With schools having reopened for over a month now, you may be asking yourself this question: is there really still a need for online learning?
After all, weren’t online lessons just a temporary stopgap measure to protect our children from being exposed to COVID-19? Barring a resurgence of the virus (touch wood!), there should be no reason for you to ever consider online learning again.
Well, not exactly.
All signs point to online learning being here to stay. Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung recently suggested that home-based learning (HBL) could become “a permanent and regular feature of education” in Singapore.
In one form or another, online learning has also been a part of the educational landscape for over 20 years. Far from being a new and untested novelty, online learning has spent the last two decades shaping itself into a more attractive option for all types of learners.
Ultimately, it all comes down to what works best for your child and the kind of educational experience you are looking for. While online learning may never be as interactive or engaging as a face-to-face class, here are 5 reasons why you might want to give it another look.
Why Online Learning Can Be Beneficial for Your Child
Reason #1: Save time and enjoy greater convenience
One of the greatest advantages of online learning is its convenience and accessibility. When Wi-Fi access is all your child essentially needs in order to learn, you’re able to save a lot more time and effort.
For example, you will no longer need to ferry your child to and from physical classes in potentially far-off locations. The travelling time thus saved will allow both you and your child to devote more time to the activities that matter, as well as enjoy the perks of a more flexible schedule.
Many online learning providers also offer students access to full lesson recordings and materials after the end of a lesson. This means that your child will be able to quickly make up for lost ground even if he/she should happen to miss a class.
Reason #2: Build up your child’s independence and self-discipline
The online learning environment can be less structured than a traditional class setting. It may not always be possible for teachers to continually keep track of every student’s progress over a screen, which may result in less supervision for your child than usual.
This, however, is the perfect opportunity for your child to pick up skills that many do not acquire until much later in life.
With the wonders of the Internet just an Alt + Tab away, your child will have to learn how to stay focused and avoid distractions. Without immediate feedback from a teacher, your child will have to be prepared to work independently and devise his/her own solutions.
You may have to give your child lots of support and guidance initially, but it’s all worth it to help him/her learn what being responsible for one’s work truly means.
Reason #3: Get personalised and individualised attention from instructors
While a group online class may not provide the same amount of supervision or engagement as an offline one, some online learning programmes do feature another unique selling point – one-on-one attention from teachers and instructors.
Videoconferencing tools such as Zoom allow teachers to set up breakout rooms to interact with smaller groups of students, but it’s also possible for an online programme to come with individualised coaching sessions built in. During these sessions, you can expect for your child’s learning needs to be addressed in a more targeted manner.
An instructor may choose to focus on your child’s areas of weakness, reinforcing key concepts where needed. If your child already demonstrates a good understanding of what has been taught, he/she may be challenged with more advanced content instead.
Such sessions can also help instructors build rapport with their virtual students. Armed with a more intimate knowledge of how your child learns best, instructors will be better placed to tease out your child’s full potential.
Reason #4: Stretch your dollar further
We have already mentioned how online learning can save you the trouble of fetching your child to and from physical classes. What we haven’t said is how this will help you save on transport costs as well. Without having to make one or more trips to an enrichment centre every week, you will be able to go for longer periods of time between each top-up of your fuel tank or EZ-Link card.
Online learning programmes also tend to be more affordable and/or cost-effective, as most providers do not have to worry about renting classroom space or paying for the upkeep of facilities. This translates into cost savings that are then passed on to consumers.
Even in cases where a provider runs both physical and online classes, you will find that the online option offers better value. For the same price, you may get interactive quizzes, online-exclusive lesson materials or even additional instruction time.
Reason #5: Stay safe and focused from the comforts of home
The spread of COVID-19 in Singapore appears to have been contained for now, but a workable vaccine will not be available for another six months to a year at least. If limiting your child’s potential exposure to the virus is a priority for you, online learning may be the best choice to safeguard his/her health.
Safety concerns aside, your child may also find it more beneficial to study and learn within the home environment. Some children thrive in group settings where the efforts of their classmates spur them on to work harder, while others focus better without friends to distract them. Your child may prefer a quiet room at home if he/she fits into the latter category.
Remember that you have control over the home environment, so it’s within your power to make it as conducive as possible for your child!
Discover a New Way of Learning with MindChamps Online Academy
To support the learning of our students over the Circuit Breaker period, we launched MindChamps Online Academy and brought most of our enrichment programmes online.
Now, even as our centre-based classes resume, we want to continue exploring fresh ways of helping our students learn better. With that, we are including this new model of online learning for our Primary Success and PSLE Success Programmes.
Combining the best of online group classes and individual coaching sessions, our programmes will ensure an effective learning outcome for your child. Apart from our exclusive MindChamps curriculum that has benefited many students over the years, every lesson will also include activities designed to nurture a Champion Mindset in your child.
Learn More About How We’re Transforming the Online Learning Landscape!
Visit our website for more details.
Written by Leslie Wong