September 22, 2020

What the heck is “remote learning” anyways? So many new terms, so many new letters (oh yeah, acronyms) like WFH, Wifi, hotspot, Ethernet cable, signal strength, MS Teams, Goggle Classroom. When did we become so dependent on our internet connection and the speed of our signal?  Right… since COVID locked everything down, including schools.

So, if I have to work from home (WFH), do I have to also teach my kids from home?  Well, I really don’t have it too bad. My oldest in high school can really manage for herself; she’s responsible. My youngest, that’s another story. ADHD also makes is extremely difficult for someone to sit at a computer for 6 hours and rarely leave the bedroom. As a parent, how can I help my kids be successful in school while learning on-line?  How can I be a real contributor at the office if I’m not “in-person”? Do I have to be “tech support” for my kids?

And, don’t experts say that “too much screen time is not good for your kids”?  But now, they are asking them to sit on 5 different zoom classes a day with a 30 min lunch over a 6 hour day.  Just checking to see if anyone else thinks that’s odd too.

Here are a few things that I have picked up that might help us ROCK this school year… well, at least make the best of it. 

  • There are really no school supply lists like before, so just make sure they have a notebook and pencils to make notes. Everything else is on-line.
  • Invest in good internet!  Email or google searching over your home internet take up only a small bit of data, but streaming audio and video uses more data and is much less forgiving when its interrupted. So, consider contacting your local internet provider (Comcast, CenturyLink, etc) to see if you can get at least 10 MB download speed and at least 5 Mb upload speed with a low “ping time” (50ms or less).  Use to check your speed.  If you are rural, you may not have many options, but you can try to get a Verizon hotspot or jetpack.  It’s a device that uses the cellphone data network, but this is often capped at 15-30Gb per month before you get throttled down to slower speeds. (so no Netflix on the hotspot).
  • Set an alarm for 2-3 mins before each class to remind your kid of the next online class.
  • Lunch – get them a good lunch. Even if they are home, they may need some help so they don’t eat only junk food.

Well, we are all “learning from home”, each and every day.  Its gonna be okay, just be patient with yourself and your teachers.  They are doing the best they can.

by CHAS Health IT dept.