20200325

Schools are closed and kids are taught trough the web. Domestic spaces are used for remote classes and parents are made into web-technicians (I use 4-5hours a day to help in school work). Turns out our society is operated by google and microsoft. All kids have been assigned email addresses and are expected to use the ms-office365 suite and different google services. This is a really sad and shameful turnout. There are open source alternatives to all of the services the kids need and nothing to stop schools from using them. ms and google stuff is just as complicated to use. Corporations are using this situation to unashamedly establish their services as the infrastructure of all social and work related interactions.

Also turns out schools are absolutely obsessed with quantifiable results. This situation is teaching kids to perform school as a series of questionnaires and online presence which does not involve interaction. They are essentially learning to fake working. Schools in Finland should back down on their desire to “keep the kids in schools” during these times. Schools, with big class sizes and mass curriculum’s don’t really work for online learning. Learning online happens best when a student is given the liberty to decide how they pace their work and allowed to set their own goals. The schools current strategy of maintaining daily presence trough online services (ms/google) is hindering learning possibilities. Technically savvy families get the “faking working” experience with virtual punched cards and online meetings which are organized for the sake of having meetings, while other families are dropped out.

How can I help in this situation? I’ve written feedback to the schools and the Ministry of Education and Culture about the situation and asked them to give families more liberties in pacing school work. I don’t think my critique of the situation has any impact. Unfortunately it seems that our modern, corporation reliant, mass-society is combating these challenges by evolving to an even more modern and more controlled organization. This is a really bad strategy: Mass culture has no future, evolving into a surveillance society (which focuses on quantifiable performances) should not be an option. I don’t think my critique will be heard because citizens are using mostly social medias as a platform for organizing and voicing their concerns. It really feels one has to be a member of a corporation (though fb/twitter) to be a part of society! Why is our society allowing this to happen?

Pietari made a strong critique of the tone of a recent Kone foundation grant procedure. I agree with him: This crisis should not be made into a creative project and this crisis does not bring about an opportunity for change. Change happens after a crisis, when people feel secure enough to voice their fears and desires. Crisis only teaches people how to survive a crisis (or how to suffer) but it does not change people. Change requires resources, time and research. Rushing it causes people to retreat to established models. Which is why a call to use a crisis as an force to drive personal development feels like a hostile act. Why isn’t anyone offering their support for arts unconditionally? This would be a really good time for such a gesture.

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