Before the pandemic, online classes for kids were almost unheard of or not a popular choice to parents. It was the ugly duckling of higher education, being less prestigious method than classroom-based courses. Nowadays, online classes seem to be the way to go. Given that we have been almost 2 years into the pandemic, our young learners and parents have adopted and embraced online as a new way of learning.
Online and classroom-based education are two different types of learning. Although both offer high-quality learning, each has its own teaching method and establishes its own channels and guidelines for learning.
Online education uses the Internet and information and communications technology to provide students with tools like chats, blogs, video conferences and shared documents, making courses dynamic, intuitive and easy to follow. This asynchronous system enables students to attend classes, work, communicate, take exams and access content wherever they may be.
Another aspect of remote learning is that it stimulates students’ independence and curiosity, collaborative work, critical thinking and self-directed learning. This system also diversifies sources of knowledge. With classroom-based learning, students go to a physical classroom where the teaching and much of the learning takes place. With this method, the students take a more passive role and adapt to the teacher’s rhythm and teaching method. The teacher is the primary source of information.
However, the above advantage of online learning assumes that the student is proficient with the use of technology and possesses a reasonable level of maturity. This comes with age and does not work well for young students ages below 7. Young kids are visual and social creatures. Most don’t have the finger dexterity to proficiently use a keyboard or even have the maturity level to explore and be independent.
To sum up, a choice between physical and online learning depends greatly on the age of the learner.
In The Lab, we offer online classes for students ages 7 and above, but strictly only physical classes for our The Lab Kinder Program for ages 5-6 years old. For more details on our programs, do visit our website at https://www.thelab.sg/programs/