Everything you need to know about remote learning

by Anita Naik

There's been a lot of worry about remote learning when it comes to pupils being in lockdown. Here's what you need to know to get you through studying at home.

There's a difference between online learning and remote learning.

There is a difference between remote lessons and online learning. Online learning involves interactions between pupils and teachers. While remote learning only has interactions when assignments are submitted for marking. Online courses, on the other hand, use the whole virtual learning environment to share our recorded lectures, live webinars and even tutor lessons complete with student resources. Online students are also able to access course module notes and review assignments at any time, as the learning is set up that way.

The focus of remote learning isn't on new work.

As this home learning isn't online learning, the focus will be on filling gaps and reinforcing basics like times tables, number and place value, spelling, and grammar. Older years will find themselves revising work already done this academic year, working through tests, critical analysis and mini-projects.

Older children will need your help too.

Most Year 10 and 12 children will still be working towards exams that will happen next year. You will need to remind them that lockdown won't last forever and that when they go back, there will be a lot of ground to cover. Most year 10 and 12 students should have a full schedule of work provided by their school and while the temptation might be to leave them in a room to do it, do talk and observe your child, so you can take your cues from them.

Make children learn for themselves.

This one may seem laughable, but the trick is to stop children feeling you have to provide the education (and fun) all the time. Suggest they use YouTube and find some good channels for a set subject like Science or Maths and check it out with them. Add Netflix documentaries like The Blue Planet, Walking With Dinosaurs and The Code to the #MyList function and ask them to watch and review. It's a different way of learning but encourages critical thinking and opens them up to concepts they may not yet know.

Use apps and tools to help them.

Quizlet uses AI to identify areas where a student is struggling and tailors its courses to address these. Through the use of digital flashcards, students can test and affirm their knowledge of various topics like English, Science and Maths, using ready-made packs or by creating their own. Teachers can also upload digital learning guides to the app for their students, or parents can add their private study guides.

Scholastic Resource Bank has put together a range of home learning packs to help parents and teachers keep their kids up-to-date with their schooling. The packs are divided by learning age - Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2 - and can be downloaded for free.

Remember teachers are doing their best.

It's easy to get annoyed at schools who upload PDFs that can't be worked on or set work that doesn't make sense to your child. What helps here is to realise that teachers are getting used to setting up online lessons with virtually no training, and sometimes no tech background. As frustrating as it is, allow the school time to find a formula that works. If your child is struggling with the work email the teacher. Remember schools aren't closed only working from home, and teachers are still there for pupils.

Consider online tutoring as an extra.

If you're struggling to work or feel you can't help a child in a particular subject, consider online tutoring. Tutors can help your child to succeed in everything from beginners French to GCSE Maths and A-Level Physics.