As an Early Childhood Education teacher, you're always looking for inspiration for your classroom. The quarantined situation that we all are in together has also pushed us further to lookout for new ways to make online home-based learning more innovative and creative.
To build this community of educators who are dealing with a situation like this for the first time, Early Childhood Association conducted a Live talk in association with Google For Education, Association for Primary Education and Research (APER), and ScooNews.
During the opening remarks and introduction, Co-conducting the Live session, Bani Paintal Dhawan, Head of Education, South Asia, Google, stressed on the fact that how using these online platforms will now serve schools during the emergency. She said, "Google has specific platforms like Hangout which can be used for flipped classrooms that the secondary schools are already using for quite some time now. We're happy and excited about the Early Childhood Education movement in India and believe that the concerned institutes will get a 'hang' of it soon."
Dr Arunabh Singh, Chair - Uttar Pradesh West, FICCI Arise & Director, Nehru World School, who took a quick session on 'School Journey on Technology Integration,' said that it's time we turn our learnings gathered from conferences so far into real actions. He stated, "Let's together experience the power of digital learning. There is no need to feel ashamed if you don't know how to use these apps. It's okay if we fail the first time. I remember when we, a bunch of educators, tried Google Hangout for the first time, we didn't realise a parent mistakenly became a part of it. We immediately learned from our mistakes. Also, as organisation leaders, make sure your team is comfortable and not scared or overwhelmed to try new things. Similarly, parents should be supported throughout as this is going to be something new for a majority of them."
Conducting an extensive talk on ‘Using Technology Effectively for Home-Based Learning in ECE,’ Dr Swati Popat Vats, President, Early Childhood Association, spoke on how ECE teachers can come up with a well-planned virtual learning curriculum that’s equally fun as any pre-school classroom. Apart from this, she also focussed on ways in which the teachers can make parents a part of this entire plan so kids can enjoy activities ranging from literacy, creativity, and physical fitness while at home.
Based on the Live discussion that took place in three slots between 800 Early Childhood Educators from around India, below are some important points that, as educators, we need to focus on ensuring the following when we plan any home-based learning for the children:
Dr. Vats emphasised on how important it is to keep the education process on-going at home during this break as it would help kids overcome the stress they might be under because of the sudden confinement.
The interactive session also had suggestions based on which applications the Early Childhood educators can try and introduce to parents, who’re currently the link between them and their students.
BORN SMART APP
CODE MONKEY JUNIOR
GOOGLE ART AND CULTURE APPLICATION
KHAN ACADEMY KIDS APPLICATION
SCHOLASTIC LEARN AT HOME
MUSSILA MUSIC SCHOOL APP
The academic research and peer reviews during this Hangout were of great influence and we believe, will help the Early Education Curriculum get some more recognition during this tough situation.
According to Dr Vats, these innovative methods are going to create history for Early Childhood educators. She said, “It’s our duty to make home-schooling for our students full of surprises. Don’t make them feel that play-time is their reward, instead let it become a learning session for them.”
On how to deal with parents, she insisted that the teachers must interact with them once a week on-call. “Keep the activities simple for the parents to understand, don’t overwhelm them. Always brief them well about the tasks allocated that will also strengthen the bond of parent-child. Every learning activity that you propose must reduce the stress the families are experiencing currently," she added.
Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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