Navigating Virtual Reality to Optimize Online Learning
The high-tech future we envisioned as children is finally here. Thanks to advances in technology, it is now possible to do just about everything from the comfort of home. From watching the latest movie releases to ordering groceries, interacting with friends/family in remote locations and attending online classes, you can do nearly everything in a virtual manner from your living room.
Learning from home is proving somewhat challenging due to seemingly endless distractions and the lack of a cohesive traditional classroom atmosphere. Let’s take a look at a few strategies that will help you and your child navigate our increasingly virtual reality to get the most out of the online education experience.
Truly Effective Online Learning Requires the Removal of Distractions
The typical home is rife with distractions ranging from video game consoles to the TV, pets, siblings, smartphones and beyond. Even if your child is capable of maintaining a steadfast focus, he or she is likely to be distracted by something in the home unless you make a concerted effort to eliminate those distractions. Limit your child’s use of digital devices but for those that are absolutely necessary to complete schoolwork. If your child insists on using his or her smartphone, handheld mobile gaming system or other device, restrict use of that device to break periods of 10-15 minutes.
Designate a Space for Learning
Though your child’s laptop, tablet or other mobile web-connected computing device might permit learning from different rooms of the home, segueing from one room to another is a mistake. Your child needs a single room dedicated to online learning. Ideally, this room will have few, if any potential distractions.
There should only be one screen in the room: the screen used for online learning purposes. Designate a single room for online learning and your child will strictly associate that room with education, helping him or her maintain a clear focus throughout the entirety of the virtual learning experience.
Log in at Specific Times to Habitualize Online Learning
It is important to adhere to a structured online learning schedule. This means your son or daughter should log in to the online learning session at specific times as designated by his or her instructor. Regular log-ins help create a sense of order and organization that facilitates the learning process. However, some teachers and specific subjects do not require students to attend online learning sessions at particular times as some lessons are recorded ahead of time or activated upon the student’s log-in.
Do not let your child randomly log in for online learning whenever he or she sees fit. Establish a regular learning schedule that gets your little one in the habit of engaging in virtual learning at specific times of the day and this regimentation will ensure full participation. Such regular log-ins also help your little learner better retain the material presented during online learning sessions as their entire focus is squared on the material presented during that specific period of time.
Incorporate Books and Other Traditional Learning Materials When Possible
Though technology has certainly ameliorated the learning experience by providing advanced digital web-based tools for immersive and interactive education, traditional learning materials still have value. After all, one can only stare at the screen for so long before his or her attention wanes and eye strain occurs.
Seize the opportunity to recharge your child’s brain by providing him or her with books, pen, paper and other traditional learning materials. If you have the option of printing learning materials rather than strictly reading them from the screen, print them. This way, your child can get away from the screen, even if it is for half an hour or an hour, learn in the old-fashioned way and re-energize ahead of the next online learning session. For more information regarding parenting in the digital age, please take a look at parenting tips in our blog section.