The chasm between the education imparted in schools and skills required for the world has led to the emergence of online learning platforms designed specifically for kids. As a result, there is an increased emphasis on the skills imparted to children at a very early age, i.e., during their pre-school and primary school years which is based on a realization that children need to be upskilled to equip themselves for today’s world challenges. The emphasis is on teaching application-based subjects and developing 21st-century skills like creativity, communication, and critical thinking apart from prerequisites like digital awareness and literacy.
Online Classes: An early Start
The early years are also the foundational period of a child’s life; it is the phase when the maximum development of the brain occurs. It is a phase of intense intellectual, physical, socio-economic, and emotional development and a period for nurturing one’s creative expression. Online classes and courses on reading, writing, and art keep children engaged in such a context. Pre-schoolers and primary school students are restless and full of energy; online classes are a useful way of channeling that energy into learning and knowledge pursuits.
This pursuit is being facilitated by several platforms today. Both accredited institutions offer online classes for kids, such as the Smithsonian Learning Lab and established companies. The courses offered by the Smithsonian Learning Lab include videos, readings, DIY projects, and interactive games. Similarly, Breakout EDU provides a collection of educational video games that integrate math, science, and comprehension and are meant for kids from 3 to 18. Scholastic has created ‘Learn from Home,’ a 5-day program meant for students from pre-kindergarten to age 6. The program includes text, videos, and interactive activities.
Reimaging the Curriculum
However, some companies also focus on curriculum-related learning through new tools and methodologies. BeyondSkool, for example, offers ingenious programs that complement the existing educational system and urge students to go beyond the curriculum. With a vision of creating a new generation of problem-solvers, innovators, and influencers, BeyondSkool’s programs aim to boost a child’s communication, curiosity, and creativity and promote skills like reading, math fluency, and scientific thinking, among others.
The online learning platform subscribes to the philosophy of transforming children from mere ‘knowledge acquirers to knowledge multipliers’ and is based on ‘Multiple Intelligences.’ Coming up with the world’s first IQ+EQ+CQ program, BeyondSkool seeks to build the Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Quotient (EQ), and Creative Quotient (CQ) of kids.
Fashioning a New Future
Given the multiple dimensions that online classes and programs focus they give pre-schoolers and primary school students a distinct edge and advantage. By enabling them to grasp concepts through an interactive learning mode, online classes give kids the opportunity to explore and discover their talents. By developing critical thinking skills in young children from an early age, such programs nurture thought leaders and innovators of tomorrow. Filling in the gaps of the traditional school curriculum, online classes also give kids an opportunity to think out of the box. Programs designed for pre-schoolers or primary school students give these students an early bird advantage as far as facing the challenges of school education is concerned.
Online spaces and tools can also add to the educational experience of kids. More importantly, online learning has become a necessity, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. Online classes prevented the pandemic from acting as a barrier to the learning process and growth of kids. Online education and classes for kids include both curriculum-based classes and extra-curricular or co-curricular activities, which keep in mind an integrated approach and age-wise learning milestones.
Online classes also have many key takeaways. Apart from being interactive and flexible, they give children the opportunity to be more independent. Online classes are also student-centric and are designed around the learning needs of the child/learner. Thus, online classes will transform the way kids learn and nurture kids who, when they grow up, will transform the world around them.