Tag Archives: Online hell

Remote nonsense

Can we just talk for a moment about the absolute ridiculousness of online education?

Everything sucks about the software I am required to use to teach my core classes, but I have to use it because we are standardizing everything to make it easier to switch back and forth in case we go back to school and then get sent home again a week later. I am not pleased, but I am less worried about this than my colleagues, because I have already accepted as given that A.) my kids are going to be about a year behind by the time we get back to normal, and B.) it doesn’t matter, because I routinely close much bigger gaps than that. (That’s not bragging; it’s just a function of spending part of the No Child Left Behind era teaching in an overcrowded Title I school in Oklahoma, where teachers were the wingnut politicians’ favorite scapegoats.)

Our mandatory software does not have any automated journalism classes, and my district is all excited about Google Classroom, so I had to set up a new Google account and log into Chrome with it to set up a virtual newsroom. Teachers do not have school-issued laptops, which means I have to do this on my own computer. The problem, of course, is that Chrome is my primary browser, and I use it to research and write my novel. When I am logged into my school Google account, somebody at the regional ed office in Portales can monitor everything I do. On my own computer. At home. Outside of school hours.

I will NOT be offended if somebody starts a betting pool on how long it takes before I am called into the superintendent’s office to be interrogated about my interest in obscene 12th-century grotesques because I forgot to switch accounts before typing “sheela-na-gig” into my search bar. Anybody who thinks it will take more than a week is probably an incurable optimist.

Meanwhile, ENMU has standardized exactly nothing, so two professors are Zooming their classes, while a third is using Microsoft Teams, and while two of them seem content to email information to students, another is communicating almost exclusively through Blackboard.

And people wonder why my retirement plan is to go off the grid and stay there. Yeesh.