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Two years ago Covid 19 struck our world and changed our everyday lives. While we have started to recover towards the pre-pandemic lifestyle, the way we viewed the classroom setting has changed significantly. The debate from should we incorporate an electronic and technology-intensive mode of teaching shifted to how should we incorporate e-learning in the most efficient way possible. Consequently, the reputation of the electronic learning model has been emphatically improving making it one of the most popular alternatives to the traditional education system in the modern world.
WHAT IS E-LEARNING AND WHY YOUR ELEMENTARY CLASS CAN BENEFIT FROM IT
In a broad sense, e-learning is a way of delivering educational material and learning through digital media and resources. It is important to understand that online learning and e-learning are not quite similar. Online learning encompasses using media like zoom or google meet that allows live interaction between the student and the teacher. While e-learning does not allow for this interaction. Regardless, e-learning has its advantages and has its own respectable niche in the education system. With the return to normalcy and in-person education, there are fewer opportunities for online learning, but e-learning can still be leveraged due to its numerous advantages. Let’s take a look at a few benefits:
One of the advantages of e-learning is that it promotes self-study on the student’s part. They are free to set their own schedules and are able to revisit any learning material as many times as they want. This is in direct contrast to the traditional mode of learning, where you may miss important lectures due to unforeseen incidents or otherwise.
One of the biggest advantages of e-learning is that it removes the barrier of having to be present in person on institutional venues. If lectures and materials are present through digital media you have better freedom to utilize your time than having to rush to and from the venue. Similarly, a learner would not have to sacrifice his education when not being able to visit their institution due to being away from the city or otherwise.
Breadth of Educational Material
Another huge advantage of e-learning is that it allows students to be able to access the course materials of their choice. It also empowers teachers to bring educational material to their lectures that might not be available in their own institution. For example, teachers can provide students with a brief introduction to robotics or circuits using lectures or training exercises from other institutions.
E-learning leaves a data trail of student performance during its utilization. As educators, this data is of great importance as it gives us an insight into how students respond to specific study material. This can allow us to identify potential deficiencies and track student progress. Allowing us to carry out tuning to the way we teach as needed.
E-learning does not simply encompass recorded lectures, it also includes digital resources and communication platforms. Through e-learning students (or parents for the appropriate grades) can reach out to their peers and their teachers to indulge in discussions regarding the course content or any other problems that they may come across. This allows anybody from the respective class to pitch in and to help each other out. A great method of boosting communication and levying help from one another.
4 WAYS TO INCORPORATE E-LEARNING IN THE ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM
Now you may be wondering about all the ways that you can leverage electronic media to give that added boost to your classroom. While there is honestly no limit, we’ll provide a few examples that may help you get started.
Create Introduction Videos
You can leverage e-learning to prepare videos for your elementary class before they start school. Coming into a new environment can be scary for elementary students. Having a video in which you introduce yourself and introduce the fun and educational aspects of coming to school can be a good ice breaker and can help motivate younger students to start learning. It would also demystify any false connotations they have in school and can also be used to reassure parents that their kids will be in good hands.
Important instructional material such as class routines or how to access resources can be created as videos or other digital media that students and parents can visit or revisit any time they want and any number of times they want. Parents can use these materials to help their kids revise what they learn in school while students can use this for revision in case they forget what the class routines are.
Use Online Communication Platforms
Online communication platforms such as Slack can be used by students and parents alike to be up to date with any school or class announcements. As well as utilize it as a platform to discuss or solve any problems they might have. As a teacher you may not be available all the time to answer queries, hence a platform such as this can allow students or parents to put their queries forward that you can answer according to your schedule without missing them.
As we mentioned before, e-learning can help increase the breadth of resources that you have access to. Your time in class is limited and you may have other material that you want to teach your students but may not have enough time. You can reference such material preferably educational videos to students and inform parents through Slack that their children can reference these videos to learn in their free time.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
As always, we finish with a reminder that as teachers, we need to cover all our bases before we make any modifications in the classroom. Being unprepared is a key ingredient for disaster, that’s why you should always carefully reference and learn about e-learning as much as you can before you implement it. . Stay safe, and keep your class poppin’.