Health issues – increase in obesity of kids, over stress for eyes, poster and related issues, over screen time..so on
Learning and teaching issues– limited hands on learning, bored and distracted kids for longer sessions, lack of resources and time, fewer in person interaction, kids lack friendship and bonding..so on
Technical issues – slow internet, background noise and distractions, lack of knowledge of staff and kids how to utilize maximum out of virtual classes..
Financial Issues-lack of financial support to get access to high speed internet or supporting devices. Even if most of the schools supported kids with necessary gadgets, we came across the news from some developing countries where, kids who committed suicide in grief of not being able to afford laptop/internet..!!
When compared to the trouble caused by the coronavirus to the humankind, all these above mentioned troubles aren’t major..! But there is something which is much serious than all of these issues that we must be aware of ..have you ever thought about it?? Do you know online predators are much more aware of these uncertain times and already started their groundwork to reach to our kids..!!
Earlier when children where under the safe boundaries of school, these online predators seldom got a chance to connect with them. However the situations changed . Our kid’s personnel data including pictures and videos are readily available for hackers to retrieve it. Moreover, since both parents are working these days, most of the parents allowed kids to use the internet supported system to explore learning and to chat with adults in private spaces. Sexual harassments, Cyber bullying, Sending contents with negative connotations – including porn videos, sexual content, gender discrimination, racial discriminations, provoking religious contents, target defaming, glorified contents on drugs all similar cyber crimes spiked during this corona season.
Hmm, I know I know what you guys are thinking now..! Pretty much familiar with bullying right..? But what is Cyber bullying..??In simple words both are same, the only difference here is, in the latter one bullying is through any electronic medium. got it.?
And as a parent or care taker its our responsibility to create a safe and positive environment for our kids .Let’s see what all safety measures we should follow to arrest these risk factors.
- Security: Make sure the device your kids using for virtual learning is protected by a good anti-virus. This itself will do half of the job..! In some cases adds pop up from unsecured sites and there are probabilities where kids ends up in clicking it accidently and launching on a wrong website..! This happens especially when adults other than the kid who using the same system visited those kind of awful sites before. Hope you got what I meant..!! If possible go on kids mode, which means, there are devices especially designed for kids , where parents can control duration, content ,websites which they can visit. However, this option doesn’t work with older kids.so, what is next..?
2.Thump Rules of virtual learning:
–>If possible let them sit in an open space like living room or family room where parents/guardians can keep an eye on them.
–>Always check whether they are wearing uniforms or professional dress code. It is a good practice to give a role model to our kids by following digital etiquettes while working from home.
– ->double check time boundaries on synchronized and asynchronized learning time.
3. Connect with them: Try to collect data from kids about what all things happened on that day, just as we use to do while kids went to face to face learning at schools. Don’t take it so easy since kids are learning from comfort of home. Closely observe their behavior, watch out for any distress signs and other activities. If something like cyber bullying bothers him/her try to arrest it at the beginning stages itself. Also, if needed you can get help from school authorities, police or doctors.
4. Keep password for Social apps and E-commerce site: Its an habitual behavior of we parents to save passwords for all social apps and e-commerce websites. Its really important that the passwords aren’t saved on the devices which our kids use for learning. Or else we will come to know the serious repercussions only once our bank balance is empty. hehe.. just kidding..!!
Well, that is enough of the flip side discussion..!!As a parent of a kindergartener I’m cent percent happy and could stay peaceful with the virtual learning, also kids are performing well than expected. They aren’t tired of commute and gets lots of time for learning and extra-curricular activities. Which is really significant. And I wish this paradigm shift of this learning platform stay longer. if we take care of little things mentioned above then, it’s one of the best thing happened to our educational system s so far. I know some of you guys won’t agree with me on this.. right..? Still, Let’s try embrace the finest part of this new technology amidst these hard times and hopefully our resilience will lead us to the path of victory once everything is back to normal..!!
So how is your kids online learning going..? have you took proper measures to arrest all kind of troubles which could turn virtual learning to a villain..? Are you happy with this new platform..? Do you have some suggestions to get maximum out of it..? Share your thoughts in the comment box below. Have a fantastic week ahead.
Thank you -Lafemina@anurijo