June 4, 2020
Today I Zoomed out. I had heard about this phenomenon but had yet to experience it. Most of us who work from home spend a lot of time on the computer, but not so much in meetings. Over the last months I have had three standing calls a week. The time spent varies but most calls last from an hour to an hour and a half. I had two calls scheduled for today, but I did not make them. On the call I hosted I IM’d everyone, and it was agreed we would skip a week. One of the participants messaged they had heard of more people becoming weary of online calls. My other call was voluntary. I intended to join the call, but when the time came, I worked through it on another task.
The first I heard of becoming Zoomed out was with elementary students. When the schools closed, they were forced to stay at home, but that did not let them out of completing their class work. I figured it would not be too different for most of them. I was a substitute teacher in Arkansas this last year. I subbed for grades from fourth to eighth in seven different schools and two different school districts. My job each time was to watch the students work online. Everyone had their own laptop and they were all adept at getting online, even if the sites they visited were not the ones mentioned in the lesson plan. Now that they no longer had someone like me redirecting them back to their work, many were opting not to complete the tasks.
Another reaction to the Zooms came from the students who did complete their work. I heard from several people who were providing zoom calls to keep their kids together who said they were finding a reluctance on the part of the kids to join. The parents were telling the educators that after spending six hours online everyday doing schoolwork, the last thing they wanted was to join another hour online call at night. I can sympathize with them. I am looking forward to my six-hour Zoom meeting this Saturday.
THOUGHTS: When we first discover something new it can be exciting as we spend time figuring out what to do and how to do it. Once the newness has worn off, we realize even with it being different, it is still the same work. As a substitute I saw some students who went right to work, finished their task, and then were eager to have additional opportunities to learn. I found others who found it a struggle to get their name on the top of the handout. The difference seemed to be whether they were enjoying what they were doing. I think the same than can be said about adults. I hope you have found something that you enjoy doing. If you venture out, stay safe.