Are Kids Ready for E-Learning?

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Learning is more effective when it is active rather than a passive process”- Kurt Lewin. 

From the days of open-air schools in the 18th century to the modern world of Edtech apps, The Indian education system has been turned on its head. India has the world’s largest population in the age bracket of 5-24 years and this provides a great opportunity to the education sector.

We all know this pandemic has brought about scenarios of 2030 much earlier than expected- in 2020, which has also forced pre-schools and schools to adopt e-learning and continue with their curriculum.

I strongly feel what OTT platforms are to our film industry, the Edtech platforms are to the schools. The Edtech platforms were taking away school and college students, by explaining complex theories easier to understand, also enabling the irregular students to gain affordable degrees or diplomas online. Now schools have understood, to keep up with the modern world, we will need to adopt Edtech functioning. Colleges and universities have taken their courses online, the Amity Group now offers degree programs with university guidelines. Jaipur-based IIHMR University plans to expand the teaching module through the digital segment and has collaborated with resources that can help them provide this.


Barriers of E-learning to kids-

Coming back to how kids may get affected to continuous exposure of screen time to kids of age 3 to 7, may end up getting specks at a very young age. You cannot expect a kid to sit in front of a screen for straight 45mins to an hour, without moving from a place; especially when they are at home.

Keeping children away from schools for long periods can reduce motivation for learning, trigger gradual loss of acquired knowledge and adversely affect personal development. But eLearning is only useful when technology bonds with pedagogy in the right way. While the channel of transmission is mainly from teachers to pupils or students, virtual learning for children at the early stages is virtually impossible without parental guidance.

In physical learning, teachers rely on features of the social environment to pass on knowledge. Some aspects of the physical setup can be replicated on virtual platforms, like splitting a Zoom classroom into groups, but without physical touch, there is a limit to the knowledge that will be transmitted.


Of course, the number of roles a parent has to play are numerous, to ensure that E-class goes smoothly without technical glitches. The mother has to juggle several roles like; she is co-teacher, helping explain parts and aspects of lessons that don’t come through clearly. She is a physical therapist and learning companion, ensuring her child takes thirty-minute breaks away from the screen to stretch and practice lessons. She sets up the home-side of the virtual classroom and has to regularly monitor the screen in case there’s a break in connection. The most common fear among parents is the screen time, as children spend a lot of time on digital stuff and they will probably grow up not having the roundedness required to survive in a tactile world.


Let's take look on how schools in Dubai are adapting to this E-learning:-

Schools across Dubai are offering virtual counseling sessions for students and parents to ensure their mental well-being amid the Covid-19 situation. Some sessions aim at helping parents facing pay cuts and job losses, while others help guardians keep their kids engaged as they e-learn from home.

Counselors are offering guidance to parents on managing anxiety and stress related to job losses and pay cuts. They are holding webinars from 11:30 to 1 pm with parents to understand their mindsets and concerns regarding salary cut-offs or layoff or any other matter.

Meanwhile, for kids, they will host weekly video calls for parents to discuss things ranging from mental wellbeing to issues with children's home classes. The school aims to mitigate parents' anxieties related to e-learning. Melissa Skiles, head of Inclusion of the school, said: "One of my colleagues would hold weekly support sessions on mental health and wellbeing, whereas my focus will be on managing and supporting learning and behaviors at home."

We sometimes assume that kids are digital natives and that they know how to engage in a digital learning environment. Still, a lot of those behaviors don’t transfer when you are trying to adjust to a class environment. Hence, we need to think about the pattern of online lectures and make it useful and learning-friendly platform to keep students intrigued.

Written by - Soham Upadhye

Edited by - Bushra Makhdoomi



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