ISRA 2020
ISRA 2020

Smart alternatives for summer camps amid the coronavirus lockdown

April 7, 2020

With schools being shut, parents facing difficulty keep kids at home and missing sending them to summer camps amid the coronavirus lockdown. But thanks to the boom  in the EdTech world, there are quite a few options that can make their time spent at home more engaging and fruitful. Here are some online learning options that could help engage your children while at home while also giving them a headstart in their careers. 

Online coding

“Although we had started her online class quite some time ago it has turned out to be a blessing in the last few days and is helping keep her engaged,” says Aruna Turlapati, mother of Ansha, a student of Grade 4 at Greenwood High International, Bangalore. Ansha is currently taking WhiteHat Jr’s online coding classes. She continues, “Being her first online course, we were not very confident on its efficacy especially given her young age. However the ease of tools and open  teaching style  have ensured the she gets her foothold in the world of coding. As Ansha says, it is a platform to start with. She enjoys creating apps as it is interactive.”

Karan Bajaj, founder-CEO, WhiteHat Jr says the edtech company “provides one-on-one online interactive coding classes to children between the age of 6 to 14 years” and the “focus is on making them creators rather than consumers of technology.”

Also read: How to choose the right online course

Bajaj continues, “We initially teach coding logic and then familiarise them with user interface design and back-end data to help them build fully professional Android and iOS mobile apps. While younger kids do this through block based coding platforms which support mobile app development and gradually move onto text based coding, older kids do this by learning programming languages like React Native, Javascript and Python.”

“The Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum has predicted 65 percent of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that do not even exist yet. Coding is going to be an important skill in the future but it has far reaching benefits for children even if they choose to pursue a career out of technology related fields. Teaching kids to code provides a well-structured way to introduce them to rational thinking and problem-solving skills. It also helps kids to improve their logical and analytical thinking and increases creativity and concentration – all of which are skills that can be applied far beyond the realm of computer science. More fundamentally, at an early age they start viewing themselves as creators-makers of games versus players of games, creators of videos versus surfers of videos,” concludes Bajaj.

Online language learning

Apart from online coding, another constructive way to spend time at home is learning a new language. Duolingo, one of the world’s most popular language-learning platform, with over 300 million total learners and the mission to make education free and accessible to everyone, offers about 94 total courses across 38 distinct languages, from the world’s top five most-spoken languages to smaller, endangered languages.

Michaela Kron, spokesperson for Duolingo says, “One of the hardest parts of learning a language is staying motivated to keep up with it. That’s why, from the very beginning, Duolingo was built to feel like a game to help learners stay engaged. Additionally, our curriculum is based on learning science and aligned to an international standard for measuring language proficiency. Duolingo lessons are bite-sized and focus on real-life goals (like ordering at a restaurant) to help learners develop the vocabulary and grammar through varied practice in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.”

Also read: 10 foreign languages in demand across the globe

Online Math classes

With Math being perceived as a relatively difficult subject to master by most primary-secondary students, this could be the best opportunity to help your children bust the myth. 

Cuemath offers an engaging way to learn Math concepts for children from Kindergarten to Grade 8. Mamata Dash, teacher-partner at CueMath says, “The process for learning Math remains the same the only difference is it’s an online platform. Solving problems, logical and critical thinking, the analysis of the question remains the same. Unlike any other apps or even schools who are going online now mostly have a one-way broadcast, but we are an interactive platform where the teacher’s presence is very important. It’s a two-way communication. We have our inbuilt platform designed by our technical team. If a student has any doubt, he/she can ping the teacher and then there is a live audio-visual facility, where we take them through the  complete understanding of their question.”

Also read:  Apps can make math fun to learn

Mindspark, an AI powered specialised mathematics programme for children developed by Educational Initiatives makes use of visuals, animations and gamification as interactive learning tool thus making mathematics learning effortless. Anand Dani, chief business officer, Educational Initiatives says, “Lakhs of students are unable to attend school amongst the current scenario, it is of utmost importance that their learning continues. Hence, Educational Initiatives has started ‘Learning Never Stops’ programme where Mindspark, a computer-based, online self-learning platform that help children improve their skills and allows each child to follow a learning path that is based on their needs is completely free to use for 60 days, enabling children to learn uninterrupted during such difficult times. Students studying from Class 1 to 10, aligned to CBSE, IGCSE, ICSE, IB and all state board curriculum can continue to learn mathematics at home with Mindspark Maths, just at a click of a button. To avail free access, students can login to ei-india.com/mindspark-math.”

Also read: How are parents adapting to online learning amidst nationwide shutdown?

Sukanya Nandy

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