Over the past few years, learning online has become a new tool to help children keep up with their school work whilst the pandemic kept (and is still keeping) many at home. During the lockdowns, numerous primary schools began to utilise live lessons using apps like Zoom, Teams, etc. Some of which, continue to be utilised to allow pupils to connect remotely with their education, as well as their teacher. Although most children in the UK are back to school, we know a huge amount of children all over the world are still in online classrooms, including many of our students in Hong Kong and China. Added to this the increase in parents turning towards online tuition to supplement their child’s learning, there is a growing need for sound advice around making the most of online learning.
At Primary Tutor Project, we know that learning online can be very different from being in the classroom so we wanted to gather the best tips we have discovered through first hand experience and feedback from our wonderful tutors!
1. Have the right technology – there are numerous ways to connect to live lessons. You can access the relevant apps through mobiles, laptops, tablets and even gaming consoles such as an Xbox (this can be useful to know if you have more than one child). If this isn’t an option, speak to your child’s teacher as some schools are lending laptops to students for online learning. Another option is to apply through a charity for a laptop – here.
Online Learning Tips:
2. Know the rules – Trying to control 30-odd pupils or even one student through a computer screen can be difficult at the best of times. The ground rules will be similar to their classroom rules – not talking while the teacher is talking, raising their hand if they have a question etc. It’s worth asking if your child knows the rules so they know how they’re expected to behave. It’s also good to make yourself familiar with the rules, so you can make sure your child is following them.
3. Techy bits – Make sure your child’s username is clear so their teacher or tutor will recognise them easily in each session. No nicknames! Use headphones – these help your child focus without being distracted by the noise of daily life in the background. Show your child how to use the raise hand and mute function – your child’s teacher may put the whole class on mute to prevent shouting out, so it is important your child knows how to raise their hand and unmute and mute themselves when they want speak. It may also be useful if you can show your child how to switch between single person and gallery screen modes so they can focus in on the tutor or teacher when needed.
4. Unnecessary tabs – This is a big no, no! Having lots of tabs open in the background can be a huge distraction to your child, and can use up bandwidth, making the device work slower so live lessons are more likely to freeze. Close all unnecessary tabs.
5. Asking questions – This is so important for your child to be involved. Being able to ask questions effectively during online learning is essential. Teach your child the natural flow – raise hand virtually, once acknowledged by the teacher unmute themselves, ask question, mute themselves and lower virtual hand. It takes practice, but it is a vital tool for each child to know during their online learning session!
Be patient, children have shorter attention spans, so it’s natural for their concentration to wander, and for them to need more help focusing, understanding and using the technology. Teachers and tutors know that there are likely to be obstacles to remote learning and they will do their best to help your child. If you have problems – whether technical or with your child’s engagement – drop your child’s teacher or tutor an email. By working together, you should be able to reach a solution that works for everyone.
If you still seem to be struggling get in contact with us here at Primary Tutor Project where we have a wealth of knowledge in tutoring children online.