From the Anash.org inbox: In response to the op-ed published last week on Anash.org regarding the challenges of using the zoom platform for schooling, one reader suggests some practical suggestions on how to deal with these challenges.
While it’s good that parents are attempting to achieve the very best for their children during this difficult situation, I think it’s important to provide your readers with some simple and pragmatic solutions to try first, before taking more extreme steps that may frustrate an already delicate schooling system.
Here are few solutions for the problems presented in this article, and I’m sure other readers can think of many others.
1. Although I imagine that parents who are calling for a petition, have at the very least already tried this, it is still absolutely crucial to remind all parents to try to communicate with their children’s teachers, and arrange for accommodations that address their children’s needs.
In this particular case, that would mean getting special permission for their child to call in to the Zoom class with a regular phone, which is something that is a built in feature with the Zoom system.
While not all teachers will allow this, some may, and it’s worth a try.
2. If for some reason, this cannot be arranged, a few creative ideas come to mind as stop-gap solutions. E.g; taping a cover over the child’s screen to stop them from using it. (with a cutout for the camera so the teacher can still see the child). It sounds crude, but it may just work.
3. Another more elegant solution can be found in the settings of certain devices. For example, Apple IOS devices have something called “Guided Access” (which is another set of ’parental-control’ style settings, separate from the standard “screen time” settings, and can be found in “Accessibility” in the settings app). This feature allows parents to temporarily disable literally ALL Touch screen functionality from their device.
Aside from alternative solutions, it’s important to see what the main cause really is for why children are getting distracted. Taking away one device that they use to distract themselves is addressing the symptom, not the root cause.
For most children, simply not being in the more ideal learning environment of school, likely plays a huge role in this. So if they are still in an environment that is more prone to causing distraction, taking away one device won’t stop them from looking for another.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s best not to cause unrest of any kind when it is avoidable, especially in times like these. The only reason to make such a petition is if all other methods have been tried. Have they?