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Benefits of Online Learning for Children - How Does It Compare to Real Life?

23 September, 2022


          
            Benefits of Online Learning for Children - How Does It Compare to Real Life? - Inspirely | STEAM Education

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit Canada in 2020, schools across the country closed down, and children and parents were left scrambling to adjust to a new system of entirely virtual learning at home - but what at first seemed daunting and restrictive actually proved to have some unexpectedly major benefits for kids. 

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Online education is all the rage in the 21st century. Whether your child learns through videos on YouTube, participates in virtual events through the web, or just had to experience taking their classes through Zoom like every student during the recent pandemic, they've likely already been exposed to the ups and downs of learning through a screen.

However you may feel about online learning as a parent, it's hard to deny the time it saves and the effort it spares compared to sending off your children to school in-person. 

But did you know that there are proven advantages to learning online as opposed to face-to-face? It may seem hard to understand given the detached, impersonal air that most parents believe online classes have, but it's true. Recent studies conducted in light of the Zoom takeover during the pandemic have shown that online learning can actually do a great deal for children - it's quick and convenient, saves tremendously on costs, offers high degrees of flexibility and responsiveness, and teaches kids beyond the traditional curriculum by letting them practice their computer skills. 

There are a lot of common misconceptions that surround online learning, but once you take a closer look, the many upsides and benefits it offers are more than clear enough to see. With classes conducted through a screen, children are more comfortable.

They face less pressure. They're encouraged to learn in their own unique way. With well-designed programs and empathetic educators, they are able to engage and interact with content in the same way that in-person classes offer them, minus the hassle of budgeting and transportation.

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But for skeptical parents, of course, these benefits may not be the most obvious at first glance. That's why we're here to help. So how, exactly, does online learning measure up to real-life classes - and more importantly, how does it improve on them?

What does online learning mean for children, exactly?

Learning through the web may sound unusual and difficult to adapt to at first, but it's really not nearly as complicated to introduce to your child as some parents may think.

When children participate in online education - whether they be school classes through the video conferencing platform Zoom, or extra-curricular programs designed to stimulate their minds during their free time - they are fully capable of learning, communicating, and engaging regardless of the delivery method of the content being presented to them. 

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To start simple, online learning means your child will get to learn from anywhere! They can choose to listen and participate in programs on the go, while travelling, or, of course, from the safety and comfort of their own bedroom. In most cases, online learning also means children are provided with all the resources they need to flourish in their classes, since programs delivered through the Internet require a lot less materials and preparation than normal in-person ones.

This can save a ton of precious time and money for both you and your children. No more stressful trips, hectic mornings, or headaches from shepherding unruly kids everywhere - with online education, your child can wake up, spend a nice morning, and choose exactly where and how they want to participate in their classes. 

This type of delivery also means children are more comfortable and relaxed when learning, which helps raise their productivity within the programs they participate in. When children are given the freedom to make their own decisions about how they learn, they're happier, more independent, and more willing to engage. They get the room they need to grow and thrive. They have both their academic and their personal needs met, and that combination is what creates the best possible environment for developing young minds.

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In what ways is online learning different from in-person learning?

So how are online classes distinct from ones delivered face-to-face by a teacher in the classroom? First and foremost, the most obvious difference is location. Like mentioned before, online programs can be taken by children from anywhere! They're flexible and adaptive in the best way, and instead of going to a set room every week, your child can learn best in the place that's most comfortable and convenient for them. 

On the other hand, when your child takes an online class, it's only natural that they might not be allowed the same degree of face-to-face interaction as in-person classes offer. But that won't be the whole story. Any content they learn and work they do is specially adapted for communicative learning through the screen. Instructors and teachers will be trained to deliver their programming with enthusiasm in a 100% virtual way, and for many children, reaching out through the Internet actually makes them feel safer and more at ease than talking to an adult in-person. 

Of course, compared to in-person learning, online learning naturally has both its advantages and its downsides as well. There are a few common concerns about online learning that parents might be the first to think of. Engagement, for one; many believe that the flexibility of online classes might tempt children into slacking off and procrastinating.

Parents are also worried about online education not allowing the level of communication that in-person education does, or that the programs won't be able to provide the needed amount of practical, hands-on learning that's so important in classrooms. 

