Adapting to the “new normal” when it comes to learning.

Updated: Jul 1, 2020

With social distance learning becoming the new normal world-wide, the education system will inevitably need to change and adapt. Indeed, this is already happening. Families are relying on a combination of technology, curriculum-based assignments, and very patient parents or other family members to keep their children on track while in-class learning isn’t an option.

Unfortunately, as has been reported within Ontario, this process isn’t always easy and can be frustrating for both the child and their caregiver. There isn’t a one size fits all approach to learning, and it’s safe to assume that the success of different distance learning methods will vary based on individual needs. Right now, the recommended approach is for parents and care givers to work with the government provided curriculum to develop an education plan that meets their children’s individual needs and learning style while staying flexible during trying times.

Recently, Tina Rapke, an associate professor in York University’s faculty of education was quoted in an article by CBC about distance learning in 2020. When discussing how parents can improve the education process for their children she said, "The most important thing is to be thinking about balancing what parents need to do for work and how they can support their kids — and really thinking about how we can be most effective in our support of our children". This advice reinforces the value of taking a personalized, adjustable approach to education at home that considers both your children's needs as well as your own.

Arguably the most important difference with this approach is the flexibility, creativity and willingness to work with what your children are naturally interested in to encourage engagement. Technology can play a valuable role when it comes to individual learning experiences. For example, if you’ve got an artist on your hands, you may want to join an online community where they can share their work and try out the new techniques shared by others. If your child loves video games, integrating that passion into their learning plan with educational games will help keep them engaged and focused without the need for a daily 1:1 lesson. Kids into baking are able to share that passion with others over social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube that allow the sharing of short video’s and picture reels, crowdsourcing tips and offering support to others.

Visual based coding
Example of Super Code Strike block based visual code used within the game.

Self-directed learning can take many shapes, but expanding your knowledge base through experience, community and play can help to make this transition to distance learning less stressful. If you have a child in your home who is interested in coding, computer programs or designing digital spaces (like Minecraft), then Super Code Strike may also help scratch that video game itch while working to develop those valuable skills. Sitting at the dining room table while following an online rubric isn’t necessary to master the basics of Blockly coding. Instead, pick up a mobile game and learn as you play – guilt free. The world is changing and so is the way we educate ourselves and our loved ones. At Creatubbles, we’re embracing this change as we continue to develop new online experiences for kids of all ages.

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