Is it fair to subject preschoolers to online education?
The education industry has experienced a paradigm shift over the past year. From shutting down offline schools to introducing a digital classroom culture in the midst of a looming pandemic, it has caught everyone, teachers and students alike.
However, there was one segment where it was even more difficult to tap the preschool sector. It is only obvious to think that most children in this age group are new to technology and exposing them to screens for long hours is of concern to both their tutors and teachers.
Online courses require young children to use technology for an engaging learning experience.
What Makes Online Education For Preschoolers Inappropriate?
As school-going children try to adjust to online education, it is neither recommended nor viable for children under 6 to have fully online learning for the following reasons:
1. Being the most important stage in which maximum brain development occurs, too much screen time can adversely affect a child’s overall well-being.
2. It is not in the nature of a 2 year old to sit idly by in front of a screen. Preschoolers need to explore, use their visual / auditory / kinesthetic senses, and engage with different materials to learn skills for the future.
3. Online lessons have been shown to be ineffective for preschoolers and do nothing to stimulate their attention span.
If children between the ages of 2 and 6 benefit from this pseudo-preschool experience, they won’t get the right skills to grow up. The results, including, will increase at a considerably later stage.
Toddlers Need More Than Virtual Classrooms
Let’s face it. Toddlers don’t learn better through online education. They learn best by doing, especially through play. They use their every faculty, their whole body to learn.
They learn by touch and smell, by running and crawling, by building houses with strange materials, by making figures with clay or sand, and much more. Most of all, they learn by exploring!
Those who get their early learning through online methods will be in a tough spot compared to those who are offered hands-on learning exercises to reinvigorate their psychological, social and physiological skills.
How to deal with the impact of Covid-19 on the preschool sector
It is true that current circumstances are forcing institutions to adapt to online coaching, but there must be controlled measures that teachers and parents take to ensure that their children do not spend too much time in front of their screens.
On the contrary, the current situation requires an advanced approach as the pandemic does not appear to be ending. This is where blended learning comes in. A blended learning process with a mix of online and offline experiences providing the best of both worlds might be the right choice for preschoolers.
Although the exposure is numerically minimal, the learning is appropriate as children engage their senses and experience the material “practically”. Perhaps a âphygitalâ transition is what awaits the preschool industry!
– Article by Arunprasad Durairaj, CEO and co-founder, Flintoclass
Read: How preschools are tackling virtual learning for children amid coronavirus lockdown
Read: The importance of blended learning in the digital education age
Read: 5 Kindergartens In India Focused On Unique Learning Methods