Early Learners are students before they go to school, in Kindergarten (Year 1 & Year 2),in Grade 1 and going into Grade 2.
Challenges Faced by Early Learners with Online Learning
Technology is a great tool to support students in their learning however technology is often a barrier for Early Learners. Many young children know how to use technology to play games, take pictures and for entertainment however using technology for social purposes is very different from using technology for academic purposes. Young students struggle using technology for academic purposes often because they do not know how to navigate it or accurately type.
Early learners often struggle to pay attention and engage in online learning specifically if they are not engaging with the teacher but rather working through assigned work. Learning through digital mediums is new for many students and therefore they do not know how to pay attention in this forum. Typically when students are in school, there are breaks, opportunities for movement and different forms of instruction to keep their attention and to keep the students engaged. Frequently these are not incorporated into online learning and can present a challenge for early learners to be able to pay attention and engage in the learning. Engaged learning is the most beneficial and most meaningful learning students can take part in.
Many early learners need support from their parents to engage in online learning. Oftentimes, early learners will need their parents to set up the technology for them and sit with them while they work on their online learning. Parental support is great to support students in their learning however it is not always an option and often a challenge for parents to allocate their time to support their children with online learning while also meeting the many other demands they have to tend to.
There are many distractions for children at home. There are often other people in the house, fun activities and various toys and games around for the children to get distracted by. Another factor contributing to children getting distracted with online learning is the technology itself. Children view technology as fun and not always as a tool for learning. The games and other entertainment on the technology can be a huge distraction for the children when trying to engage in online learning.