Littleone started virtual school today and it is the jankiest shit you ever did see.

She's had a protonmail account for about a year now, but the school went and made her a google account because all their laptops are chromebooks. First thing the machine teaches her is to accept all the t&c's without reading them, because you've no choice but to accept them or drop outta school.

· · SubwayTooter · 7 · 33 · 38

Teacher did a video on how to use the system. Kept saying over and over again how you don't need to use a printer, how you can submit it all electronically. First assignment: glue your pressed flowers to the page.

Super short screen on the laptop. So short it can't even show a full video in the janky webpage she has to use for school, she's gotta scroll up and down periodically to see the top and bottom of the video.

Portrait-oriented worksheets. 🤦‍♂️

@ifixcoinops big school is the same, I bought a Linux laptop for my girlfriend's law school, but they use WebEx which does not support Linux.
The WebEx web client has a third of the functionality, unusable for her classes.
I'd like to start an online master's degree, but I'm afraid the same thing will happen to me.

@shapr @ifixcoinops

In grad school*, they teach you advanced skills like to also hand over your credit card details to make a "free" AWS account to learn "cloud" computing (when the school has its own perfectly good Linux cluster, which you're technically already paying for).

Fighting the inevitable charges that result is left as an exercise for the reader.

* Shockingly (or perhaps not) this was cross listed with the business school... I guess to create well rounded Capitalists they need to subtly develop your inner rube as well...

@shapr @ifixcoinops My school uses Zoom, fortunately it has a decent Linux client. (It sometimes fucks up the audio tho.) They give out (newish) thinkpads which work OK and have little in the way of surveillance software except Cisco Umbrella which is supposed to block sites but instead just blocks all DNS requests??? So when i needed to use my school laptop (I usually use my personal laptop) I had to install Firefox and use its built-in DoH so that things will work.

@shapr @ifixcoinops Until one day I needed to do homework (Google Docs) on a business's guest WiFi which blocked DoH. I had my phone for data, but since my carrier doesn't support tethering, I downloaded adb on my phone and copied it to the laptop over USB. Then I ran a SOCKS server with Termux, tunneled the port through to the laptop, and connected with Firefox. (That was not the first time I'd done it.) I didn't want to use too much data so I downloaded Tor browser and it worked on the WiFi.

@shapr @ifixcoinops TL;DR Locked-down systems suck and Tor isn't for crime, it's for homework.


This is a good practice because reading the terms makes them more enforceable.

@ifixcoinops In my experience, schools tech is usually very bad. Like, not near as bad as hospitals, but still bad.

Mandatory google accounts, highly locked down chromebooks, pretty much no tech education, etc. Although I do think that electronically-done stuff is much better, as it cuts down on paper use, is better for accessibility, etc.

Also it's a pretty universal experience for teachers to not know how to turn of autoplay lmao.

Then there's also the whole problem of privacy invasion, especially when it comes to exams and stuff.

@erin @ifixcoinops The paper-saving bit may not be any redemption though - if you factor in the cost of replacing all those chromebooks even every 10 years (which is laughably optimistic) then the environmental cost of doing things digitally vs. paper is excruciating

@ifixcoinops @seachaint yeah, paper is necessary for lot's of stuff too. A mix of both is probably best.

@ifixcoinops my kids return to public school next week for the first time since the pandemic began. I am preparing to push back and not accept the T&Cs and privacy policies that go along with Microsoft/Google at school. Wish me luck.

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