The learning platform is paralyzed by hackers, the city library closes together with the books for the specialist work and the work instructions of the teachers are sometimes cryptic: How parents experience homeschooling.
Pages 88 to Tuesday, subject unclear
The Corona crisis drove countless teachers from the blackboard to their home office and made them improvisers of distance learning, with parents as part-time supervisors. And children who are not always sure whether they can resist the temptation to use the situation in their favor.
Clear that this does not always work without complications. Sometimes it is to despair, but sometimes also to laugh. But home teaching is always an interesting experience, as SZ authors report.
“New contact request from a specialist teacher”
Day one of the first week of home schooling plus home office starts motivating. Mebis, the million dollar Bavarian super learning platform, is paralyzed by hackers. Cheers break out at home over the well-intentioned initiative of unknown buddies, but only cautiously.
Because our two boys have been in their schools long enough to know that math, Latin, German, and English teachers will somehow find a way to teach them. And indeed: the teaching staff switches to the parent portal. You have to know that this is a very special tool. First you get an e-mail that says: “New contact request from a specialist teacher. You will find the message in the parent portal under Messages: Communication parents / specialist teacher”. Then you have to go to the parent portal, register, click a few things, and you have the teacher’s mail – with more or less clear instructions about what the proteges should do at home, as well as work orders that have to be clicked separately.
Some teachers mean it particularly well and send several contact requests in quick succession, each with a work order. In the end it turns out that they all belong together. So you could have sent it together. But that’s the minor problem anyway. The bigger one is: How do you pass the message on to the young people?
One quickly realizes that answering works, even if only with a very limited number of characters. But forward? Nah, too complicated for the tool. The boys are now practicing the required flexibility. In this way, they are always available on their PCs, very independently. Since Mebis sometimes does not work at all or only works very slowly, they switch to the film streaming service or the great computer game.
Mum and dad, on the other hand, print out work orders, organize them, staple them together and are also happy about work orders from minor subjects such as music and art. And communicate with the teachers asking for pragmatic solutions. For example, an e-mail with which all work orders of all teachers of a week are bundled and ready to print out for each child. That’s it. Edeltraud Rattenhuber
The library closes, along with the books ordered
The 16-year-old high school student comes home a few days before all schools close and says that in three weeks he will have to deliver an outline of his future specialist work. Ok, that means hold on, because he still has math, English, all the minor subjects, and on top of that he also wants to take driving lessons. As always, time is running out. We don’t even know how scarce it is. At the weekend there is intensive research in Opac – the online catalog of the university library – because the library in the local district town has little to offer in terms of rhetoric, cicero and politics. Six books are shortlisted and are ordered from the city library via interlibrary loan. All good? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that.
Three days later: school closes.
Another three days later: All Bavarian libraries are closed.
And no message about the books ordered. Darn.
For this, a message arrives from the teacher: Because of the current situation, he may postpone the submission date, but actually everyone had already had enough preparation time. Panic spreads, and there is only the click to the largest of all major mail order companies, where we order two basic works. They always look good in the bookcase, even after the specialist work. The € 40 works arrive two days later by post, so the student can work despite the Corona universal lock. The money doesn’t matter.
What are your experiences
Millions of pupils are at home because of the Corona crisis, but should continue to learn there. What is your experience with homeschooling? Write us an e-mail with the subject “Homeschooling” to [email protected] and please give us your name (last name abbreviated).
We would like to publish a selection, possibly in abbreviated form. We look forward to your submissions.
Another two days later: the call from the city library. You can pick up the ordered books at the door, please ring the bell beforehand.
Now we have some double. That is still better than having nothing at all: two classmates were later on with the interlibrary loan, and this has now been discontinued. This could get expensive. Johanna Pfund
Not a printer? Then we just paint the worksheets
It is said that people grow with their challenges, but in truth it is mainly the children who grow and carry their age-specific challenges into the house. In homeschooling, for example, the risk of a 12th grader overflowing with tears bursting into the conference call because the sentence to be written on the worksheet breaks the pre-printed ruling is rather low. With a second grader, as in our case, on the other hand, that is always possible. For this we do not have to work into the depths of vector geometry, but only into the small multiplication table. But that also has its pitfalls.
For us, the small multiplication table is the math problem of the hour. It comes, of course, on worksheets, which in turn come by email. The only problem is: we don’t have a printer. Because daily tasks are daily tasks and we are conscientious people, I painted the worksheets.
“But you can paint dogs,” says my daughter, before complaining that I only painted one dog instead of the eight. “Symbol picture”, I mumble and continue to paint.
Next sheet. I paint chairs. Next sheet. I paint a math letter puzzle. I paint the 8 series in multiplication tables. All right, next sheet. “Mark the results of your calculation in the hundreds table,” it says.
What? Okay, that’s enough. Under no circumstances do I write the numbers from 1 to 100 in a hundred small boxes.
“You can take a break,” my daughter suggests.
I ring the neighbor’s instead. “Do you have a printer?” is our new “I ran out of sugar”. Henrike Rossbach
The problem is the signage
If you think of digital lessons as a school in a large virtual village, the biggest problem with this school is: its signage. The school itself is as good as it is in life outside of the virtual village. The friendly teachers are also friendly here and those who have a bad day quite often also have a bad day online. This is not a problem.
A really big problem is: We find the virtual school so bad. This is partly due to the fact that a very long queue had formed on the first day in front of the main entrance called Mebis. It was so long that we got the information that we didn’t have to queue there at first because the tasks for our group were to be distributed in an outbuilding called “Klassenrundmail”. So we queued up at the annex and waited there for the tasks, so for mails. Nothing came there at first, but at least we had the information to wait in the right place. We thought.
Because after a few days another mother came and asked if we would like to do the group work together. We were somewhat amazed. Because we had neither received the information about the specific work, nor the specification that it was to be done in the group. Because the main building was opened again behind us and the teachers stood there and distributed the tasks – in Mebis.
In Mebis itself, the paths are clearly signposted. Almost like in school outside of the Internet, where the teachers don’t have to worry much about the path to the content. You can fully concentrate on the content. Those who also teach in the virtual school in this way quickly end up with a Word document sent by e-mail called “Hausaufgabe_Corona”, in which it is noted that “Page 88” should be completed “by Tuesday”. Finding the subject, date and name of the book becomes part of the homework, but is not graded.
We were able to determine the subject using the exclusion procedure and verify the name of the creator in the document information of the file. Again, no malicious intent here, but a problem with the signage, i.e. the metadata that describes the frame, not the content itself. In order to better understand this metadata, the completed tasks would have to be returned in the same way that the pupils were assigned the tasks. At the latest, the school in the virtual village realizes that the signage could still be worked on. Dirk von Gehlen
More on MSN