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Impact of online learning methodology on pre-learners in India

Neyda Haq
Dec 4, 2020
Learning

When considering admission at a school in Pune, parents are often interested in learning about the impact of technology and online learning on their children. It is satisfactory to note that technology has had some positive impact on education, as the lockdown in 2020 has shown. The recent pandemic has seen a rise in remote learning, and parents are worried about their children’s development. Academics is not the primary point of focus in preschool education. Early childhood education is about children's social, emotional, and physical development as they prepare for kindergarten.  The best way that these young kids learn is through play, but online learning and virtual classrooms have taken the fun out of learning in general.

Parents apprehension of Online education

Online education for preschoolers can take a lot of time to get used to. As the school admissions in Pune and other major cities are about to resume in the new academic session, many are still apprehensive of initiating their child into online education. However, they can learn how to make the experience better for their children. 

Many parents in India wonder if remote learning is effective for kids who are below three years. Some have a hard time getting their toddlers to sit through a 30 minutes class. While some parents say that their kids don’t want to attend their online classes. Of course, these parents don’t want their kids to miss out or lag behind in their education. However, most of them now understand that virtual learning is the new normal even though they don’t like it.


The Three “K”  Syndromes

Even schools are having a hard time finding effective teaching methods for preschoolers online There is not enough research or case studies to examine how online teaching should be done and how effective it is for preschoolers. A child will usually sit and watch YouTube kids on their tablet for 30 minutes, but they are unable to sit through their online classes. What could be possible reasons

  • Kids have short attention spans
  • Kids are easily distracted
  • Kids miss interacting with their teachers and fellow peers personally


Challenges faced by online preschoolers in India

No personal interactions

The World Health Organization allows up to one hour of video interaction with a human per child. However, there is still a communication gap between students and teachers when it comes to virtual learning. Online classes are usually interrupted by technical glitches or slow internet speeds that cause lagging. If the connection is bad or slow, children can either get left behind during the lesson or get cut off and be overlooked by their teacher.

It is important to note that none of this is intentional, but sadly it is something that has to gradually come around with remote learning. Parents must take an active role in explaining to their kids how things have changed and what to expect during virtual lessons. 

Not easy to adapt

Although virtual learning has been going on for the better part of 2020, both kids and teachers are having a hard time adjusting to the new norm. For example, teachers who have not previously interacted with online teaching tools are in a fix about taking online classes. Before they learn how to use a platform like Zoom or Google Meet, a lot of class time has been lost. Preschoolers also have a hard time adapting to the new learning routines. Parents have to explain why they are going to school at home and get them to pay attention during class time. 

Too much screen time

Although kids today are growing up in the digital era, some parents have limited their children’s screen time. Maybe kids are allowed to play on their tablets for only one hour a day. However, now they spend more time on their devices, which can affect their social development. Experts have suggested that online learning for preschoolers should focus on social- emotional learning and language skills. It is because education is a social venture, which is why it has always been done in schools where people interact and learn from each other. 

Financial burden

Another issue is that due to the recent pandemic, many families are going through financial woes. Some parents might not afford to purchase multiple devices for their work and their kids. Imagine if a family has three kids at different academic levels, and both parents are struggling with their jobs due to the pandemic. Parents can have a difficult time arranging the finances needed to buy the necessary devices for all their kids.

The positive impact of remote learning for preschoolers at GIIS Pune

1. Documentation has been made easy

All the class notes, assignments and other school projects are stored, shared and accessed online. Classwork for preschoolers is easily accessible through online learning tools and games and other educational apps. 

2. Learning options are limitless

Virtual learning has allowed for more creativity in the modes of lessons delivered at GIIS. Teachers  use video, animated texts, infographics, interactive puzzles  among other methods to teach children certain concepts. It makes learning more interactive and caters to preschoolers who are more of visual and practical learners. Academic experts keep discovering new methods that can make online learning more interesting for children. 

3. Transparent learning process

Many parents worry about the quality of education delivered by schools. However, with remote learning options, parents can actually visualise the learning process and also access vast information about the child's education welfare at MyGIIS Portal. Moreover, parents can also share inputs with the teachers based on their observations while their child is attending virtual classes.


How can parents help their kids with online learning?

Online learning requires parents to be actively involved and this is something parent should remember when seeking admission at an international school in Pune. You have to supervise your preschooler and make sure they sit through the whole class. Encourage your child to participate during the class activities, whether it is singing or games. It is also essential for you to set up a schedule for your child while at home. Routines are necessary for younger kids because predictability makes them feel safe. It also creates a sense of responsibility, knowing when their class time is and preparing accordingly.

Preschoolers learn best when they engage their senses. The best way to engage their senses is through play. You can supplement their online education by incorporating sensory games, water play and other games to build their motor skills.  Games are the best way to make learning fun for preschoolers.

Adjusting to remote learning can be tricky. It is essential to remain in constant contact with the teacher. Feel free to ask for their help when you need it.


Neyda Haq

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