The Social Benefits of Live Instruction
It’s no secret that with many schools deciding to go virtual for a few more months, children have been lacking the necessary social interactions that are important to human development. Without lunch or recess, children have not had as many peer to peer interactions as normal. When school does resume with face to face instruction, we can assume there will be deficits in children’s ability to interact appropriately. This is mainly in part due to classrooms having offered online instruction but very little live instruction. You may be thinking they are the same, but in fact they are not. Online instruction allows children to work at their own pace by being given assignments with shorter lectures or live teaching periods. Live instruction involves a teacher working in real time with students conducting lessons, answering questions, and working through problems. Live instruction offers more social benefits and opportunities than regular online instruction.
Live instruction promotes interaction through participation, engagement, and sharing. Students are engaged by interacting on video calls with other children and staff, and following along during live lessons. This increases participation. Watching videos and completing work without that type of interaction can be boring to students and result in fewer children participating. Our Mandarin classes are now structured to assist with increasing participation and engagement.
Some students also enjoy being recognized for their work and achievements which is more meaningful when done in real time. Students are able to share their work and have conversations about it with adults and peers. This can also increase participation and engagement by serving as a reward for attendance. Studies show that motivation can be increased through use of rewards. By doing a preference assessment, teachers can determine what type of rewards students enjoy. For many, that is simply social recognition.
Live instruction also encourages a deeper understanding of material by giving the opportunity for prompt feedback, one-to one help, and space to ask questions and receive answers in real time. Our Study Buddy program offers live weekly online check ins. This gives the student an opportunity to review homework, classwork, and ask any relevant questions. This also allows the student to work with the teacher to prepare for the upcoming week.
Though face-to-face interactions and learning can never be replaced by zoom calls, there are ways to make live instruction and online learning more beneficial. Social interaction is an important part of child development. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many children are not receiving the interactions that will support this. Learn@Home aims to create an environment that is conducive to the type of interaction that students are missing because of social distancing, masks, and isolation.