Ah, technology- gotta love it. While the coronavirus crisis has certainly upended our world as we know it, the internet has been a saving grace for us to continue socializing, learning, & shopping.
One of the most frequent ways for people to connect is video conferencing.
Apps like Zoom or Google Meet lets multiple users engage in real-time conversation via camera. And while there are definitely perks to these apps, there are a few risks to using them as well.
First of all, there are the Zoom hackers. Hackers are why we can’t have nice things like video chatting, because hackers seem convinced that despite the gravity of a world pandemic, the average video conferencing Joe needs a surprise deluge of PORN.
But besides the security issues, there’s the reality that what happens on camera stays… on the Internet, for a good long while.
A teacher’s viral short video clip depicts what a Zoom session with very young students is like, and parents everywhere totally appreciate how painfully accurate it is.
Like most teachers recently, Tiffany Van Wieren was required to adapt her lesson plans to suit a remote learning environment. Kudos to all of you teachers out there, because having to revamp your entire semester’s worth of lessons to work with distanced learning is no easy feat!
In addition to online materials, most teachers have also attempted to host Zoom meetings with their students.
For those of you that are not familiar with the process, a teacher arranges a designated day/time, then distributes an invite link to the students. The students click the link and join the meeting, gradually logging in one by one.
For those of you that ARE familiar with teacher’s Zoom class meetings: can we all agree that these saints on earth deserve hazard pay for having to host these chatty debacles??
Tiffany’s video clip begins with her featured in the top-center of the screen. Her “students” appear in numerous boxes below her. She greets her class with a warm smile and:
Hi class! I’m so excited to see you!
(FYI, Tiffany: we parents are equally glad to see YOU. Not only do we dearly miss our kids’ teachers’ love & kindness towards our children, but we can’t wait to get a break by popping them in YOUR hands for a blessed 20 minutes.)
Less than 30 seconds in, the Zoom meeting jumps the tracks and barrels quickly into a trainwreck.
The “young students” are jumping, gleefully shouting, making faces, picking their noses, and doing literally anything & everything EXCEPT listening to their teacher.
Like all video conference hosts, Tiffany attempts to begin the session by making sure everyone is on the same page with their microphones and videos…
…not that she can even be heard by the kids over their raucous volume, anyway.
I was recently part of a Zoom conference with my extended family. There were 13 adults, and it lasted for 17 minutes. I couldn’t tell you what we talked about, because for 16 minutes and 20 seconds, everyone.was.talking. (We’re Italian so it was more like everyone.was.yelling., but still.)
Although I CAN tell you that the refrain repeated throughout the entire conference was something along the lines of: “Is your mic on?” “Can you turn your mic on?” “Down there. No, THERE.” “Can you mute your mic?”
That was an adult-only video conference, so I cannot even fathom the patience required to host one with several young children.
Like all great teachers, Tiffany remains committed to connecting with her young students via video conference despite the obvious obstacles.
Despite the fact that every student in blissfully engaged in doing their own thing, Tiffany patiently tries to help:
Sara. Sara…. SARA…. we can hear you! No, yeah… we can hear everything you’re saying.
And slowly, very slowly, Tiffany’s bright smile is replaced with a look of consternation. (And perhaps disgust, as she instructs one student to stop picking her nose. On camera.)
Tiffany’s video may be brief, but it’s hilariously accurate. The “kids” expend more energy in the video’s 30 seconds than most adults do in an entire day, and you can’t help but laugh at the student circus of shenanigans as it speeds on by.
So while us parents certainly have had an uphill climb in terms of assisting our children with remote learning recently, we can be thankful that we don’t have to manage TEN OR MORE of these rowdy rascals, and on camera to boot!!
When a teacher hosts an online meeting with very young children, it goes a little something like this… #teacherlife #remotelearning #zoom #googlemeethttps://youtu.be/aw2BDb3Cxnk
Posted by Tiffany Van Wieren on Wednesday, April 8, 2020