Online learning has been rocketed into the limelight by the pandemic, but even before study from home regulations came into play, virtual learning has become more and more normal in a school environment. The internet has an unlimited plethora of opportunities, platforms, and access to education materials on more subjects than you can even imagine. More often than not, parents are finding that even their young children are able to easily and simply navigate around the world of computers and technology, much more so than themselves. Many questions arise when their children are roaming the internet, especially if they are supposed to be doing educational activities or schoolwork. Plus, it can be a challenge to keep them focused and motivated. But do not fear, here are six tips to help you understand, create, and manage the virtual learning experience of your child.
1. Security Measures
One of the biggest concerns with children and the internet is their safety and security. There are so many horror stories out there of how children, sometimes unintentionally, find or see things that they shouldn’t. The internet can be a scary place, but there are lots of measures that can be installed or activated on the computer to prevent anything from happening. Most computer settings include a child lock or restricted access, meaning that cannot view any content that has not been approved. If your child has their own computer, laptop, or iPad, installing these security measures will give you peace of mind. If they use a shared device, creating them their own account will give them a sense of freedom, but can also be managed in the same way.
2. Create an Educational Site
Another way to overcome responsible internet use, and to avoid having to trawl through hundreds of websites until you find something relevant, is to use a free website builder to create a personalized education site that can be used by your children. There are some key points to keep in mind when creating a website for kids, especially if you want it to be engaging. For a start, appearance is everything. Kids want pictures, colors, rewards, and interactive activities; lots of words, hard language, and dull colors are just not going to cut it. To create a fun resource that your kids will love, Top10 has a great article on the topic. You can read the full article via the link that highlights the ten most important things to remember when creating an education website for your children.
3. Guidance from Teachers
The extent of information and resources on the internet can be overwhelming and it is hard to know where to start. If you’re feeling stuck on which sites are appropriate and relevant for your child and their education, get some guidance from the school. Teachers are clued up and can provide you with multiple sources for your child to explore that will help them in class. Send an email or organize a meeting, they will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
4. Productive Environments
The effectiveness of virtual learning is not only affected by the content that your kids are viewing but also the environment that they are in. At home, distractions are everywhere; television, pets, music, just having other people around doing different things can disrupt learning. Providing your child with a quiet and tidy area where they can focus is essential. Whilst you should be around to give them help and guidance when they need it, your presence can often side-track younger children. Consider what you are doing whilst they are learning and try to disrupt them as little as possible.
5. Engage with Learning
Sometimes children are happy and content engaging in virtual learning by themselves, other times, it takes a lot more to motivate them. Having a parent actively engaging and showing interest in the activities and tasks can help to keep them focused and on target. Turn learning into a game or challenge for them; let them become the teacher and you the student; make a quiz or competition between the two of you. There are so many fun ways that you can engage with the content to encourage young children and make virtual learning more interesting.
6. Rules, Goals, and Routines
Having structure to virtual learning can help stop younger children from getting distracted and losing focus. Not only having a certain space for them to learn but also setting regular times for virtual learning will keep them motivated. If they know the routine has them doing an hour of virtual learning or finishing a set task and then they get to watch an episode of their favorite show, they will be eager to get their heads down. Create rules that they have to stick to in order to be rewarded with something they want, and virtual learning can be a breeze (most of the time, anyway).
Virtual learning has become such a normal part of education for kids everywhere, and it isn’t going anywhere. It’s essential you are aware of how to keep your children safe, productive, and motivated to give them the best start in their education possible.