Providing effective online teaching to young children

Planning is very important for effective online teaching, and preschool teachers are encouraged to keep the young children in mind when planning lessons for them.

This was expressed by Lecturer Dr Tan Saw Fen, from the School of Education, Languages & Communications (SELC), WOU, during her online public talk on ‘Creating Meaningful Online Experiences for Young Children’.

DR TAN SHARES HOW TECHNOLOGY CAN BE USED TO EFFECTIVELY TEACH YOUNG CHILDREN.

The aim of the talk was to share the various technological tools that preschool teachers can use in online teaching and learning and in communicating with children and parents. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought online teaching and learning to the fore but many preschool teachers are still struggling to cope with this new norm.

Dr Tan began the talk by sharing her own challenges of teaching in the open distance learning (ODL) environment, including not meeting her students in person and the students not being engaged in the teaching.

She stressed that the key to success in online teaching is planning. Stating that this principle is very important in a classroom, she remarked that if the teacher does not plan her lesson well, she is actually planning to fail. She highlighted that the children should be the teachers’ main focus when they are developing their lesson plans.

THE ONLINE SESSION WAS ATTENDED BY PRESCHOOL TEACHERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

Dr Tan then engaged the participants in conversation by asking them to share the challenges faced in online teaching. She said that online teaching can be fun and conducive, but doing it effectively can be challenging for many teachers, especially preschool teachers.

She also elaborated on the ARCS Model – short for Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction – for effective online teaching. She said children tend to have short attention span, and so preschool teachers must try different technological tools, e.g. Pear Deck and Jamboard, to gauge the children’s attention.  She added the need to relate the lessons to the children’s experiences, e.g. building mathematical problems around their play activities or other interests.   

Speaking about Confidence, Dr Tan pointed out that for effective online teaching, the teacher must go from simple to complex, providing opportunities for the children to succeed and to give timely feedback. As for Satisfaction, she said that creating motivation from within and offering rewards will help to promote positive behaviour among the children in the classroom.

The talk streamed live today on Zoom was organised by SELC and attended by about 60 preschool teachers across the country.

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