The education industry has seen a paradigm shift over the past year. From shutting offline schools to introducing a digital classroom culture amidst a looming pandemic, it has caught everybody off-guard — teachers and students alike.
However, there was one segment that found it even harder to operate the preschool sector. It is only obvious to think most children of this age group are new to technology and exposing them to screens for long hours is concerning to both their guardians as well as teachers.
Online classes demand young children to use technology to have an engaging learning experience.
What makes online education for preschoolers inappropriate?
While school-going children are trying to adapt to online education, it is neither recommended nor viable for children below 6 years to have the learning delivered completely online because of the following reasons:
1. Being the most important stage where maximum brain development occurs, too much screen time can be detrimental to a child’s overall well-being.
2. It is not in a 2-year old’s nature to sit idle in front of a screen. Preschool children need to explore, use their visual/auditory/kinesthetic senses, and engage with different materials to gain skills for the future.
3. Online classes have proven to be ineffective for preschoolers and do nothing to stimulate their attention span.
If children aged between 2 and 6 years are given this pseudo-preschool experience, they will not gain the right skill set to grow. The results, of which, will augment at a considerably later stage.
Young toddlers need more than virtual classrooms
Let’s face it. Little ones don’t learn best through web-based education. They learn better through action, mostly play. They utilize every one of their faculties, their whole bodies to learn.
They learn through touch and smell, running and crawling, building houses with odd materials, making figures with clay or sand, and much more. Above all, they learn by exploring!
Those who get their preschool learning through online methods will be in a tough spot contrasted with those who are offered hands-on learning exercises to invigorate their psychological, social, physiological skills.
How to deal with Covid-19 impact on preschool sector
It is true that the current circumstances demand institutions to adapt to online coaching but, there must be controlled measures that teachers and parents take to guarantee their kids don’t spend too much time in front of their screens.
If anything, the current situation requires an advanced approach as the pandemic doesn’t seem to end. This is where blended learning comes in. A blended learning process with a mix of online and offline experiences giving the best of both worlds could be the right choice for preschoolers.
While the exposure is digitally minimal, the learning is appropriate as children engage their senses and experience the materials ‘hands-on’. Perhaps, a ‘Phygital’ transition is what awaits the preschool industry!
– Article by Arunprasad Durairaj, CEO and Co-founder, Flintoclass