Have you ever walked in on your child who was supposedly meant to be virtually learning, giggling vigorously while scrolling through pictures and videos on Facebook & Instagram, or probably just dozing away during study time?
Not such a delightful sight for a parent hoping to see their child excel academically during these uncertain times.
According to the online Premium Times, about 40% of parents are still struggling to get their children to acclimatize to eLearning, which often results in a bit of frustration as most of them seem to lack enthusiasm.
When it comes to learning, especially virtual learning, there are two sides to the coin. It’s either a child is engaged or unengaged. Bored learners are unengaged learners who seek other ways of getting engagement (e.g., being involved in social media banter, watching YouTube videos, and even sleeping mindlessly, etc.), and that’s the last thing you want for your child.
This situation has become enigmatic for some parents so much, so they have resorted to seeking professional help. Child psychiatrist and blogger Leslie Josel shared the experience of a perturbed U.S mom following her son’s attitude towards eLearning.
“All of my son’s school work is done on his computer. He uses it for the day to day work, to reference his assignments on class home pages, to download his teachers’ slideshows, etc. And, of course, I see him scrolling endlessly on Instagram or watching videos instead of doing what he needs to do. I’ve tried turning off the WiFi, but that only works when he’s writing a paper. How can I get him to do the work he needs to do without his attention constantly being diverted?”
Child development experts suggest that the average child’s attention span is 2-5 minutes multiplied by their age.
Therefore, an average 10-year-old should be able to focus on a particular task for at least 20 minutes. However, studies have shown that attention spans have shrunk by 50% over the past decade, with at least 9.5% being children diagnosed with ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity Disorder) (T.J. Ray, 2019).
For this reason, making sure a child is continuously engaged and motivated during virtual learning cannot be overemphasized. Engagement has always been a crucial component of eLearning, if not the first step to it. So, how do you make sure your child stays engaged, especially when something more exciting than the subject matter is only a click away?
Finding the missing piece of the puzzle.
It is no news that coronavirus has played a massive role in driving the world into a frenzied state. Albeit, most countries are trying to pick up their broken pieces and start down the road leading to redemption, some things will never return to the usual (emphasis on the education sector), at least not for a while.
Therefore, if any learning is going to take place, it should at least be such that the learner is solely and purely engaged throughout the learning period and is absolutely excited and looking forward to the morrows.
If your child’s eLearning practices (i.e., ranging from the learning platform, subjects, textual, interface, etc.) aren’t fascinating, then you’ve lost them.
According to Chief Learning Strategist, Tim Buff, for a subject to be exciting, it must have an intrinsic interest, which keeps the learner from becoming bored, and contracting the “Are we done yet” syndrome.
Let’s help you take a step in the right direction.
Before education can be considered effective, especially as it concerns virtual learning as the new normal, you need to grab and hold learners’ attention first of all.
Today’s learners need learning to be interactive and exciting. Boring content is not appealing at all. If your child is still reading a lengthy chunk of text from pdf, listening to a 1 hour English language lecture on a podcast, watching a science tutor on TV talk by himself for 45 minutes, then there is a 100% guarantee that they had lost interest before they even started.
GradelyNG is an eLearning platform that will transition your child’s learning experience level from zero to one hundred, with unlimited eLearning materials and real-life benefits designed to keep your child engaged and motivated all through the learning period.
For your child to have a grander experience of virtual learning, it takes just a few additional ingredients to spice things up. Consider the following:
- Real-Life Teaching
Your children are bored because their eLearning practices are lonely and isolating, geared toward solitary study, and lack opportunities for social interaction between learners.
Do you remember those holiday periods when you were stuck at home and you probably picked up a mathematics text and tried to solve some problems on your own?
Recall how annoying and exhausting it was to understand those complicated examples and how you asked yourself questions like – “how did they arrive at this answer? I wish I had someone to explain to me”.
Enhance your child’s eLearning experience by ensuring they are connected to the real world, with real-life conferencing and eLearning platforms such as Gradely, which affords the learner a one-on-one learning session with a tutor, or a live Q & A, peer discussions and knowledge sharing sessions, where tutors can answer learner’s inquiries.
Nothing beats connecting with your tutor in real-time. So, transform the monologue into a dialogue today.
- Gamify the Virtual Experience
If it is all about telling and showing, but not involving enough, interest is bound to be lost.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me, and I forget, show me, and I remember, involve me, and I learn.”
Your child enjoys playing video games; why not sign him/her up on a gamified eLearning platform? Dr Judy Willis, a certified neurologist and extensive researcher of how learning occurs, posits that gamified lessons increase retention because learners feel more connected to the material.
Gamification transforms learning from dull into engaging faster than you can say the name “Jack.”
eLearning platforms designed around doable challenges through will make the learning process feel more like a game and less like a 30 to 40 minutes lesson.
With virtual learning platforms like GradelyNG, the use of badges, leader boards, and quests will promote positive behavioural change and healthy competition among peers.
Achievements in an eLearning gamification are a traditional means of motivating learners to keep playing and to push their skills further.
“Congratulations, John, your hard work paid off. You’ve earned a blue badge for correctly filling in the missing words in less than 15 minutes. You’re a smart kid! Share your achievements with your friends.”
- Learn Some, Win Some
Offering rewards to students in a physical classroom setting is probably nothing new. It’s no surprise then that this concept has worked its way into virtual learning as well, often most prevalent through gamification initiatives, as discussed above.
Do you know that apart from bagging virtual achievements through Gradely gamification, there are myriad other benefits, maybe even real-life benefits that would boost your child’s improvement and motivation to learning?
What do you think about being rewarded with a delicious lunch treat or a huge box of mouth-watering pizza, and maybe a cup of rich, creamy, flavoured ice cream, for merely participating and engaging fervently in eLearning; cool right? Talk about the rewards of hard work.
On a Final Note
Fun eLearning packages start with accessibility and convenience as their most vital foundations. From there, exciting eLearning modalities such as real-live classes, gamification, etc. provide the fun that maintains engagement. Without a little fun, mind wandering ensues. Now you know what is missing if your child thinks virtual learning is boring.
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