Hi there. In this education post, I talk about online distractions. More specifically distractions from parents when their kids are doing online learning. I have talked about online distractions in an earlier post but this one focuses on the parents. From my online Mathnasium work, I have found it surprising when parents are in the background being loud and distracting when their child(s) is doing online learning. Parents being a distraction to their own paid education lessons for their own child(s) is a bit weird to me. This is a topic I want to bring awareness of.
Some Background Noises Are Needed
There are times when parents have to do something when students are doing their online sessions. It could be dealing with a loud pet dog, cooking, cleaning or being on the phone. These background noises can occur regularly during the student sessions or they can occur at seemingly random times. The volume of these background noises can vary. Parents trying to control their loud dog for 5 minutes is more disruptive than parents cooking dinner. During these distractions, a student may mute their sound to block out the distracting sounds from their side. It may appear that the student is inactive but they are just blocking out sounds.
With Online Learning, It Is Still Their House
Online learning does offer convienience as the learning can be done at home. When it comes to distractions from parents, I don't think it is good to tell parents directly that they are a distraction to their kids. This is for a 1 on 1 interaction between a student and instructor/educator/teacher. In a larger online group, students can mute their mic when they are not talking.
Some Parents Are Not Aware Of Their Distractions
I do think that some parents are not aware of what they do near the student during their sessions. They may not think that their actions are that loud. Some may not even care. I have seen or heard of a few cases where parents just have discussions with each other out loud near the student. A more extreme example is where one person in the background is just loud and arguing with someone. Distractions disturb students in their thinking, memory recall and their focus. Elimination of loud noises and distractions allow students to focus on the task at hand.
When it comes to solutions, I do not really see a one size fits all type of solution. Maybe you can state that there is loud noise and it is hard to hear the student when they are speaking. Then the student can try to ask the parents to reduce noise.