Look around. What do you see in your house? Kids, computers, tablets, tables, pencils, books, headphones. What do you hear? The sound of teaching in the background, kids moaning when the wifi goes wonky, clicking of keys and mice. Does this mean learning is happening in your home? How do you know?
How do I manage? I have 2 kids in secondary (junior and senior high) school, plus I have to work from home. How many devices would you think we would need? How good does our wifi have to be to meet the requirements of the school?
Well, when they are with their dad, I’m usually on two or three devices to support the school I work with. I have one device which stays on go guardian to look at kid computer screens, one device which is logged into google meet so I can be tech support for the school all day long and a third to work with a teacher and their class. This doesn’t include the wifi printers or my phone which is also connected. When my boys come home that number easily doubles if not more, with all the devices they use throughout the day. So far…knock on wood, it works for us.
On the other hand, when I work with Yvonne at her house, I’m using two devices and so is she. We have the printer and our phones on the wifi. There are times every day we need to shut off the excess devices to maintain connectivity, and this is when her son is NOT with us!
How are families handling this? What tech requirements does your school have? Are your devices able to handle everything the teacher throws at them? Do you know if the technology you have meets all the needs of distance learning for your child?
The first weeks of school with google meets and testing were hard for kids. The chromebooks of our school were not built for multitasking productivity. Having ten different windows or tabs open, creates tremendous lag time for students.
If there is not adequate connectivity on either the end of the teacher or student, major disconnects happen. Students can’t hear or understand the speaking of a teacher when it is broken by a bad connection. Students must be prepared to take a stand for their learning and speak up. We teach families how to effectively communicate with the school and teacher to enable the child to advocate for themselves.
Where can a parent turn to get help with using the technology required for learning today? How do we remember all the websites, logins and passwords? What does a family do to set up parameters so everyone can get time with the limited technology available with the spotty wifi service? How can we make sure our kids get time away from the technology and not turn into a zombie?
Some people like to say, well the kids are on the screen all day anyway. I would say that is totally true for my boys; but they are engaged at a totally different level and it’s something they love to do, which is why they choose to do it. Kids today didn’t realize when they were dreaming of a technology based education, this is what they would be receiving; and to be honest neither did we.
How can we help our children remain focused on what they need to learn to be successful in school today and for the future? How can we link what they care about with what is required? What if there was a way and we can teach you? What if you could help your family with how it views education and the role of you as a teacher in your home? What if getting help would cost you less than a dinner out with the family each week, possibly each month?