Updated: Mar 15
An early 2021 Sunday Times poll, asking if South African parents would consider “making online schooling permanent” for their kids, revealed something quite interesting. More than half (53%) of South Africans said they were in favour of established online schooling programs, and just over a fifth (21%) said they would consider it depending on how 2021 progresses. If you’re considering a move to online schooling in 2021, here are 5 important steps to take before joining that first online lesson:
The ‘online’ part of online schooling refers to the student’s ability to access the internet. Due to the live video nature of online lessons, students will need a stable internet connection throughout the day. Teaching materials and things like homework are exchanged on student/teacher collaboration softwares, like Microsoft Teams, which also require reliable access to the internet. A universal power supply (UPS) is also sometimes required due to power outages. A UPS will ensure that students can connect when they need to.
Get geared out
Once getting connected to the internet is sorted, next on the checklist is to obtain the equipment. First prize is a modern laptop, as these feature built-in microphone and webcam capabilities. For desktop PC owners, headphones with built-in microphones are widely available online and in computer stores. Tablets are also excellent online schooling solutions, as they are highly portable, but students will struggle to edit and submit documents effectively on these.
A school-based classroom is an optimized learning environment. The same should be attempted when setting up a home office or classroom. Let’s face it – couches are way more comfortable than wooden school benches. The ideal learn-from-home environment should be one that stimulates thought, reduces distractions, and ensures effective and uninterrupted engagement between student and teacher.
Goals are amazing things. They give us a point to focus on; toward which to work. Instead of just doing work for the sake of doing it. Online students are going to be more comfortable at home than in their uniforms at school. This makes keeping them focused on their schoolwork (and not on the various distractions surrounding them) critical to their success with online education. Internet lessons might not be the same as in-classroom lessons, but they are certainly no less important to a child's future.
Get into a routine
If goals are the finish lines, then routines are the routes runners would take to get there; the roadmap if you will. Without structure and routine in place, students (especially those unsupervised throughout the day) will inevitably drift into more comfortable habits, perhaps even forget to attend lessons on time or submit work by a deadline. Online education must, like in-person schooling, have clear routines for students to follow throughout each school day.
Enrol for online schooling in 2021
EduExcellence offers both in-class and online schooling in 2021. Our two remedial campuses are located in Cape Town (Noordhoek) and Pretoria (Lynnwood), and our recently-established EduExcellence Satellites division comprises a multi-cultural mix of passionate SACE-registered teachers, offering CAPS online lessons, facilitated to suit individual students’ needs, to school-going children both nationally and internationally.