As a new parent, your child’s education is an exciting area of interest, and a big part ofthe responsibilities and decisions that come with parenthood. You will likely find yourself deciding which school to enroll your children into, tracking and encouraging your child’s progress as they reach various learning milestones, checking to make sure that they’ve completed their homework assignments, and just generally acting like a teacher – but without the reward of the proverbial apple! Online learning may be one way to reduce the amount of time you spend monitoring your children’s education, possibly even opening up some free time for you to catch up on the rarest of new parent resources — sleep!
Capturing the young mind
As a supplement to the classroom, the online learning experience offers so much for younger children. Virtual learning can be a great way to capture the fleeting attention span of younger minds. Online learning engages so many of the senses simultaneously, and offers an interactive experience that keeps younger children interested and focussed. Through interactive learning modules, and kid-friendly characters, sounds and voices, online learning can easily mimic the world of a child, and bring learning and new knowledge to a level that makes sense for younger minds.
Online learning has several other advantages that can help parents enhance their younger children’s educational experience. The flexibility of online learning facilitates home learning for kids living outside of major urban centres, who may have to spend more time than they’d like in bed due to illness, or for parents who would rather have their kids home schooled. Virtual learning also helps parents keep track of their child’s learning progress, and supports robust testing and scoring capabilities to assess progression to subsequent learning levels. Online learning programs can be easily customized to suit your child’s unique learning level and interests, for example, reviewing math problems and principles if this is an area of weakness, or focussing on dinosaurs or unicorns if this is your child’s area of interest.
Giving your children exposure to online learning at a young age also prepares them for their future schooling. Studies in education trends consistently show that schools and universities are going to incorporate more and more online or technology-based learning functions. The earlier that you can give your children exposure to the medium of online learning, the better prepared they will be as high school and post-secondary education evolves increasingly into a technology-based platform.
An "app"-titude for learning
The intersection between learning and technology is growing quickly. There are several learning “apps” and technologies in the market; making learning possible anytime, anywhere including:
- Mobile apps: Post-secondary institutions are designing “apps” tailored to educational and research needs across the curriculum.
- Tablet computing: High-resolution screens coupled with compact size make tablets a favourite supplement to classroom education.
- Game-based learning: Learning through games encourages a high degree of student collaboration and engagement.
- Learning analytics: Indirectly enhances the learning experience, as data on usage and preferences is gathered through online learning and used to modify and improve the online learning experience and curricula.
Visit some of these online learning and education websites and give your child the tools and experiences to discover who they are today—and who they will become tomorrow.
- http://www.mingoville.com – An engaging and interactive online English language learning experience for children.
- http://www.tvokids.com – Free educational games for kids aged 2 – 11.
- http://www.kidslearningstation.com – High quality, free, printable worksheets to help preschool and kindergarten kids learn the alphabet, numbers, shapes, colours, math, phonics and much more.
- http://www.BigIQkids.com – A lighthearted and interactive approach to spelling and vocabulary for children grades one through eight.
- http://treehousetv.com - An "edutainment" website designed to make learning fun for younger children.