• Subject Name : Early Childhood

Empowering Caregivers for Remote Learning in Early Childhood

Due to the current crisis of coronavirus outbreak, rapid revolution has been taken into consideration from classrooms teaching methods to remote delivery of education and online classes (Adnan, 2020). This reflection particularly focuses on the learning of early childhood students, such as prekindergarten or kindergarten. It is very critical for young children to have hands-on experience for their daily learning and quality-of-life improvement. During this lockdown, I have observed in my Australian community that the childhood educators face several challenges while addressing this remote learning platform for their students. The challenge is not for the virtual teaching among students, but it is about how to develop the empowerment among caretakers of those students, and how to improve their skills and confidence to implement practical learning by residing at home (Iivari et al., 2020).

Educators are trained enough to provide education to the children for their development, but parents did not have any kind of training to facilitate their child’s learning. To empower the caregivers for remote learning, I feel that few ethically motivated ideas must be considered to implement in real world, such as-

  1. Teachers should conduct interactive sessions with the caregivers through video or messages. They should explain their strategies to them and make them understand how to implement these strategies to their child. The best way to communicate each day with each family is by using a google classroom community service, email newsletter, or classroom learning application, such as seesaw (Herodotou, 2017).
  2. Video examples are the concrete examples to facilitate effective learning and it can be an efficient way to represent hands-on learning. All the teachers need to do is that film themselves by speaking loudly and clear, and ask open-ended questions that the caregivers can forward to the child during their practical learning demonstration. Moreover, they must create video by addressing the caregiver’s literacy skills and language. Create videos in home language that can be easily understood and implemented by the parents.
  3. Furthermore, teachers should acknowledge the work of the caregivers and support them by expressing their gratitude for their persistence and efforts.
  4. Before initiating virtual teaching, every teacher must ensure that the child or their family has access to at least one smartphone or any other smart device like computer or tablet. As it is not necessary that every family has access to these technologies to maintain the remote learning facilities at home (Hall & Bierman, 2015).
  5. Encourage parents to implement the allocated activities with their children. This can be made possible by inviting caregivers to share an appropriate evidence like picture or video of their child’s learning.
  6. It is also noted that the before providing any activities to the child, their family conditions should be revised once that whether they will be able to access the resources or not. Since it might be possible that many families are not able to purchase them or have access to that particular resource. Moreover, to overcome this challenge non-materialistic learning activities must be encouraged. For example, there is a game named as I Spy, which very challenging and it can help building the skills and critical thinking of children. Also, without any book or paper writing, parents and guardians can play the role of story tellers to create a suspenseful story and thereby improving their child skills. They can also empower children to do drawing and writing activities by giving them writing utensils and a blank paper. If parents are able to access smartphones or tablets, then can download a free application named ‘kids doodle’, on which their child can practice drawing and writing with their fingers. Family members can also motivate their child to be detective for their own homes, and search for some particular patterns, shape, and numbers (Iivari et al., 2020).

It is important to promote this kind of family engagement and praise caregivers’ efforts to facilitate child learning and improve skills of young children. However, concept of remote learning is novel, but it can be proved as a great opportunity for educators of early childhood by which they can interact with the families in different ways that they can never do before (Mclean et al., 2017). Without intentional support and facilities, our younger ones will not be able to feel and explore new concepts for themselves. Therefore, we must shift our mindset from teaching our students to teaching both our students and their families. By maintaining confidence, knowledge, and skills among caregivers and facilitate learning by residing at home, we can ensure that young students will learn much better, even in absence of their classrooms (Zabatiero et al., 2018).

References for Young Children and Digital Technology

Adnan, M. (2020). Online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic: Students perspectives. Journal of Pedagogical Research,1(2), 45-51. doi:10.33902/jpsp.2020261309

Hall, C. M., & Bierman, K. L. (2015). Technology-assisted interventions for parents of young children: Emerging practices, current research, and future directions. Early Childhood Research Quarterly,33, 21-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2015.05.003

Herodotou, C. (2017). Young children and tablets: A systematic review of effects on learning and development. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning,34(1), 1-9. doi:10.1111/jcal.12220

Iivari, N., Sharma, S., & Ventä-Olkkonen, L. (2020). Digital transformation of everyday life – How COVID-19 pandemic transformed the basic education of the young generation and why information management research should care? International Journal of Information Management,55, 102183. doi: 10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2020.102183

Mclean, K., Edwards, S., Evangelou, M., & Lambert, P. (2017). Supported playgroups in schools: Bonding and bridging family knowledge about transition to formal schooling. Cambridge Journal of Education,48(2), 157-175. doi:10.1080/0305764x.2016.1268569

Zabatiero, J., Straker, L., Mantilla, A., Edwards, S., & Danby, S. (2018). Young Children and Digital Technology: Australian Early Childhood Education and Care Sector Adults’ Perspectives. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood,43(2), 14-22. doi:10.23965/ajec.43.2.02

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Early Childhood Assignment Help

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