Weird and wonderful homework excuses by tech-savvy students unearthed by online backup service, Mozy

LONDON – September 8, 2010 – Tech-savvy schoolchildren are coming up with more extravagant excuses for failing to submit homework on time, it emerged today. New research by online backup service, Mozy (www.mozy.co.uk) found that the average British teacher hears at least 20 different homework excuses a week.

As the nation’s children head back to school this week, three quarters of teachers said they are now hearing more obscure and tech-laden excuses, even though the same technology can now protect all of a kid’s work. Eight in ten teachers believe kids regularly attempt to pull the wool over their eyes by blaming modern gadgets that the pupils believe older staff members will have failed to master.

The Mozy research discovered that while 78 per cent of pupils are now submitting school work typed on computers, eight in ten teachers said this has made it easier for kids to blame technological faults.

Whilst six out of ten children have uttered the legendary, ‘my dog ate it’, the most common excuses for late homework include ‘I finished my homework but deleted it by accident’, ‘the internet was down’ and ‘my computer crashed and I lost it’.

The more bizarre fibs included one from a boy who tried to explain to his teacher that a lion had taken his homework.

Claire Galbois-Alcaix of online backup company Mozy, which carried out the study of 500 teachers and 1,000 pupils, said: “Technology and computing has changed the way we conduct every aspect of our lives, and our research has discovered that many UK schoolchildren are using technological errors, such as computer crashes or accidently deleting work, as the perfect modern-day excuse to get out of homework. Unfortunately for these switched-on kids, our online backup service, MozyHome, now means that there’s no excuse for losing work on a computer, as parents can ensure their children’s school work is completely protected.”

The study found the average teacher hears four homework excuses every day, and 74 per cent of teachers have noticed an upsurge in the number of pupils blaming technology for not doing homework.

It’s not just the computers at fault, students also accuse teachers for their homework woes with a massive eight in ten teachers hearing the modern-day chestnut: ‘I got a bounce-back email when I tried sending it to you’. Interestingly, students believe that P.E., English and art teachers are the most lenient when it comes to dishing out discipline to schoolchildren.

On the whole though, teachers are still seeing through many excuses. Of the 1,000 children aged six to 15 surveyed, a quarter have been found out after making up reasons for failing to hand in their work.

However, half of kids said a technical error has genuinely prevented them from handing in completed work.

Galbois-Alcaix continues: “It’s not always a fabrication either, as I’m sure all of us have at some time actually experienced the panic of losing documents as a result of a computer virus, accidental deletion or even spilling a drink onto a computer and causing a catastrophic crash. Now, with automatic online backup, all the content that is kept on a computer can be copied and stored securely in our data centres, protecting pupils from back-to-school homework disasters.”

According to the study, some of the more extravagant reasons for late homework included ‘the letters on my keyboard were stuck and it kept writing ‘eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’, ‘my goldfish ate it’ and ‘someone mugged me for it’.

TOP 20 MOST COMMON EXCUSES

  1. I emailed it to you, but I got a bounce-back email
  2. I finished my homework but then I deleted it by accident
  3. The dog ate it
  4. My computer crashed and I lost it
  5. My printer broke
  6. I finished my homework but was unable to save it
  7. My printer ran out of ink
  8. My internet was down so I could not do any research/email homework/access assignment
  9. I spilt my drink on the computer and it broke
  10. My house was burgled and my computer was nicked
  11. I couldn't connect my laptop to a printer
  12. My computer was hacked and a virus destroyed my hard-drive
  13. Windows Vista crashed my laptop and deleted the programme
  14. Spilt my dinner over it
  15. I lost my laptop
  16. Accidently stuck it in the washing machine
  17. It fell out of my bag as I walked to school
  18. The letters on my keyboard have worn out so couldn't type
  19. Blew out of my hand
  20. I put it on top of the TV and the TV blew up

MOST BIZARRE EXCUSES

  • My goldfish ate it
  • My pet horse ate it
  • My keyboard got snapped in half
  • A lion took it
  • I left it in the sun too long and the ink faded
  • The dog spilt cake on it
  • It accidently got put on the bonfire
  • I put it in the fridge so that I would remember it when I got the milk out for my cereal but I had toast that morning
  • I was in a car crash
  • I was walking through the park and a bee stung me so I ran to save myself and dropped my homework
  • The police took it
  • I dropped it in the river and it got caught by the current

Mozy is the world’s most trusted provider of online backup services, offering a simple and easy-to-use method of protect computer content. With the same military-grade encryption used by online banks during data transfer, MozyHome offers a secure service to store valuable data ranging from Word and Excel documents, to photos, videos, music and more so, should a computer crash, become infected with a virus or get stolen, personal files can be retrieved. The days of worrying about data loss can now be a thing of the past as MozyHome automatically backs up computer data, for only £4.99 per month, or try MozyHome with 2GB for free. Mozy is backed by EMC Corporation.

About Mozy

Mozy is the world's most trusted provider of data access and backup for consumers and businesses, with more than six million customers, including 100,000 business users and more than 90 petabytes of information stored at its multiple data centers around the globe. Mozy was acquired by EMC Corporation in 2007 and operates as part of Mozy International Limited, an EMC company. More information can be found at mozy.co.uk.