Top tech tips to help with remote learning

At its peak, Coronavirus lockdown measures saw schools fully or partially close for over 90% of the world’s student population affecting around 192 countries and territories, according to UNESCO.

Even now with many governments reporting a reduction in the number of daily cases, around half of learners globally are still impacted by these changes. Then there’s the threat of a second spike in infections, which might prompt further closure of schools.

As such, remote learning continues to play an important role in lives of school age children forced to study from home in these extraordinary circumstances.

In this piece, we look at some tech-based tips and tricks to ensure that your children can successfully learn from home now that the summer holidays have come to an end.

Making your computer ‘school-proof’

It might seem rather obvious but having an internet-ready computer is going to be crucial to your child’s continued development while at home. Education resources tend to be hosted online for the sake of convenience and classes will often convene digitally over collaboration platforms, like Microsoft Teams or G-Suite.

As we all know though, the internet can be an eminently distracting place.  To make sure that your child’s learning time is fruitful, it might be worth thinking about setting up parental controls on any devices they use for learning. Check out our tips for restricting access to certain content here.

Teach basic cybersecurity

The threat of being hacked has increased exponentially over lockdown as fraudsters look to take advantage of the switch to remote working and learning. Students and pupils are a prime target for hackers, so it’s worth going over the fundamentals of cybersecurity with your kids. This includes encouraging them to scrutinise emails from unknown sources or unusual looking mail from contacts. This might also mean turning on two-factor authentication for important accounts.

Think about camera anxiety

It entirely depends on what your child’s school is asking in terms of lines of communication, but it’s worth keeping in mind that not all children will be comfortable on video conferencing. Apps like Skype, Teams and Zoom are good alternatives to face to face conversations but being on camera can be triggering for some children. It is worth regularly checking in with your child and seeing how they feel about it – and talking about it with their teacher if they find it difficult.

Encourage regular breaks

Schooldays tend to have two or three breaks built into the structure of the day. Encouraging these while at home can be trickier, especially if your child’s typical downtime involves using other electronic devices. Staring at a computer screen all day can be draining so invite your child to take breaks more regularly – ideally away from screens. The ‘tomato timer method’ is a good way to encourage periods of focus before a break – and it’s been known to improve attention span, concentration and output.

Educate on ‘green’ e-learning

Learning from home can be a good opportunity to teach your children about being more environmentally friendly. Help them to learn good green habits such as turning off computer monitors instead of leaving them on standby, deleting unnecessary emails and putting devices into eco-saving mode when working. It might also be worth looking at alternative search engines – Ecosia, for example, plants trees as people use it to search.

Helping your children learn from home can be challenging, but with a mix of structure, security and best practice when it comes to tech usage, hopefully the process can be made a little smoother.

Have you been home teaching? What is your best piece of advice for helping others to do so? Leave your comments down below. For other tips on how to stay happy and safe when working or learning from home, check out the links below: