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How To Get The Best Out Of Your Child With A Fresh Approach To Online Learning

Written by: Clare Ford, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Are you worried that your child or teen is not fulfilling their potential? That they are “switching off” and becoming disillusioned and dis-engaged? That they give up easily and that their writing is getting worse instead of better?

With large class sizes, parents often consider 1:1 tuition to ensure that their child is making good progress and getting the support that they need. This is effective for many reasons, such as going at the student’s pace, but it is also worthwhile considering the benefits of small group tuition too, which is something we advocate in the Switched ON! Academy, especially in our popular creative writing quests. Parents and students have been amazed at the writing levels that have been achieved in just a short space of time, working in cohorts of 6-10 students, who are from different backgrounds and ages and who have never met each other before. In fact, most teachers can’t see how this is even possible – mixing 6-year-olds, 9-year-olds and 13-year-olds for just six hours a week for them to plan, write, edit, illustrate and publish their very own, very unique stories in colour, hardback book.


So why is this effective? The National Education Association has found that a collaborative approach to learning encourages families from different backgrounds and experiences to work together and help each other out, since everyone can contribute their knowledge, talents and skills to the group and also suggest new ideas that help resolve their difficult problems, enabling their projects to progress. And this is exactly what happens. Younger peers help older peers; adults get involved; the students get excited and on board with each other’s ideas to such an extent that they want to read each other’s books when they are published.

Collaborative learning can happen amongst students or amongst the larger global community of learners. Peer learning, or student collaboration, is a type of learning that involves students working in small groups to examine concepts or find solutions to problems.


Like the saying goes two or three heads are better than one; research has determined that through peer-to-peer learning, students teach each other by clarifying concepts in an easily understandable language, discussing mistakes, addressing misconceptions, and innovating fresh ideas. When children explain concepts to each other, they are more likely to have a go and take them on board, especially the older they get.

Here are ten advantages for students of a collaborative approach:

  1. Higher-level thinking

  2. Verbal communication

  3. Self-management

  4. Leadership skills

  5. Social interaction

  6. Increase in self-esteem and confidence

  7. Responsibility

  8. Encourages problem-solving

  9. Students learn from each other

  10. Productivity rates increase


At Switched ON! we have witnessed these advantages playing out. Parents and students have fed back that, “We've loved sharing ideas and spending the time together.” and, “I have really enjoyed the classes every day and the community aspect, knowing I am not alone.” Parents have reported that their minds have been “blown” with “where all the ideas have come from”…


Well, it’s from the magical learning environment that is established with each cohort of students who bring their uniqueness, passions, gifts and talents to the group.

Not only that, collaborative learning benefits students well into the future in the following ways:

  • Better student preparation for social and employment situations;

  • Improved development of higher-order thinking, communication, and leadership skills;

  • Increased student self-esteem and perseverance;

  • Wider understanding from a variety of diverse viewpoints.


Enhancing these “soft skills” or “people skills” and combining them with creativity and growth mindset tools makes this far more than “just another creative writing course”.


Research from the Centre for Teacher Innovation shows that educational experiences that are dynamic, social, relevant, engaging, and student-led result in deeper, more effective learning. And being motivated, “switched on” learner is what we are all about. If you are seriously excited about taking your child’s writing to the next level in a fun, unique and interactive way to exponentially increase not just their grades but their personal development as well, then connect with me here to find out more about the Complete Writing Course in the Switched ON! Academy.

Follow Clare on her Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and visit her website for more information.


 

Clare Ford, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Clare is an award-winning education expert with over 20 years’ teaching experience, international best-selling author and Founder of Switched ON!, the cutting-edge global education platform offering inspirational education and parenting solutions.


Clare has spoken on several radio shows, global summits, podcasts and TV about redefining education with her unique Switched ON! Learning Method and delights audiences with her combination of wisdom, expertise and humour. Clare is passionate about untapping the potential of each and every one of the children and teens she teaches for them to shine.

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