In 2020, preschools grappled with an unfamiliar situation of online lesson delivery to preschoolers, a group that had no idea why they were being forced to stay home when they should have been out playing. A year later, this still remains a challenge as most preschools wade through uncharted territory, gauging the best methods of imparting education. As teachers create lesson plans to be delivered effectively online, on one hand there is the issue of class management and on the other, lesson retention. How do preschools ensure maximum learning happens in short, concentrated periods of virtual social interactions and can they lean on technology to assist them with this task?
It is somewhat unfortunate that playtime and peer interactions have been reduced to a screen but something is better than nothing. With plenty of kids learning software at the preschool’s disposal, building discipline and activity interest through fun and regular sessions is key to lesson retention. For this to happen, teacher training programmes need to be conducted and course plans suited to online delivery must be offered. While screen time is best limited for preschoolers with the onus on parents in effecting that, monitoring classes and progress is recommended even after a level of learning comfort has been achieved by the child. All of this can be made possible through learning softwares.
Here are some reasons why preschools need to offer educational software, apart from the obvious benefit of lesson continuity.
- Interactive content delivery
Most kids learning software offer interactive and engaging formats to deliver lessons to preschoolers and this is one of the main reasons why preschools must onboard a good educational platform. By getting children to perform activities like role play, story telling, sound recognition, object naming etc, their levels of concentration will be much higher with better lesson retention. One of the advantages of virtual learning is recreating or presenting any kind of learning matter with a search and color concepts and ‘learn-by-doing’ activities can keep the child engaged and focused.
- Offers a replacement for peer and social interactions
Online learning programs, specifically preschool learning software, provides a ‘next-to-real’ experience for toddlers by introducing them to a whole new group of friends. Through parental guidance, they can interact and play with their peers in a socially distant environment. Additionally, using learning softwares also helps with the parent-child dynamic at home, providing opportunities to work towards a common goal and fostering the parent-child relationship in a sub-environment. These are proven to be critical to develop a child’s social and emotional faculties and technology can contribute significantly.
- A monitoring tool for ensuring discipline and regularity
When preschools sign up students on their educational software, this means adding some level of predictability and structure back into the preschooler’s day. It has been proven that lessons are best retained in the morning, post which the child has ample time to inculcate what he or she has learnt in daily activities. A combination of live sessions and independent learning activities offered by the preschool help children establish a consistent routine that has been shown to have many benefits for children from developing independence to bringing security and stability.
- Helping toddlers meet their developmental milestones
Developmental milestones related to physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and communication skills were more easily tracked in a traditional classroom setting with regular progress reports on the child going to parents. With preschools onboarding students on their software, they will be introduced to age-appropriate lessons and activities designed by teachers. The responsibility of tracking progress by parents can be facilitated by learning platforms with introductions to literacy and numeracy skills, story construction, and functional activities like cleaning and self-care. For those who are unable to return to school, the anxiety of learning loss can also be minimized through online learning. Preschoolers can get a headstart before it is safe to go to school and continue their learning journey. Until then, parents will need to assess the right educational software for preschoolers that fits the learning needs of their children and ensure regular attendance in class.
- Source of revenue
As the pandemic continues, there is no certainty on when schools will reopen and admit students. Due to this, most preschools have adopted learning software and trained existing faculty to deliver lessons online. This means that the preschool institution can maintain their source of fee revenue by controlling infrastructure costs and other costs they would normally incur in a traditional education delivery system. By moving the method of instruction online, children are also able to continue learning without missing out on early school years. Once it is deemed safe to go to school, children will be better equipped to resume their lessons.
Most preschool learning softwares and online learning, in general, introduce children to new concepts that can be explored in a deeper route when compared to the traditional classroom. Rote learning has been replaced by hands-on learning which is regarded to be more effective in terms of making sense of concepts and their applications in the real world. Infact, simple activities that can be carried out at home will promote holistic development. However, this needs the active participation of parents in ensuring attentiveness and follow-up activities. Easier feedback routes, reminders and manageable communication channels are an added benefit for the parents.
In conclusion, even with learning platforms, teachers and parents will need to provide ample leeway for children and not make it all about lesson learning and homework. Considering lower rates of attention and retention, the best way to provide uninterrupted learning is to introduce more play-based lessons and activities. There are plenty of additional resources in the form of games, short cartoon films and development-focused videos that parents can expose their children to reinforce concepts learned at school. These are strange and unpredictable times to live in and until the signs of near-normalcy are visible, we must help our little ones cope with the world inside their heads and homes.