#parent | #kids | What to keep in mind when considering e-learning programmes for your children

Giving your children access to use an app store as they like can be a dangerous thing to do as you do not have full control of what they will be exposed to. The same can be said about giving your children the freedom to choose content on educational e-learning programmes.

While a number of public or independent schools may remain closed in August, public relations officer for Tribecapr, Donald Seshabela, said there are many educational options available for children of all ages, that it’s difficult for parents to choose which option is best. Whether it’s apps that reinforce basic literacy and numeracy, platforms that offer past-papers and worksheets for reinforcement, or programmes that offer AI-based learning. After all, the trick to getting buy-in from children is going to be finding the sweet spot between fun and stimulating activities while avoiding them feeling like learning is a drag.

READ MORE: e-Learning tablets worth R3.5 million, gone

Seshabela advised that before signing up to the first platform you find when you search e-learning on the internet, parents looking into e-learning for their children should assess various platforms available with these points in mind:

  1. Parent resources: Can you track your child’s progress and development through the various levels of the content? Being able to do so introduces an element of accountability to your children, but it also helps parents identify any difficulties that children may be having, so that they can line up reinforcement work.
  2. AI-based technology: One of the key advantages of online learning is that it is possible for artificial learning within a programme to identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and for it to adapt the content and questions it serves to each child, with their particular needs in mind.
  3. Weigh up price and value for money: Remember that all-important online adage: “If it’s free, you (or your child) are the product” when looking into free apps and websites. Look for clear payment terms and conditions, with the best solutions offering a free trial period before you commit to a debit order. Sibling or referral programme discounts are also always a bonus!
  4. More than just maths: Does the programme you’re considering only focus on one subject, or does it introduce complementary skills and subjects? Choosing a programme that offers a holistic approach to learning, enhancing life skills while boosting subject skills, is a great way to get more bang for your buck.
  5. Educational games and competitions: All work and no play makes for a sad learner – so look for programmes that offer an element of fun or gamification to encourage engagement and repeat visits.

At a time when many parents are trying to balance working from home while supervising children who are schooling at home too, the best online learning programmes are those that keep kids engaged, track their progress, teach additional skills, and produce regular insights about progress made.

Related article:

5 ways to keep your kids learning and entertained while schools are closed

e-Learning tablets worth R3.5 million, gone

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