In the spring, it didn’t take long for my 9-year-old son to develop a condition I’ve come to think of as Zoom Fatigue. He didn’t mind completing his classwork online and he didn’t mind the academic schedule I put together for him. But when came time to Zoom with his class? Dude was Not Interested.
The teacher tried to make it fun with scavenger hunts and other games, but he found video calls with 19 of his peers to be boring, tedious. And those calls were just the beginning — thrown together as a way to continue to have some semblance of face-to-face interaction as we all hobbled our way across the end-of-school-year finish line.
This spring, things are different. Many kids are straight-up learning virtually and many others are doing so on at least a part-time, hybrid basis. The video calls have become a centrepiece of actual learning, not just “Oh, I guess we’d better check in real quick.”
Particularly for kids who are learning entirely virtually, and especially right now as we start off the school year, this can mean hours in front of the screen as teachers walk their students through how to access this app and how to submit that assignment. It’s no wonder if they are bored, distracted, fidgety and whiny; I watched a 12-minute video from my son’s teacher about how to access all of her online classroom tools and — even though I am an adult and knew it was important information — I found my own eyes glazing over by minute 3.
Teachers are doing their absolute best in a trying situation. They’re giving breaks and pulling up Go Noodle and trying to keep things interesting and interactive. But for some kids, it’s still a struggle.
If your kids are spending hours in front of the computer, how are you getting them through it? Are you racing them across the backyard during breaks? Teaching them some mindfulness techniques? Have they been squeezing those stress balls?
Tell us in the comments: How are you and your kids combating Zoom fatigue?