 

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These are all very valid things to bring up when it comes to wanting the best for your children, but they're also rooted in a few common misconceptions about online learning. First, well-structured programs specifically designed to be delivered through the web are adapted in such a way that they promote engagement, not lessen it. They include things like weekly check-ins, interactive quizzes, and fun online activities that motivate your child into connecting with the content, so that they'll always be looking forward to their next session. 

Instructors trained in teaching content are also experienced in doing so and know the best way to communicate with youth in the most supportive and understanding way possible. What's more, if you choose the right program to sign up for - like one that's rooted in the STEAM approach to lively, participative education - it'll provide the same amount of action-oriented, hands-on engagement with much less cost and effort on everyone's end.

Programs like these offer your child specially-designed kits and materials delivered straight into their hands so they can follow along with the content in their classes while also learning at their own pace. 

So no, there's no need to be scared of online learning! It might be an unfamiliar experience for your children - if not an entirely brand-new one because of the pandemic's impact - but trying it out won't hurt them at all. And there's a great chance that it'll even help them beyond the scope of just the academic curriculum, thanks to the many unique advantages it offers compared to traditional learning. 

6 Major Benefits of Learning Virtually

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#1: You get to save time and effort.

Online classes are uber-convenient in that they almost always cost less than in-person ones to take and also require less time, resources, and overall preparation for children to participate in. There usually aren't any fancy textbooks or extensive materials needed for programs delivered through the Internet since everything is delivered through technology, allowing both you and your child to have a hands-free, trouble-free learning experience. 

#2: Your children can learn from the comfort of their home.

When children take online classes, there's no set location they need to go to, so there's no need to plan your schedules around bus trips or carpooling. Simply boot up any suitable device and let your child pick where they want to learn! This lets them engage with their education in the environment best suited to them, all so that they can perform at their best as well. 

#3: Online learning teaches independence and self-discipline.

Since online educators won't be there in real life to supervise and watch over your children - which is beneficial in itself, since it lessens any stress and pressure placed on them - your child will get to develop the independent learning skills they need to grow. Self-discipline is one of the most crucial qualities to prepare for entering the workforce in the future, and online classes are a great way for children to work on these skills early on. 

#4: Classes and programs are flexible in schedule.

Online education isn't just flexible in terms of location - they also allow a big jump in freedom for you and your child compared to in-person ones, where you have to factor travel and preparation times into your schedule. Most programs offer a range of different time slots and can be taught at any time so as to let children learn at the pace they're most comfortable with. 

#5: Online education can adapt to your child's learning style.

Whether your child learns best through visuals, audio, or hands-on engagement, online classes can offer them an exciting and interactive experience tailored to them all. Since technology allows for so many different types of resources, activities, and content, education through the web can suit any learning style your child likes, so that they can process information through a path unique to their needs. 

#6: Learning through the web teaches important technology skills.

Finally, online education isn't just restricted to teaching what's in the curriculum. Through interacting with different software and programs, using real-time communication methods like chat or email, and developing the sense of responsibility needed for independent learning, children will get to hone their proficiency with technology and computers too! These skills are absolutely essential in the 21st century, and online learning will teach them to your child seamlessly without the need for extra classes. 

What kind of online education could be helpful for your kids?

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has mellowed out in 2022, online classes have taken a backseat, and most schools in Canada have now safely transitioned to delivering their curriculum in-person. But that doesn't mean parents should brush off the possibility of online learning for their children altogether. Programs delivered through the web facilitate the learning experience and teach children independence and discipline in a way that face-to-face ones don't, and the benefits to them are a convincing argument for any child to give it a try - even outside of their regular school hours. 

Besides classes in the traditional Canadian curriculum, online methods of learning can also include extracurricular programs, interactive events, and specially designed camps created to challenge young minds through an ultra-modern mode of delivery suited for the 21st century. At Inspirely | STEAM Education ,we're committed to our mission of empowering youth, and we offer a range of unique and engaging programs like these that are focused towards the five core subjects of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

All of them are, of course, one hundred percent virtual; we understand that your time and effort is precious, and we want you to dedicate as much of it as possible towards spending quality time with your children and family. So leave the education to us, and with the passion and ambition that STEAM education inspires in your children, you can eventually reap the rewards for yourselves.

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For more parent resources and kid-friendly STEAM programs, feel free to explore Inspirely's website and follow our social media to learn more about our mission to motivate and empower the next generation.

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