The internet is an amazing tool that parents can use to help their children learn. For creators, the challenge lies in designing activities that kids will actually enjoy and want to participate in.
What is eLearning?
eLearning is any form of education presented through online channels. Corporations and universities are investing billions in eLearning programs for their employees and students. The approach is quite versatile and can be applied to self-learning, one-on-one education, one-to-many teaching, collaborative learning and so forth. It is also is not limited to adults. Children of all ages can benefit from it, and it allows parents opportunities to provide their kids screen time that is productive.
The Challenge of Creating Compelling eLearning for Kids
Online educational activities for kids have to be clear, attractive and fun, which sounds rather simple but is actually quite difficult to achieve. There is a fine balance between educational and fun, and there are many activities online that are actually fun and competing for the attention of children. It is also important to appreciate that not all kids learn the same way. Some children are visual learners while others benefit more from auditory learning or hands-on activities. Your creation can specialize, but be aware that you may be alienating entire groups of children. A better—but admittedly much more difficult—approach is to create activities that provide learners with multiple ways to achieve the goals.
Understanding What Compels Children
Children are not a monolith. What works for one child may not work for another. Nevertheless, we can learn a lot about what children in general find entertaining by studying the online activities that attract them. It likely comes as little surprise to you that many of the most successful streaming services and YouTube channels for kids have colorful images, play music and present animations and activities that visitors can interact with in some way. The sheer popularity of YouTube among children demonstrates that videos in particular are an effective way to illustrate concepts to children while keeping their attention.
Make It as Easy a Possible on the Child Learner
Children are fantastic learners. You can teach them complex concepts, and they will amaze you with their ability to digest these ideas. But typically, they are not particularly patient. If your activity requires a great deal of effort for an eventual payoff, chances are that interest in it will wane. Make the steps obvious. Navigation should be simple and straightforward. Use arrows, images and animations to keep kids moving along, and when you present text, do so in small blocks that are easily consumed. There are a lot of mobile e-learning apps that can be downloaded with easy navigations that kids can follow on their own. As long as you have an internet or your cell phone service provides LTE you are good to go for downloading the app.
Present Specific Goals and Rewards
Clear goals and rewards make learning easier for everyone. People in general love progression, and it is the reason why the classic RPG elements of character level and experience points have become pervasive in video games. We can use this to our advantage as educators. You do not necessarily need RPG elements, but you should definitely present progress in a way that is easy to measure. Having kids “level up” as they progress through your program is a very effective way of capturing their attention.
Do Not Forget the Parents
In creating online educational activities for children, it is important not to forget about the parents who oversee their education. By structuring activities in smaller modules with clear goals and rewards, you have all the information you need to provide parents insight into where their children are excelling and where they need assistance. This helps parents find other activities—perhaps created by you or someone else—that focuses on those areas where the child needs improvement.
Article by Born Realist