Organized Mischief — How Chinese Kids Shut Down Their Coronavirus Homeschooling App

While most of us have been freaking out to varying degrees over the coronavirus, some Chinese school children from Wuhan are trying to make the most out of the strict quarantine measures they’re living under. That means enjoying their precious time away from school, no matter what the Chinese government tries to throw at them. An article published by the London Review of Books detailing life in Wuhan under the coronavirus revealed that when an educational assist app, called DingTalk, was rolled out to keep some sense of classroom continuity, the kids swiftly outsmarted it.

The point of DingTalk was to enable teachers to assign homework and teach lessons so that classes could commence despite schools being shut down. But the schoolchildren figured out a way to take the app offline and continue what has got to be the weirdest break from school ever.

From the article:

Children were presumably glad to be off school — until, that is, an app called DingTalk was introduced. Students are meant to sign in and join their class for online lessons; teachers use the app to set homework. Somehow the little brats worked out that if enough users gave the app a one-star review it would get booted from the App Store. Tens of thousands of reviews flooded in, and DingTalk’s rating plummeted overnight from 4.9 to 1.4. The app has had to get for merch on social media: ‘I’m only five years old myself, please don’t kill me.

Brats? More like heroes. Think about what it must feel like to be confined to your home for weeks to prevent the possible spread of a potentially dangerous viral infection — and then someone asks you to do homework. We’re with the kids on this one, death to the app!

Deputy Editor for The Verge, Elizabeth Lopatto shared an excerpt from the London Review of Books article and the usually divisive people of Twitter came together to applaud the ingenuity of the Chinese kids. Even some educators in China applauded the move. Nothing like a bit of levity in the midst of a global crisis.