Technology, for all of its advantages, still can present unique challenges in the workplace. Take teaching for instance. There are already so many things to keep track of for an instructor at a university. There are schedules to plan, lectures to give and tests to grade. And when it comes to texting answers for homework to all of your students, it is difficult to keep track of which files say, have the actual information related to the class, and which files contain naked photos of a recent “sex chat” with your boyfriend. I do wish there was a better way of keeping track of things like that.

So does an unnamed Teaching Assistant at the University of Iowa.

Proving once and for all that math can indeed be fun, the female TA inadvertently texted, to all of her students, explicit photos from a virtual chat session she and her boyfriend had recently engaged in. She had intended to send some answers to a homework assignment from the math classes she (formally) taught.  I hate it when that happens.

So the real question is this: Why didn't instructors send out the answers to homework when I was in college? I would have had a much easier time of it, perhaps shaving that pesky 5th year off my transcripts. This would be especially so if they also sent out the answers to the tests prior to their being issued; or better yet, printed the answers directly on the test itself. That would eliminate the risk of my memorizing history or some other topic in the wrong order, and inadvertently answering all the questions improperly. I could have just strolled in, signed the test, and gotten on with the truly important things in my life, like lunch. Or beer. Or a beer lunch.

But I digress….

Fortunately, her students were very respectful of the error and did not forward or tweet a single image from the errant text. Not. In reality the images immediately went viral, being emailed, texted and tweeted from the highest mountaintops (or highest grain silos) that Iowa has to offer. She became an instant celebrity at the University of Iowa. Frankly Iowa hasn't seen this much excitement since Mark Walls invented the internet while at Iowa State. We're just glad he didn't invent texting. That would have been truly ugly.

To her credit, our tech challenged heroine actually showed up for class the following day, an experience her students described as “awkward”.  However, once University officials caught wind of the incident, she was “reassigned” to a non-teaching position. I am assuming, like most universities, that a teaching assistant is likely a grad student working towards a Masters or PhD. If so, she may want to consider changing her area of study to Sociology with an emphasis on the impact of technology and social media on society. After all, she's just had one hell of a lesson on the topic. She'd be off to a good start.

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