Let’s take a look at the benefits of online education software for KS2.
Any type of new software can be daunting for both teachers and students – from fears it’ll be over-complicated and in-depth, to worries for security and storage. But online education software has evolved dramatically over the past decade, providing both teachers and students with an interface that is familiar – think social media profiles, ‘likes’ and comments – and although KS2 students may not be at the age to sign up to these apps, it’s gearing them up and preparing them for the kinds of technology and systems they’ll be using throughout their teens and into adulthood. And for teachers, it’s an interface many will already be familiar with, making teaching more efficient.
When children reach KS2 they learn at different paces and in different ways – there’s no one size fits all. Unfortunately for many teachers in traditional, in-classroom roles, adapting learning and teaching methods for a class of 30 individual students is challenging. However, an online teaching platform can adapt to these individual learning styles, whether that’s through visual cues for visual learners, or interactive elements for those students who learn through doing, KS2 is for experimenting, finding their way, and developing. All of these things can only be successful if students have choice in the way they learn – and teachers with the way they teach.
Investing in online education software doesn’t mean creating new lesson plans – any platform worth its salt will allow you to upload your school’s curriculum, as well as pre-existing lesson plans, and adapt these to include online elements and features.
Images, videos, documents, websites, photos, GIFs, voice recordings, and more, are all examples of interactive elements, which provide students at KS2 with a variety of ways to digest information and process it better. Seeing a bird in flight is a much more effective way of teaching than showing a static bird in flight in a textbook. A simple link to a YouTube clip can instantly open a child’s mind to something they may never have seen before. An online education platform can keep a record of these interactive elements and provide a portal for students to come back to time and time again to recap what they’ve learnt.
Online learning is far more efficient than traditional, in-classroom learning. Resources are kept in one place, there’s no paperwork, and far less admin for teachers to complete. This provides more virtual teaching time, as well as more capacity to review and feedback to students – incredibly important at KS2.
Lesson plans and resources can be easily updated too. Although books hold their own value in the classroom, the world is changing at record pace – one minute Pluto is a planet, the next, it’s not! Having an online hub that showcases these changes and provides students with quick updates not only improves their learning, but also saves time and money, from making changes to textbooks to teaching new information.
The idea that students need good, solid technological skills to progress through further education and beyond, is not a new one; although computers were introduced into schools during the 1980s, it wasn’t until around 1994 that we saw a surge in the amount of computers being implemented in schools. This means that throughout the last 25 – 30 years or so, we’ve seen dramatic changes in how computers look, how they work, and how students interact with them. Creating an education system that heavily involves technology and online learning is essential for ensuring the next generation has those vital skills to take them into adulthood.
Although starting an online learning journal from the earliest stage is preferred, beginning in KS2 provides students with a clear pathway to see where their learning may take them, as well as providing parents with the opportunity to see their achievements and where they need to improve to get to the next stage.
Blended learning (where online learning and in-classroom teaching are both utilised) ensures that students in KS2 receive the benefits of physical interactions with teachers and peers, as well as the ability to learn at their own pace through online education. Work can be set and tasks designated, but students don’t have the pressure of having to complete these within an allotted lesson timeframe; they can take the task away, understand it fully, ask questions (which can be recorded online and help other students), and complete it in their own time. This promotes self-teaching and individual learning at an early age, skills which will be essential for when students move into KS3 and KS4.
Accessible learning should be a given. However, in traditional classroom settings, not all learning is accessible – from both a physical and psychological standpoint. From students who find it difficult to answer questions in class to students who can’t get to school on time, are all limited in some way by the static classroom. Many situations lead to students being unable to get to school or learn effectively in a classroom; blended learning provides students at KS2 with the opportunity to access their education even when they don’t have a physical presence in the classroom.
Updating students on work and curriculum related topics is important – but having a platform to post positive messages, affirmations, and notes of encouragement, aside from learning, is essential for both teachers and students.