the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Nashville schools nearing end of week 2 virtual learning

It’s Thursday. Today was day 7 of Metro Nashville’s entirely remote learning initiative and it’s been an interesting battle.

The first week was three days due to start date and voting with a couple of classes a day, it’s moved to five days a week three classes each and some homework. I do not know how the kindergarten teacher has handled this as well as she has but my 4yo’s class is remarkably well adjusted and the worst thing that seems to happen is if one of them goes off to potty they sometimes have to be escorted back because they forgot they were in school.

Curriculum material just arrived and will be distributed tomorrow. I don’t blame metro or the remote learning company for the delays, they didn’t expect to be overwhelmed by so many school systems coming online at the same time.

Parents at our school will start lining up tomorrow to get their kid’s school stuff, during virtual classes, during working hours for those who are working. Yeah, that’s not particularly great but whatever. I’ll be trying to work on a laptop while in a line with a kid on my hotspot in my car while waiting for materials for two separate grades that I have to be there at two times for. Fun.

Most of the bumps are now just scheduling. Courses and materials and places you actually have to look have been narrowed from 5 or so to two. Teams seems to be holding. GlobalProtect VPN seems to be going well. Issues seem to pop up that some people can disable GlobalProtect, some people can’t, and teachers are handing out course material that’s on YouTube and is blocked by GP on some systems that can’t be disabled.

There’s no way at the moment this can be done and parents not get interrupted repeatedly. The tech still isn’t to a level where rebooting is not required. At least not for the K-2 grades. The instructions change daily, the school issued laptops log you out and forget your username (which is long, involves a student ID,) and password, which has an uppercase letter, lowercase, numbers.

My wife turned our dining room into a laptop pit with her and the kids. This was a mistake in my opinion as we’ve got two classes going simultaneously while she’s trying to be in work meetings. Not really sure what our other options for desk positioning were but it’s what it is at the moment. Telling two kids with no concept of inside voice to tone it down.

But they’re learning and the computers, unmuting microphones, video chatting, all seem to be coming naturally even to our 4yo (about to turn 5) kindy kiddo.

My expectation is we’ll see the surrounding counties going to more virtual options shortly as the covid cases mount. But we’ll see.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.