Is Online Education for Toddlers Effective?
Learning and development should still go on especially in young children. However, new restrictions and concerns might make us depend more on online education rather than letting them attend physical classes (whether in an early education or a performing arts learning centre).
But can online education really help?
First, we have to think of online classes as something that will complement classroom and real-world learning. It’s especially the case with children where they’re just starting to make sense of the world around them. After all, toddlers don’t just develop their literacy and numeracy foundations at the early education centre. These toddlers also develop important social skills and gain key experiences. The interaction with other children and the environment is crucial to their physical, cognitive, social and emotional development.
Second, we still have to limit our children’s time online. One hour is already enough and anything more than that may harm our children (source: The Department of Health). For example, that one hour could have been spent instead on active play and stimulating their creativity. There’s always a trade-off here because each hour online is time taken away from real physical activity (which could then harm their health and even cause headaches and eye strain). For shy children, the time online could reinforce their tendency to stay away from other children.
Third, children need structure and stability. Everything is new to them and their brains are busy collecting and connecting the dots. But for them to better connect those dots, the early childhood centre can provide that needed guidance and structure. Online classes can just supplement what’s being provided by a real physical setting.
In summary, it’s about making sure that our children still get active play and exploration in a physical environment. This is our children’s crucial formative years and we have to provide the necessary inputs and stimulation for them to properly develop. Online education can still help but that needed physical activity and social interaction will always remain crucial.