"When a flower doesn't bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower" Alexander Den Hejer
Ask any student today how to play a game on their Ipad or Android devices and they will be able to show exactly how to play the game. Ask the same student how to solve a complex maths problem using a pen and paper and the response might be less pleasing. As much as we blame technological devices for children's change, we have to admit that technology has bridged distances and made learning across a distance possible. Due to technological advances, it is possible for your child to learn how to speak Mandarin from a Chinese tutor based in China while your child sits comfortably at home in South Africa learning the language. Is that not the most amazing thing ever?
Of late, the tutoring industry has begun to realize that in order to get their flowers to bloom (the children), some form of technology needs to be roped into the teaching relationship. As the quote by Alexander Den Hejer says, it's best to change the environment (online learning) in order to ensure that the flower blooms (the child).
If you think about it more than 96% of your students own a smartphone so it is a certainty that online learning will thrive.
As a tutor, you may be looking for ways to hone in on the many applications available in order to create integrated lessons that your students will enjoy. So we took the onus upon us to sum up some of the best platforms for online teaching and some of the best applications that can be used when you teach.
Look at some other ways to make learning interesting.
Classroom Apps That are Excellent to Use
In terms of leading video conferencing applications that you can use as a channel to teach students, Zoom, Cisco Webex and Microsoft Teams have been cited as some of the best possible applications that you can use. The truth is you do not need to rent physical premises for tuition when you can teach in the same way using online platforms. In fact, your children may be more intrigued to join your classes knowing that they have to meet you online. If you are looking for a full 360-degree change in the way you teach, we suggest you move entirely online for teaching. This surely may set you apart from others. So now that you are teaching entirely online, what are some of the learning applications that would be best for you to use?
If you are willing to test each child's understanding of new concepts learnt, without having to endure the stress of creating your own quiz, rely on Quizizz. Quizizz allows teachers to create quizzes for their children or you can choose from an existing library of quizzes that have already been created for you. Every subject can be found on Quizizz including Science, History and Creative Arts.
These quizzes will enable you to test understanding for every single concept that you teach. Quizzes have already been created to range in terms of difficulty levels from easy to hard. You can also create a quiz and allow your child to answer the questions at home. The correct answer is easy to view once a child has got a question wrong.
You can also create fun memes based on each lesson. Memes are something that your children will surely love.
You can create your own virtual class in which you can share progress with parents as well. You can also link the class that you created to your Google classroom class.
The best way to get South African second language English and Afrikaans learners to listen to stories being read in the language is by using the Nal'ibalib website. Since Nal'ibali has collaborated with SABC, there is a wide range of audio stories available in all South African languages. This is an excellent tool to bring into your language classroom.
3. Youtube Kids
Every child loves Youtube so why not incorporate Youtube videos into your lessons. If you explained a concept allow a fun face from a Youtube video to re-explain the concept. For younger children, it can be very helpful to sign into Youtube Kids and control the amount of content that each child is exposed to. Giving kids a tablet during a lesson and then telling them to find videos based on the information taught can be a super fun way to add a blended learning element to your lessons. By doing this you are also teaching children self-regulation principles which are essential for socio-economic learning.
An app that can be delightfully included in your lessons (particularly for kids who struggle with maths) is the Numerland app. This application was created by 3 parents when they noticed a gap in the market in terms of educational apps with a playful element. The entire app was created based upon the Montessori method and includes a hint of playfulness in the app that children crave.
The app is easy to use for children. It is based upon the premise that each and every number has its own story. It is quite scary when allowing very young children to learn using a smartphone. However, we guess that if it works well as a form of enrichment, why not bring it into your classroom?
The Value of Using Educational Apps for Kids
So if you are the type of tutor who loves the environment, you can certainly state that using online resources is a way to save the trees.
It eliminates the burden of tutors having to print out worksheets for each and every child. Children can simply do quizzes based on lessons online and at the same time see what they got right and wrong. Instant feedback on progress is preferred in today's times and online learning environments provide just this.
As a tutor, using an online application like Socrates or Class Dojo enables you to stay connected not only with your students but with their parents as well. You can easily and effectively provide feedback to parents as to how their children are progressing.
Parents may actually enjoy getting constant feedback from tutors as to how their child is progressing and it will actually allow them to believe that they are getting their money's worth from your tutorial lessons.
Using applications alongside traditional learning methods has created a whole new method of learning. Children are beginning to see the fun of learning. Digital applications that can be used for learning are teaching children that they can be life long learners.
Why Kids are Learning from Apps?
Aside from the value of using applications to teach new concepts, how can tutors be sure that their kids are actually learning when applications are incorporated into the lesson?
Online environments are less intimidating for many children than face-to-face classroom interaction. If you ask children to try out a quiz online where only the child himself or herself can see whether he or she got an answer correct, the child will be confident to try out the quiz despite his or her lack of knowledge of the subject content. If you ask children to verbally answer questions in front of other children or adults, they feel more intimidated and even fear being ridiculed if they get the answer incorrect.
Through online quizzes and tests, children are able to retrieve any information that they had learnt. Students formulate connections between work learnt in class and answers provided in online quizzes and this surely does help them when they have to write exams.
Videos, games and other interactive online tools are great to help all learners learn. Kinesthetic learners may enjoy online apps that require them to use their thumbs while visual learners will enjoy recalling the results of a science experiment by watching a video that shows the experiment being conducted.
Children always have access to online notes, memes and even quizzes that they can revisit closer to exams at their own time and convenience.
E-Learning Apps Changing the Face of Education
So the reason we advise tutors to hop onto the e-learning bandwagon is that the way that knowledge, learning and skills have been defined in the past has drastically changed. Due to current situations, children must be given other alternatives to ensure that they can learn in flexible ways and also on their own.
Here, you can find out if online tutoring really does work for students.
By using online platforms; tutors can effectively lesson plan, create lesson content and disseminate lesson materials. PDF's, podcasts and even vlogs are some of the tools that teachers can employ to get students more enthusiastic about learning subject content.
Tutors can change the way that the tutoring relationship works by getting parents involved in tracking learner progress as well. In this way, all the responsibility doesn't fall solely in the hands of the tutor. Parents can see when their child is learning well as well as when their child is slacking.
Don't forget to make use of e-learning games as well when trying to create more varied tuition lessons. It is important to give younger children the chance to play during the lessons.
It is said, "Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play, children learn how to learn." O. Fred Donalds