From the outside, the growing generation of digitally-literate youth appears to be the most adequately equipped to overcome technological setbacks relating to the shift to online learning from the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Children are granted cell phones and internet access at younger ages than ever before — often assimilating to cyberspace years before they reach puberty or earn a driver’s license.
Despite this inadvertent preparation, the lack of an online precedent for every facet of regular classroom instruction poses a series of obstacles for current and rising students. As Natalie Wexler observes in an article for Forbes, “Even in the best of circumstances, remote instruction can intensify challenges inherent in face-to-face settings.”
As many of us are now finding, focusing throughout a work or school day at home is not often a straightforward task. When coupled with the interruption of technical challenges, distraction and frustration can all too frequently derail productive momentum. To help your child get the most out of their distance learning experience, we’ve assembled some technological guidance for navigating and troubleshooting a few of the most popular remote education tools.
Until now, the use of video call platforms among children was largely informal — generally limited to Facetime with friends and out-of-town relatives. Take this opportunity to remind your child to model appropriate classroom behavior throughout remote meetings, despite the familiarity and comfort of home surroundings. Review the following checklist together ahead of their next virtual class session:
With the rise of distance learning comes an abundance of video call applications for remote connection and education at our fingertips. Here are the more commonly used, teacher favorites:
Keep in mind that all video call applications require a webcam, which can be purchased separately if your child’s laptop or home computer is not already equipped with one.
Video conferencing applications will also require cellular data or internet access. Many service providers, such as Spectrum/Charter and Comcast/Xfinity, have updated or announced free and low-cost internet offerings in response to COVID-19. Campus Technology offers a continuously updated list of companies offering free Wi-Fi access.
COVID-19 has forcibly ushered the majority of the world into a heavily digital age. Between distance learning, remote work, and plain boredom, we are all spending more time than ever online — our children included. Take this time to introduce or review proper online conduct and cyber safety protocols with your child.
The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children has collaborated with notable tech companies and several countries to launch an international campaign connecting families with straightforward steps and further resources to keep children safe online, both during the pandemic and after.
Remote learning, like all other unfamiliar things, requires time and patience. Encourage your child to show themself some extra compassion as they acclimate to this new mode of learning and have them proactively communicate with teachers if a technical issue prevents them from participating in class sessions or in completing assignments.