Red light? Greenlight? However your webcam lets you know it’s open for business, they all have this in common: the ability to close the distance between isolated lives and bring the light of learning into new spaces around the world.
Over the past year-and-a-half, hundreds of millions of us have graced the (very) small screen for work, school, or recreation — whether or not we were ready for our big close-ups. Online learning can be particularly challenging, and the truth is that not every student who pivoted to online classes mid-pandemic had access to the resources, technology, or academic support necessary for sustained success in the virtual classroom.
Still, online learning can be extremely beneficial for students of all ages and learning styles. As a parent, knowing what those benefits are and how they work is the first step in taking advantage of them.
So what are the upsides of online education in 2021? Well, here are eight benefits of virtual learning that will help you unlock the full potential of remote classes for your kids!
- Unique, Flexible Programming
The advent of online learning has given parents and kids access to subjects and classes that were seldom available in traditional settings. For instance, TutorCarrot offers a Webby Award-winning chess program called Story Time Chess, which makes the game fun and accessible for ages three and up, all through the power of storytelling. For the young performers out there we’ve got Story Time Music, which uses fun, engaging stories to teach music theory, composition, and ear training. And for those who want to forge their own destiny, our tabletop-style role-playing series, Birchguard Quest, puts kids in the driver’s seat of a rollicking fantasy adventure that emphasizes creativity, problem-solving, and the craft of storytelling itself.
Like many remote education platforms, TutorCarrot prioritizes flexibility, offering a super wide range of class start times and a generous make-up policy. And we’re just one example of how amazingly diverse the range of online course offerings can be.
2. Diverse Classrooms Boost Achievement
Virtual learning services like TutorCarrot enroll students from all over the world, allowing children to form friendships that boost both their self-esteem and academic outcomes. In fact, a 2017 study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence showed that students in ethnically diverse learning environments earned better grades and were happier in school. Encouraging cross-cultural connections is something our tutors value deeply, and they facilitate those conversations in the safe, welcoming environment of the virtual classroom.
Because TutorCarrot students come from all walks of life, they’re privy to a special kind of bonding experience that’s usually reserved for older students and adults: coming together around a shared interest. Most early childhood friendships are dictated by geographic proximity; of course, such friendships are vitally important, but having another way to make friends through online classes helps kids develop their social skills in powerful new ways.
3. No Rush!
Every parent knows that a jam-packed after-school schedule can be a nightmare. Inclement weather, transit delays, and pandemic-related restrictions can further complicate even the best-laid plans.
Online learning offers a respite from the hectic rush, especially when it comes to after-school enrichments like those offered by TutorCarrot.
One major advantage of virtual lessons is that travel time between home, school, and in-person appointments isn’t a factor, giving families breathing room between commitments and lightening the stress on over-extended parents.
4. Staying Involved Is Easier Than Ever
Since at least the 1970s, studies have linked active parental involvement in a child’s academics with higher levels of achievement and stronger social skills. More recently, a 2019 study of 163 preschoolers showed that the children of parents who reinforced classroom lessons at home scored consistently higher on standardized tests for preliteracy development.
At TutorCarrot, we place a premium on parent engagement, with research-backed tools like email updates after every lesson that help you boost your child’s progress in our online classes. That support system, combined with the convenience and transparency of a virtual lesson that takes place right in your home, means that parents can easily step into a more active role in their children’s academic enrichment.
5. Greater Accessibility
No chess club in your town? Can’t book the right music teacher? We hear you. Finding extracurricular activities that are a good fit for your child can be a Herculean task. That’s why we made online enrichment programs like Story Time Chess and Story Time Music available to everyone, everywhere. And with lower hourly costs than in-person classes, we’ve thrown open the doors to a wider range of prospective students than ever before.
Traditional, in-person classes are also limited by the school calendar, often pausing during breaks and vacations to the student’s detriment. But with virtual learning, you can keep your kids’ lessons going wherever your family roams. Stable routines support higher emotional well-being for preschoolers and early elementary students; now you can watch those benefits play out in real-time by taking your TutorCarrot lessons with you wherever you go.
6. Promotes Technical Aptitude
A 2019 survey from the Pew Research Center revealed considerable blind spots in American adults’ understanding of computer technology and the internet. These are vital competencies for academic achievement in the 21st century and virtual learning offers excellent opportunities for kids to develop their tech acumen.
When working with virtual learning platforms, students actively improve their aptitude with computers and mobile technology, but especially fun and engaging online classes like those offered by TutorCarrot take it one step further. Our students learn to associate the tech in their homes with educational activities and identify their devices as useful, flexible tools with uses beyond entertainment and recreation.
7. Virtual Learning May Be Better for Introverts
In her 2012 book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain maintains that while 30% to 50% of the population self-identifies as more introverted than extroverted, contemporary classrooms broadly favor extroverted students with their emphasis on clustered desk arrangements and group work. While Cain readily acknowledges the importance of collaborative projects, she argues that students who prefer to learn in relative solitude often struggle in traditional schools, which tend to view that preference as problematic.
Online learning offers unique advantages for students who thrive in the quieter confines of the home where they can relax and learn comfortably. Take classroom participation, for instance, widely understood to be a major driver of academic achievement, as shown by this 2010 study of Swedish schoolchildren. But speaking up in a brick-and-mortar classroom can be a huge hurdle for shyer, more sensitive kids.
TutorCarrot’s small class sizes and online format offer a safer, calmer educational environment that allows every student, regardless of where they fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum to learn, participate, and have fun.
8. It’s Great For Extroverts, Too!
You might be surprised to read that after the previous entry in this article, but it’s true! Just as virtual classrooms ease certain social pressures for introverts, extroverted students can flourish amid fewer distractions and social stimuli.
When her middle-school science class turned to remote learning during the pandemic, one teacher noticed a marked improvement in the academic performance of a particularly disruptive “class clown.” Less social stimulation offered that student a chance to focus on his studies, without losing touch with his friends and classmates. TutorCarrot’s expert teaching staff understand this dynamic and specialize in tailoring the learning experience to a wide range of learning styles.
Online learning in some form or another is here to stay and it’s not unlikely that almost every young person, wherever they are in their academic journey, will encounter it at some point. The current generation of educators is becoming more adept every day at navigating the challenges of remote learning while developing more ways to maximize its benefits for all students.
In that same spirit, TutorCarrot is committed to offering every family access to world-class enrichment programs such as Story Time Chess, Story Time Music, and Birchguard Quest. Find out more and get started today by exploring our online courses for ages three and up!