Online videos play a part in distance learning for young learners

Education | 19 Feb 2020

Back in November 2019, the Hong Kong Education Bureau suspended classes due to the largest-scale social movement which affected the learning of all students for at least 2 weeks. Shortly after the Chinese New Year celebration in 2020, Hong Kong found itself to be facing another adverse condition caused by COVID-19. Schools are closed once again for an extended period. The routine of Hong Kong citizens and learning for students of all ages has been greatly affected. In order to continue to deliver lessons from the prescribed curriculum, many schools and learning centres quickly turned to technology and interactive media to teach online. Distance learning under parental guidance has now become a city-wide norm in Hong Kong. This phenomenon has even extended to the learning of kindergarteners and playgroups where most schools are now offering online home learning for children.

Innovative play-based schools such as Fairchild Kindergarten stay true to our beliefs: children learn best through hands-on learning opportunities. The devoted educators at Fairchild Kindergarten carefully chose and shared age-appropriate online activities for their students. They have also planned and collected materials that are mailed out to the students’ home. Despite the added waiting time for children caused by the mail services’ limited working hours (and the prioritisation for masks deliveries), students at Fairchild Kindergarten are overjoyed to receive care packages from their teachers. Educators have video-taped themselves reading aloud from books and telling stories for their students to enjoy and continue their literacy skill development.

Fairchild Junior Academy has also taken on a new direction to engage with its young audiences of age 8 months to 4 years. The dedicated team prepares daily live-streaming and real-time chats via social media so the children can continue to enjoy storytime, music & movement in conjunction with cooking and arts & crafts in the safety of their own home. These online videos are not only welcomed by the parents from the school, they are also gaining popularity outside the school community. Since their debut, the team has a growing group of followers with over 6000 views within the first two weeks.

Both Fairchild Junior Academy and Fairchild Kindergarten are striving to best support their families’ needs to overcome this challenging time together.

Viewing videos from an iPad or phone sometimes raises concerns from parents about the impact that screen time has on young children. Lisa Guernsey, a writer for the National Association for the Education of Young Children in America discussed that one of the most common parental assumptions is that screen time is damaging to young children under the age of 2. However, Guernsey (NAEYC, 2013) states that if (limited) screen time leads to social interactions, instead of replacing those interactions, it should be supported. Children long to see their teachers and friends from school and the live-streaming videos are certainly a solution for the school community in terms of the social aspect.

It is inevitable that young children are going to have engagement with technology these days, but how they use technology is entirely up to the parents. Attachment and security are interconnected, it is important for adults to provide active, engaging screen time for children rather than using it as a distraction or as a comfort.

Making Chinese sweet dumpling balls with Ms. Yolanda

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Pouring art with Ms. Wini

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