Back to School The Virtual Way – Learning Never Stops!

June is here and that means it’s back to school time! This year as we fight the pandemic, virtual learning has taken over across the world. This is a reminder that such a crisis could shut schools, but learning never really stops.

Virtual classrooms enable schools to continue to impart education into the children ensuring that learning and development is uninterrupted. We could well see the impact of the pandemic extend for this whole academic year, which means we need to create an alternative learning experience to ensure children aren’t affected. This is also important to ensure a smooth transition in all aspects back to a physical classroom.

Keeping in mind the effects of screen time, schools must evolve a learning solution that doesn’t exceed virtual interaction beyond 1 hour per day especially for children between 2 -5 years, which is the recommendation put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics and WHO. Apart from smart class interactive tools, the video- enabled remote classrooms enable children to interact with teachers and peers on a regular basis.

‘During a time when children are confined within their homes, providing such a platform help nurture the child’s social-emotional aspect by giving them an opportunity to share thoughts, ask questions, feel loved, receive appreciation, build a routine and engage with fun learning tools’, says psychologist Nivetha Raj. Children shall also be given offline learning opportunities with structured activities so they continue their learning independently with their family. It is something they look forward to, though it definitely can’t be seen as a replacement for the physical classrooms. The whole idea is to creatively propel every child’s growth forward under such a crisis.

With children of all ages across the world adapting to video-enabled remote classrooms, it’s important we give them the time, support and freedom during the settling phase. Nivetha Raj has shared few tips for parents to keep in mind when engaging children on the virtual classroom learning:

  • Provide a conducive learning environment so your child recognises it’s time to learn.
  • Ensure the device which is being used is child friendly and safe, preferably laptop or desktop.
  • Ensure children adapt the right posture, seated upright on a chair with the device on the table at a distance of 18 -24 inches.
  • Accompany and motivate younger children until they become independent. Parent supervision is mandatory when children access educational media resources online.
  • Work with your child’s school to ensure they have best learning experience.
  • Understand the tools and concepts that your child enjoys the most during the virtual class and help nurture that at home as well.
  • Engage your child in kinesthetic activities and provide healthy snacks as it fuels them with positive energy.
  • Limit their overall screen time with other resources like TV, smartphones and video games.
  • Help your child build a daily routine with enough time to rest, play, learn, eat and spend time with family.
  • Help your child to have fun, learn and discover every single day even during a crisis like COVID-19.

Happy Learning!

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