Is virtual learning effective in Early Years?
- 21 June 2021
Does digital learning mean too much screen time? Should I the delay joining the school till they physically re-open? These are the questions that often come across parents’ mind in recent times. Principals from Oakridge International schools in Hyderabad share their perspective.
‘Anyone can conduct online classes. But to bring a complete schooling experience Virtually requires a great deal of planning, routine development, a blend of Online and Offline learning and finally ensuring students remain socially connected at all times‘, say Hema Chennupaty and Baljeet Oberoi, Principals of Oakridge International Schools in Hyderabad.
ROUTINES ARE IMPORTANT IN ONLINE LEARNING:
“The carefully planned timetable is a seamless blend of various lesson plans, break times, offline engagement activities and social interactions that allow students to stay engaged and aids their holistic development. Following a well laid out routine gives children a sense of security and control over their environment. As they begin to participate in these routines, they will experience a sense of satisfaction at being able to perform the tasks that enhance their confidence further”, says Hema Chennupaty, Principal, Oakridge International School Gachibowli.
INTEGRATING PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES:
Be it Yoga, Zumba, Taekwondo or regular PE activities, it is can all be delivered online to keep the children energized and engaged through the week’s learning. “Being able to do these fun activities as a group, helps them feel more socially connected and builds confidence. Physical activities also elevate their mood, helps reduce negative behaviour and plays a huge role in developing their social and motor skills.” opines Baljeet Oberoi, Principal, Oakridge International School Bachupally.
ONLINE-OFFLINE LEARNING BALANCE:
“At Oakridge, we have a range of offline activities that are emailed in advance for different days of the week by their teachers. This allows them to stay completely away from the digital screens on certain days to perform these enriching offline activities, yet remain focused on learning.”, says Ritu Agarwal, Head of Early Years at Oakridge Gachibowli.
The benefit of an integrated online-offline learning approach allows students to substantiate and better understand the concept they have learnt during their online classes with engaging offline activities. The students will also start to see continuity in everything they are learning.
Giving an example, the Head of EYP at Oakridge Bachupally says, “For a learning lesson about space, celestial objects and solar system students were asked to create a 3-D model of the solar system using the material at home and present it to the class. This form of offline activity followed by an online presentation, helps students to better engage and validate their understanding better in a group.”
“It is important for parents to remain far-sighted in the existing scenario. A well-balanced virtual learning programme helps in maintaining the intellectual sustenance and development in early learners instead of making them go through a long period of idleness till the schools reopen in a distant future“, conclude Hema and Baljeet.