

What are the dangers of becoming immersed in a virtual, online world? Do you think that online and offline worlds are easily separated in your mind or are they merged together and why.

Lives are not completed wasted if we can learn something. Let the lost life mean something. This is a topic worth discussing in your older level classes. It is also important to share information with the parents at your school. If you have differing opinions, then let us have dialog and start discussing these things.

The movement online of parental and school supervision is perhaps one of the single greatest challenges that we face over the next few years. We are in denial if we think we can keep the off the Internet and block everything!

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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1 comment

Karyn Romeis September 19, 2006 - 10:32 am

Well done you for taking the bull by the horns and taking the game to the kids (although let’s face it – this is anything but a game!). You might want to post a link to this story in Time:,8599,1533508,00.html

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Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere