This week, The Times newspaper reported that experts have questioned whether private schools have relied too heavily on live online lessons. One expert based at Harvard has said that online lessons should be limited to 2 hours for younger pupils.
The same expert said that asking children to view live lessons all day was not effective and can cause learning fatigue. This same problem could apply to all schools, not just private schools.
There are other ways to engage child learners
Learning should be interactive, creative and fun. Whilst children crave and need teacher led-instruction, videos should be digestible and short enough in length, so as not to lose focus. Schools should then set engaging tasks which aim to test subject knowledge, as well as dispersing these with fun activities to offer the creative side of learning that children love.
Let children show their work
In earlier articles, we have discussed how children like to showcase their work. Being able to share written pieces or artwork creations gives purpose to the task and encourages children to try their best. An online learning solution should allow pupils to upload their achievements, with opportunity for both teachers and peers to react and comment.
Feedback, marking and reward
Children crave acknowledgement and praise. In school, both effort and achievement are praised and rewarded. An online learning solution should offer the same, so that children can showcase their work and teachers can mark and provide feedback, giving praise and reward for effort and achievement. Feedback that can be given privately is essential, but so is the ability to share and showcase.
Offering the means for whole classes and peer groups to collaborate on work or start class conversations around different topics is a great way to engage learning and allow communication between peers. As long as this is done in a secure and safe environment, it can also build a solid foundation for the online strand of the forthcoming Relationships Education framework, which is coming into play soon.
Games and online activities
Curriculum-led games and activities are a great way to practise and test learning. It makes the process fun and interactive. It’s a great time saver too. It offers instant marking, which is great for the child. Lots of games and activities also offer the facility to practise, re-try and improve scores.
It’s one thing to serve work through an online learning solution, but one of the most important elements of teaching remotely is to offer your pupils the opportunity to communicate with both their teachers and peers. If a child needs clarification in class, they will put their hand up and speak to the teacher and often their peers. An online learning solution needs to offer the same opportunity for children to speak to their teachers and peers alike. By offering a safe communication system, which could include email, blogs and forums, children can discuss work and any problems with their understanding directly with their teacher. Tools like forums enable group conversations where thinking may be clarified, and misperceptions challenged and corrected.
Balance improves well-being
Even as adults our attention span for watching content online is limited. This is even more true for children. It is evident that children need the opportunity to experience structured remote learning sessions, but then to follow-up with an activity at times that suit them and in ways that enable communication, collaboration and engagement with their teachers and peers as well as content. Online lessons have a significant role to play in remote learning, but they are not the be all and end all. Children’s well-being must be protected by offering a range of both online and offline opportunities.
Cover all your online learning & resource requirements with DB Primary
Create a class community page, which your pupils can access remotely. Teachers can create and easily assign their own activities within a matter of seconds
- Upload and embed teaching videos easily
- Encourage collaboration and communication in a safe environment with blogs, forums and emails
- Set self-marking, instantly assignable activities from our extensive Learning Library for pupils to complete remotely from home
- Includes high quality computing, maths, English and topics resources
- Age appropriate design ensures children need little/no assistance from teacher/parents to use effectively