Online Schooling: The Cybernetic Chaos Between Parents, Children, and Teachers

09 July, 2020
Among many other things, coronavirus has affected the entire learning system. Now, it's all about online schooling.

As of now, many life situations are still in confinement. They say each household is a world in itself… and it is. In each household, there are different ways of living, different personalities, and all types of interpersonal relationships, among other things.

Some families are a bit more disorganized and don’t have a set schedule for everything. They might have their meals later in the day and the parents sometimes may even forget to pick up the children from practice. Other families, on the other hand, are definitely more rigid. For example, they strictly maintain the organization of meals and sleeping and eating times. In other words, they’re very appreciative of routine.

However, isolation isn’t just for families but also for those who are alone. Of course, this has changed them in a particular way. In any case, with or without children, alone or with a partner, the crisis the coronavirus has caused is absolutely subjective; just like every experience on this planet.

Confinement hasn’t forced changes only in the lifestyle of the oldest. In fact, this has affected the youngest in a major way. As you probably know, the latter have gone from going to school to getting online schooling every day. But what does online schooling imply?

Let’s start school!

Adults have always criticized technology, saying that it makes for a sedentary lifestyle and leads to a lack of communication. Additionally, they’d always think that technology is the main reason why children isolate themselves. Well, this resource they criticized so much is now a front-line element for communicating. It even makes it possible for individuals to leave their homes without actually leaving, you know? Basically, while the person is still physically at home, their mind is able to go to a different place.

As a university professor, virtuality has always helped me to teach in other countries or provinces without traveling. It’s safe to say that this is ten times more important nowadays. Currently, virtual classes are essential in order to continue the school year.

A parent teaching his child how to use online learning platforms.

Online schooling: the elementary years

Now, online schooling is a whole different topic. Yes, it’s a great resource to have. However, it’s created multiple conflicts between parents, parents and their children, couples, and even teachers. As if confinement wasn’t stressful enough!

On one hand, there are families that have one, two, or more children in different elementary grades. And the more children there are, the greater the level of complication. First off, this is due to the fact that not all homes have more than one computer.

Parents get upset with each other because they don’t know who to prioritize for the use of the computer. Also, they may get angry with the teachers because they schedule classes for different courses at the same time. The first problem may also escalate with the children, actually. Parents may start arguing with their kids about who should use the computer first. And this could also lead to fights between siblings. In short, this brings a whole lot of problems.

A great help would be that the organization of the courses was a little better, but this rarely ever happens. This would be ideal if classes weren’t scheduled at the same time for all kids.

Another not minor detail is that most parents belong to a generation that didn’t grow up with a computer. In other words, they’re not technologically savvy. Actually, there are many children who teach their parents to surf the web.

In this way, many children feel so empowered to the point where they disqualify their parents because they only know how to use Word, Excel, and Facebook, not even Instagram. And of course, these types of behaviors entail a response from the parents.

However, the conflict goes on and on. Normally, regular schools don’t have to organize an online schooling system. As a result of the pandemic, they had to struggle to figure that out in order to be able to cover every single class.

Suddenly, the schools that made the parents satisfied are now entering chaos as well. Not only because they must surf the web to impart knowledge but because they now have to navigate in uncertainty and attempt to organize the classes for their children.

A parent giving their child a tablet so that they stop crying.

The challenges of online schooling

Now, there are many different learning platforms no one had heard of. It’s safe to say that now everyone and their mother knows what they are. For example, Jitsi, Webinar, Sakai, Moodle, Ed Modo, and, of course, Zoom, the king of all systems.

It was a thorough process. Everyone at school had to learn how to use each of these systems. Then, they had to teach that to their parents. Consequently, their parents had to do the same with their children. This is a whole chain. Of course there would be problems between individuals!

Moreover, students must not only learn the contents of the subjects but also the use of these educational platforms. In addition, they must also help their parents understand and sometimes even teach the teachers themselves! And then, as if it wasn’t enough, they need to upload written tasks to the platform.

It comes to a point where nobody knows what to do. The children don’t know how to upload their homework to the platform. Of course, their parents don’t know either. Consequently, they ask their teachers for help, and perhaps not even they know.

Additionally, since everyone is using these online platforms, it comes to a point where they collapse. Too many people using one single website all at once. Imagine having to upload a project on time and the page doesn’t load. What a stressful situation, isn’t it?

Of course, let’s not forget that children are children. They’re not going to be attentive to their classes all the time. They’ll want to jump around, talk to their parents, throw their toys on the carpet, even watch TV. All of this while their parents are also busy doing their own things. Undoubtedly, it becomes chaotic, especially for exhausted parents.

A child playing in the living room.

Stop for a minute

Please take a break! Because if you don’t stop the chaos, it’ll take over. You’re the one who must be in control, put order on the table, and set all limits.

You’re doing the best you can, as everyone else is as well. If you’re unable to complete the task, your teachers and the school must understand the situation. This is a very particular time and it isn’t anyone’s fault.

Moreover, don’t forget that you’re going through two stressful situations here. For one, the stress generated by living in quarantine. Secondly, the stress of solving your children’s online schooling. Therefore, reducing it implies postponing and slowing down the times to improve the learning process. And I’m not talking about learning the contents of the subjects, but rather to take a stand with this new online schooling system.

Let’s not pretend to be Internet geniuses. As I said, you’re doing the best you can, and you can continue to learn more and more every day.

In brief, it’s important for everyone to learn from this historic moment. Be tolerant, don’t be overdemanding with yourself. Keep yourself in check and your children will feel better.