Here’s how to use social media to learn and keep up.
How To Prevent Online Learning Cheatin
Maryanne Roller is a contributing writer for YourTango. She’s previously been a Features and Features Editor for The Huffington Post. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Elle, The Dallas Morning News, Cosmopolitan, Essence, Teen Vogue, Salon, The Village Voice, SalonCulture, Time, Glamour, Teen Vogue, The Washington Post, and Washington City Paper. At the time of writing this article, Maryanne was writing for Bustle.
Think school is for your kids?
A disturbing number of parents are making the switch from regular lessons to “experiential learning,” as the name implies. This is the growing trend of teachers handing over lesson plans and engaging students in online study groups and online homework assignments. If you’re participating in this model of learning, think carefully about how online resources are growing into schools, the line between learning and gaming, and the risk that your child is missing out on some educational moments you helped plan.
The Growing Trend of “Online Learning”
“Student learning through experience and social interaction is increasingly important,” says Dr. Marilyn Cohen, a sociologist and author of The Book of Human Protege. “Increasingly, educators are inserting enrichment activities into the curriculum through online learning.” However, while “the project-based simulation of interactive engagement with material may help students master skills and concepts in ways that a textbook doesn’t,” Cohen says the struggle for many of these kids is to turn their practice into an opportunity for interaction with other classmates in real time. “The crux of the problem is that our schools are moving away from classroom learning and toward what is termed ‘extended learning.’”
1. Check Out the Education Support Software
Some apps and online lesson planner programs facilitate social and personal interaction, allowing children to collaborate with classmates and teachers. Start to learn what education software companies offer, and consult your kids to help set expectations for their tech use. This will provide you with ideas about things to avoid if your kid is being presented with them in a school setting. One parent I spoke with talked to her son about computers in the classroom, and she wants to be proactive, not reactive, to any cyberbullying.
2. Encourage Communication
I remember the fear of watching my own kids during homework time. I always wanted to know how long it took for their assignments to finish. If they’re doing homework in a video-based format, you can track what they’re watching, how they’re viewing it, and where they’re viewing it from. You can give a few simple hints to your kids, not to discourage them, but to help them be smart about their online behaviors.
3. Understand the Difference Between Assessment and Instruction
While some school districts are putting the brakes on “learning by doing,” doing what you choose, not what you’re taught, doesn’t necessarily mean missing out on academic outcomes. In fact, if one is based in taking a lot of notes and analyzing lessons, it’s more likely that you’ll improve than miss out on anything. A Better Call with Crystal Bryant-Gilligan, Ph.D. is the author of What You Need to Know About Human Development and Social Responsibility. She says, “Even if students aren’t ‘doing’ it, they can be learning.” With the right tools and schedules, kids can develop research skills and learn about climate change, health care, and politics from the web.
4. Ask about Any Motivational Content Before Opting in
Before opting your child into online education, ask them what they are learning about and how it fits into their goals. Parents want to understand what’s going on with their children and avoid potential psychological trauma. If there are any elements of unwanted entertainment or bullying in their online learning, parents may want to take steps to prevent it.