Is E-learning Turning Kids Into Zombies? One Dad's Thoughts on Children Learning From Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic by Mike Prochaska

Opinion
10 days ago
Is E-learning Turning Kids Into Zombies? One Dad's Thoughts on Children Learning From Home During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Has e-learning turned your kids into zombies as they spend hours on the computer doing assignments, Google Meet and Zoom calls because of the coronavirus pandemic?

The poor teacher is trying to get all the kids on the same page. And the time wasted! Every day I hear the same three kids asking the teacher if they can go to the bathroom, wasting so much time for the other kids who want to get their work done so they can get on with their day. Some actually play Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft while they wait for everyone to get ready to learn.

In one hand, some of the kids have their phone, iPod or tablet secretly hidden while they do e-learning on their Chromebooks. I get the need to multitask while they stare into a computer screen all day. Hell, I'm 44 years old and can't do it! In my opinion, it's too hard for kids to just sit there all day in front of a computer. 

I’ve read a lot of articles about parents making busy boxes to keep their kid's hands busy during e-learning. They include items like DIY slime, kinetic sand, balls, fidget spinners and other sensory activities for kids.

Last week when the weather was nice, my solution was to have my son do e-learning outdoors. He got in trouble from his teacher because she said he wasn’t in "a learning environment." Trust me, the kid with learning more outside doing e-learning than he does inside. Inside he just gets distracted by Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite.

I turned his camera off and we built a bonfire while doing math, and that was the most productive he had been. He did his math and built the fire at the same time.

How many adults multitask while doing a Zoom meeting? My wife and and talked about it and she said she does three things at once while in a Zoom meeting so she doesn't go crazy. Kids are the same way. If e-learning has to continue, then I feel parents need to advocate for the children and help them find time away from technology and screens. 

Right now is the most important time ever to advocate for your kids, because if you don't, no one will. My hope is to find a way to do e-learning and also get them outside, even if that means my kids missing some school. Yes, they may have some days where they turn off the camera and explore their world away from the computer.

Kids are always learning, even during play. My kids will not be "left behind" if they're not e-learning all day. I am so tired of reading about kids being "left behind."

Parents, don't worry about what other parents think and follow your gut with your own kids. Let's not allow our children to turn into zombies during this coronavirus pandemic.

What do YOU think? Tell us below!

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Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Wow, I don't envy parents who are going through this with their kids right now. It must be so difficult to keep kids engaged, with all the tech issues and distractions, etc. How can we expect them to stay focused all the time? I love the idea for learning outdoors. I have seen reports of schools setting up outdoor classrooms in tents, etc. As the weather turns colder, I hope other solutions can be developed for keeping kids outside where there are more opportunities for movement and not being stuck behind a computer or device all day. Seriously, there are no good outcomes it seems like, until we can get to a "next normal," maybe post-vaccine. Thanks for the thought-provoking perspective, Mike Prochaska !
Meredith Schneider
You read my mind. I have a 4th grader, 7th grader, Junior and a freshman at IU. at least my son has more freedom with his schedule than his sisters. 🤪 Kids need to be around kids, they need to be IN the classroom with their teachers, at PE, with their friends at recess. Sitting all day is exhausting & boring for them. When they do have breaks for a change of scenery I have them go outside with the dogs. I’ve considered taking them to the beach and they can learn from there. But they have to have the cameras on 🤦‍♀️ I don’t appreciate my 4th grader getting in trouble for drinking water at her desk AT HOME. Now we have to fill out a survey if they are going to school on the 21st. Kids see how miserable other kids are via social media posts. Masks all day, sitting at desks all day, no recess, lunch is like jail all sit in the same direction no talking. My 9yr olds eyes filled up with tears when we talked about going back. She said I will if I don’t have to wear a mask. I can’t wear a mask for 7 hours 😭 Why can’t the teachers wear masks and not the kids? Good question. Daycares have been open since March with kids not wearing masks. I’m tired of all this and want it to be over.
Mike Prochaska
Thank you! I can’t agree more!
Tribe
These are such tough educational times. We need a vaccine that works so we can get life back to the way it needs to be.
Mike Prochaska
But you can go out to dinner, the movies, bowling but kids can’t goto school? You can’t wait for there a vaccine for the world to open back up. I just seen a huge difference between illinos and wi. Illinos everything is closed and going out of business. Wisconsin is pretty much open. Kids goto school in person, well except Milwaukee and life goes on. Yeah you got to wear a mask but whatever. Life goes on. Kids NEED to be around other kids! I can only do so much to get them around other kids when everything is closed, there no other kids at the park. That why they turn to these stupid games like mindcraft, fortnite and roblocks they can talk with each other while they play! My daughter don’t like the games but she has them on her iPod just
So she can talk to her friends.
Tribe
Some of us don't do any of those things (dinner, movies, bowling, etc), Mike Prochaska . I totally agree with what you're saying but it's not an easy decision to balance public health with mental and social and emotional needs. I think wearing masks and other social distancing solutions should help kids get back to school. The problem is how do you enforce that. Do we need security guards at school to remove people who won't wear the masks? It has gotten so politicized, it's actually unbelievable. I can't understand how we got to this place, and how are we ever going to get out. I think outdoor education in well ventilated pop-up "schools" is a great idea.
Mike Prochaska
Teacher Karen have you done Elearning yet with your grand son?
Mike Prochaska
Omg can you image someone standing at school making sure everyone wearing a mask? Lol! I can see some crazy parents suing school because little John got yelled at for keeping his mask on at school! I did notice kids don’t seem to
If wearing a mask if parents and adults don’t make a big deal about it. Like my kids wore it whole time at a trample park without complaint until they heard some parent complain about it who was walking in the door.

Also I know some kids who goto hybrid and they seem to do fine wearing a mask all morning. Just have to get them fun masks that they will be excited about. And adults make it fun kind of like wearing a mask at Halloween lol!

And I love the idea of outdoor school! I was asking for it at the last school board meeting. Everyone was worried the kids would get. Cold or what do when it rains. I think you just put up a tent like stores are doing.

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