As the pandemic rises globally, people are debating on the best learning mode for students: face to face learning vs online learning. Besides academic learning, professionals, instructors, and experts in the computer sciences are also concerned about classes about coding for kids. Would it be better to conduct code learning online or face-to-face? Where to learn coding?
Before weighing this, let’s see first the common issues of learning for today’s crisis.
Code Schools During Pandemic
With what's happening with the world outside, our movements are too limited, especially interacting with other people. And with this type of situation, most business, work or even school are powered and run online.
But there's a huge difference when you work, run your business, and even learn online compared to your offices or schools. In the case of e-learning, there are different modes of learning materials that people can access. But with all these resources online, people tend to get distracted, especially the kids when they are attending online classes. And when you're at home, kids often feel relaxed to the point of feeling lazy and undisciplined to participate and work on activities or assignments.
Face to Face Learning
Imagine if you're on a call or chat with a family member or a friend you have not seen for years. Wouldn't it be great to talk to your loved ones personally, face to face, so you can see their reactions and be able to connect and relate more to them?
It is the same way with face to face learning. Kids tend to interact more if they see the one talking directly to them, mentioning their names, and getting them involved in activities and lessons their teachers have prepared for them. They also get to interact with their fellow students, building a student-student relationship and unbreakable friendships among peers.
So what really are the advantages of having a face to face learning? Here are five advantages of face to face learning for your kids.
1. It builds teamwork and social skills.
Face-to-face learning, such as coding classes, helps connect the student with the teacher and builds rapport between the mentor and the learner. When kids are in school, they can also mingle with other kids, develop friendships, bond over activities, and build the ability to work together.
Through this, they can build teamwork and enhance their social skills while performing how to code.
These skills are hard to hone in an online setting and develop these skills since all the kids see pre-recorded and live videos, online assessments, online games, and even online activities in coding.
There is no actual physical interaction among students and teachers, so building teamwork and testing social skills are hard to implement. Teamwork, leadership, and social skills are two of the most important skills that a child can learn from face to face coding classes and eventually take when they grow older, which e-learning can't really teach.
2. It develops engagement and focus.
As I mentioned earlier, in an online learning setup, kids usually interact with videos, written texts, online games and activities in kids coding classes. And in this kind of situation, distractions, especially at home, are inevitable. Kids tend to easily get out of focus and undisciplined knowing that they are at home.
It's hard for parents to make sure that their kids are engaged in studying and would participate in the online class discussion or even do online activities and assignments. Even we adults can get distracted at times, especially when working from home where the kids, household chores and other home responsibilities are everywhere.
With that said, many people tend to subconsciously multi-task in doing work and chores or taking care of the kids simultaneously. Then imagine your kids doing the same thing, multi-tasking their household chores, studying and playing all together.
With face-to-face learning in school or centres, your kids can be more engaged with what their teachers are teaching them, and at the same time, they will be more focused on listening and participating in different activities in coding. They get to learn more because all of their classmates are learning how to code at the same time. Kids will have better retention in how coding works and teachers can encourage them to perform better results in coding classes.
3. It adapts based on your kid's needs in learning.
What's great about face-to-face learning is that the teacher can gauge whether the students can cope with the different lessons set in programming classes for them for a semester or the whole year.
Unlike in online learning set-up, the kids are offered set options and topics for coding that kids should finish without really knowing if they fully understand each topic before moving on to the next. Teachers can gauge how far they understand the coding lessons, and they can adjust and adapt the lessons based on their student's needs.
4. It allows the exchange of Q&A and discussions.
In an e-learning platform, the lessons are all set, and kids only need to click on them to watch, read or answer questions. Usually, there is no human interaction. Everything's prerecorded already.
But in an actual school or learning centres, kids interact with other kids, share their thoughts to class, ask questions, state answers, and be involved in class discussions or even debates. Kids get to clarify misunderstandings on certain subject areas, especially in coding.
From these experiences, they learn other people's viewpoints and share their insights with other people. And this is a form of healthy communication where there is a give and take of information among students.
5. It allows one on one sessions for kids to their teachers.
Not every kid performs well in class. It is because every learner is different from the other. Some kids can do code independently; others need assistance in coding activities. There is limited access to one-on-one learning in an online setup, especially when kids encounter problems in their coding lessons, activities, projects, or even assignments.
