The technological advances that the 21st century brought us not only changed workplaces’ operations but also entered many classrooms around the world. Here we discuss top digital skills for children can learn with 1HOUR volunteer online lessons.
Today, teachers can use a wide variety of digital tools to make their lessons more engaging and exciting for their pupils. These resources and online learning platforms saved education during the recent national lockdowns and continue to provide the place for teaching and learning across the globe.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Mady Korada, founder of non-profit organisation 1HOUR realised the benefits of digital education – such as time- and cost-effectiveness – hence he designed the charity to be completed online. 1HOUR is run entirely by volunteers and offers e-lessons for primary and secondary schools around the UK. Their aim is to teach students materials outside their core curriculum, with an emphasis on STEM subjects, coding, and robotics.
“We believe that the possibilities online education holds are endless, but it is essential that children have the digital skills to really feel the benefits of this while staying safe”, Mady says, hence they design their classes to help children acquire some essential skills detailed below.
The volunteers of 1HOUR always make sure to start and end their classes on time, showing their students a good example of time management, which is essential both in the online and offline world. When the students are asked to work in groups to solve an exercise within a certain time limit they can practice how to do it well without running out of time. As they keep practicing, they become better and better at their teamwork efforts and effective communication.
Digital Emotional Intelligence
Digital emotional intelligence is the ability to communicate and behave appropriately online with others.
“It’s extremely important that children can build good relationships with us and their peers through a digital platform and learn that they have to show just as much respect as they would if everything was face-to-face”, Mady believes.
Outlining the basic netiquette required during the online lesson sets boundaries that students must remember to stick to, such as not interrupting while others are speaking or raising a hand (virtually) if they have a question.
Using the chat box appropriately is also a skill that falls under the umbrella of digital emotional intelligence. It’s tempting to diverge from the topic discussed by the class-holder and start irrelevant conversations with others while bored, but usually, students easily understand that this behaviour is the equivalent of talking with the one sitting next to you during real-person lessons.
Focusing and not Getting Distracted
One of the biggest difficulties that both adults and children face is the constant urge to multitask during an online meeting or class. If we, as adults, find it so hard not to check our emails, imagine how hard it can be for students not to open their social media accounts or start playing video games.
The ability to keep focused for longer periods of time depends on many factors, like how interesting the topic is, what distractions are present and how long they need to pay attention. This is why 1HOUR designs their classes to be a maximum of an hour-long with many opportunities for interaction. Showing them videos, pictures or animations are also part of the charity’s strategy as well as implementing online resources that help with attention and learning.
Using Online Resources that aid Learning safely
By taking part in activities such as the remote classes by 1HOUR, students can experience some of the most amazing online resources that are out there to facilitate learning. The charity uses several safe and certified platforms to interact with the pupils and make sure that they understand the material.
For example, Slido allows the presenters to make live polls and quizzes during a PowerPoint to keep their audience engaged. This also helps to draw their attention to what information they need to remember later.
As the charity uses resources that are mostly free to download, students can also implement them into their own study routine. Being aware of such tools and trying them out can help children identify which method of learning works best for them, which will massively simplify and shorten the amount of time spent studying.
For example, Quizlet is designed to mimic flashcards but goes beyond that by the extras that require students to actively recall what they have learned through mini-tests, games, and other extras.
Students additionally learn how to safely access and use such learning platforms by setting up passwords and saving them in encrypted or password-protected documents.
Would you like to help promote Digital Skills?
Time management, digital emotional intelligence, the ability to stay focused and use online resources are some of the digital skills that charity 1HOUR helps children develop apart from delivering interesting online classes on a wide range of topics. The organisation constantly welcomes volunteers on their platforms who want to join as well as institutions who are interested in what 1HOUR could offer to them. Either way, they can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.