topic_interest is exactly online kindergaten
2020-08-27Online Learning Zoom Failures One of the problems with online learning on Zoom is that eventually and sometimes often, there are going to be issues and failures. Both my kids recently missed an “assembly” because they their links did not work. They were not the only ones. About one third of the children missed the online assembly. One time many months ago at the beginning of online learning, my daughter’s fourth grade teacher lost access to the Zoom call. She was kicked out of the meeting and one of her student’s was made the host. To make matters worse, my daughter’s teacher had just muted all the kids, so they were unable to hear each other. The teacher called me because she had my cell phone number already. At the beginning of the year, her teacher gave out her personal cell number to the parents in case there were issues with Zoom etc. I had texted her a couple times already because my daughter’s link would not work, or her computer battery died so the teacher and I had already established a text/call connection. So, her teacher calls me and tells me she got kicked out of Zoom because her internet connection went bad. She wanted me to try to get the kids to leave the Zoom call or have the host end the meeting. Meanwhile, the teacher is frantically driving to school to set up a new Zoom meeting from her classroom where she knew she would have a good internet connection. So, I rush over to my daughter’s desk and sure enough there are twenty-five kids silently just sitting there on the screen. You can see they are all excited and laughing. The chat is going crazy with your typical fourth-grade antics. I try to send a message to tell the kids what is going on and to log off the meeting, but no one listens to me, because why would they? I am not their teacher. I keep trying. I am now targeting the kid who was made host to end the meeting and keep explaining what is going on. He is not responding and clearly does not want to get in trouble so keeps the meeting going. By this point I am now writing messages on a dry-erase board to get the kids to end the call. Some have peeled away and left, but still a good chunk of the class is there. I am about to give up when the librarian gets on—she had a link and ends the meeting. My daughter’s teacher was able to get to school and start a new meeting within several minutes and class went on as normal. For me, it was quite the experience. Something to laugh about later. My son’s kindergarten class had a similar situation. His teacher, too, got dropped from the Zoom call, because there was an internet outage at the school. The kindergarteners were by themselves in class and not on mute, so they were just giggling and talking with each other. Some parents, including myself, realized what was going on and some cool parent decided to lead the kids in a song and dance of hokey pokey. After a couple songs, the parents got an email that class was cancelled for the rest of the day. This was fine because there was only about forty-five minutes left in class. In this situation, we made lemonade out of lemons. This happened again more recently, but the teacher was able to get back into the Zoom call. The only problem was that neither the teacher nor the teaching assistant were the hosts so they could not control the meeting. One darling girl was made the host. She did not know what to do. She called her grandma over and the teacher and the teaching assistant desperately tried to explain to the grandma who apparently did not speak English very well and is not very computer literate to do what they wanted her to do. She tried but seemed so confused. Finally, the child logged off which then made my son the host. My son was thrilled to have so much power and wanted to mute and unmute his friends. I took charge immediately, knowing what they needed me to do, so it got settled, but wow was that another comical situation with the class. Something you would never dream of happening before the pandemic.