A Children’s Creative Writing Program Goes Online
We will tell our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren about the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will tell them how it started a revolution. Our views on travel, social encounters, technology, businesses and online classes changed. After-school programs did not miss a beat in the transition to online learning, allowing children to continue their extracurricular pursuits. Children everywhere took writing classes, public speaking, math, piano, martial arts, and even basketball online. Many of these programs are a stopgap until in-person classes can resume, but some have embraced the web world and plan to incorporate more online learning into their curriculum.
One such program is Quills and Quotes, a creative writing program for elementary, middle and secondary students. They have found several advantages in conducting classes online, including:
1) Achieving Efficiency: Driving back and forth to after-school activities often means rushing dinner, grabbing an unhealthy snack, hurrying to finish homework and tiresome hours in the car. With online classes, students can save hours of travel time and can mindfully eat dinner. They show up for a course refreshed and ready to learn. Plus, instead of parents spending time driving and sitting through activities, they can complete other tasks; thereby, freeing up spare time to spend with their children.
2) Eliminating Disruptions: Appeals for a washroom break or a drink of water may seem like a minor point, but these student requests are a significant disruption. The teacher must stop the instruction and address the waving hand, which interrupts the flow of learning. With online classes, teaching progresses smoothly from one point to the next and children in need of a break can do so unobtrusively.
3) Improving Attendance: There are times when conflicts arise, and children cannot make it to their after-school activity, or they will be so late that it feels pointless to go. Often this is because a parent must work after-hours, or another sibling has an unexpected event. There are also health factors, sometimes children with broken bones or a nagging cough cannot attend classes, causing the student to miss out on crucial learning. Unfortunately, if a student falls behind, they often give up on the activity altogether. Since transitioning to online classes, Quills and Quotes has noticed a nearly perfect attendance and found that their students show up on time.
Of course, whenever there is an upside, there is often a downside, and this includes security issues with Zoom (though recent updates have improved this issue), tech mishaps, less student engagement and lost social connection. So, while online learning has its perks, there are some aspects of classroom learning that many programs cannot wait to resume. However, faced with a pandemic’s social restrictions, it makes sense to appreciate small silver linings.