Usually, kids have a hard time opening up to parents if they don't understand a certain lesson or have a hard time explaining where they are experiencing problems. It's hard for kids to independently search for answers online, especially if they just don't understand a particular concept on a specific topic. Even parents who are not familiar with a certain topic can also have a hard time looking for the correct and reliable answers online because the internet is also full of unreliable sources.
So if a problem arises, kids can seek counsel with their teachers face to face. They can just directly ask what their problems are and what confuses them so their teachers, who are expert in their field, can better explain to their students the answers or how to answer them.
6. It caters to the physical and first-hand code learning experience.
Kids can quickly learn first-hand coding in actual classes. During face-to-face learning, kids can see, touch, hear and feel everything in between. It can help children to try new things independently.
Other than that, children can learn in the classroom while receiving proper and clear instruction from the teacher. It could also lead them to more discoveries and experimentation while learning at school.
Unlike in online classes, kids are only capable of watching and hearing the lessons. Other senses are lacking, resulting in a lesser learning experience. So, the extraction of knowledge might not be totally effective.
Besides that, e-learning only allows students to sit in front of their gadgets like computers, tablets, and laptops. These students are supposed to be physically and mentally active while learning. However, due to online learning, both physical and cognitive health might suffer.
7. Availability of instructional materials
One key problem in virtual learning is the lack of proper tools, equipment, and learning materials. Of course, kids have their own gadgets while attending online classes, but other materials are not available at their homes.
For example, your child may try to build robots. But not all of them can go to the store and buy all the necessary materials for making robots. Not just that, if the coding class needs 3D printing activity, your kid might not be able to perform it at home unless you have this equipment available.
These things help students a lot to experience things independently, resulting in stronger knowledge retention. It could also help them learn the skill quicker than expected. Moreover, kids who have utilised tools and equipment gained new experiences in life, making them more eager to discover more things.
Clearly, in face-to-face classes, teachers and the school can lend these tools and resources to their students. During the class, students can explore, observe, and even try it. They can even motivate students to explore new materials, allowing them to indulge in more complicated STEM and computer sciences activities.
In this case, kids coding inside the physical classroom would be more fun, exciting, and full of tools and equipment! It could introduce the basics and principles of coding in the great blast, without any hindrances. As a result, your children can expand their learning horizons with all the resources they can have on hand.
Pros and Cons of Online Code Learning for Kids
Of course, online code learning still gives advantages to kids. During virtual code learning, your child can enjoy the most flexible study options and process. They are also comfortable at home in their personal space.
Moreover, kids would have fun in their own pace of code learning, allowing them to feel no hassle or pressure in studying coding. Even parents can gain benefits as they do not need to send their children to school daily. Most importantly, kids are safe at home during the pandemic.
However, online code learning has its limitations. It is a modern way of teaching and learning, but it still has a lot to improve. Distance learning prevents students from many things that might interfere with their overall personality and academic development.
So, experts are still at the point of choosing face-to-face learning. It gives full access to a physical, instant, and complete set of learning materials. As a result, kids are more motivated to learn and excited to be with their classmates and teachers.
It’s still your choice, mums and dads.
Face-to-face learning for coding classes has many advantages that kids and parents alike can get compared to when kids take online coding classes. E-learning is a new form of learning, especially for kids and has potential as supplementary learnings for now and will continue to progress.
But as for now, face to face learning, especially in code learning for kids, still gives them the right amount of attention and venue to learn more.
Yet still, all these things are in your hands as the parent. With this, you may choose between face-to-face code learning or online coding school for kids.
If you want to keep your child safe, just consider online learning. However, if you want the best coding for kids learning experience, let them start the face-to-face classes.
Where to learn coding in a face-to-face setup?
Sydney, Australia, has varieties of coding schools that offer great face-to-face learning centres. One of the well-established after school programs with coding for kids classes is from Skill Samurai.
Skill Samurai is a coding school accredited and certified in STEM education. It caters to kids, boys and girls, ages 7 to 18, to learn STEM, robotics, and coding for kids. It can also help your child learn to code for kids as early as possible.
If you wish your child to start learning to code for kids, it is your best time to see more of Skill Samurai’s courses and curriculum.