All over the world, coronavirus is tearing children's lives apart when the familiar childcare centers go into lockdown. Centers struggle to find new ways to keep the children enrolled and continue learning.
As uncertainties remain, experts suggest that a Blended Model combining traditional in-class and distance learning will most likely be the safest mainstream scenario for the coming months.
A preschool or childcare center with a creative blended approach can adapt rapidly and flexibly as the coronavirus situation evolves over time.
What is a blended model?
- Whether the children learn in-class or distance, teacher should offer children opportunities to learn all the same things. Only now the teaching methods need to be rethought.
- Teacher plans and organize daily activities for children's in-class and distance learning. The activities maintain structure and bring routine for the child’s day. Activities should be inspiring, age appropriate and suitably challenging. Teacher links the activities to learning objectives, so that each child’s learning path can be followed, and early needs spotted.
- Teacher uses technology to allow new ways of working. Use of new technology is a prerequisite to implement blended learning and to stay connected with the families. Using the same technology also in-class enables a flexible transition to new ways of working - a great advantage going forward.
To meet these challenges, Kindiedays has together with early childhood education experts studied and developed new working methods for distance learning.
Kindiedays solution has also been enhanced to meet preschool and childcare center needs for both in-class and distance learning. This supports an optimal blended learning approach.
How a blended model works as extension to in-class learning?
The traditional in-class learning is complemented with teaching methods for distance learning to offer the children similar opportunities to learn as in-class.
As a teacher you:
- Plan the pedagogical activities that link to the curriculum objectives. Share the activities and instructions with families in the form of videos, photos, and pdf.
- Support children’s learning with 30-minute live video sessions at a specific time during which parents are asked to be present or nearby.
- Guide the families to support children's activities and encourage to observe the children's learning and share photo and video evidence of the activities.
- Collect the evidence of learning in the children’s ePortfolios and map the evidence with the learning objectives achieved. Continue following the learning even from distance.
- Assess children's learning and save time in reporting with automatically compiled portfolios and learning statistics for future planning.
Activities for in-class and distance learning
Creation of Learning Activities can be done in many ways:
- Teachers create their own internal activities as documents, presentations, videos and instructions
- Teachers use external ready-made free activities such as UK based Early Learning HQ
- Teachers use commercially available activities.
Sample actvitivity from Early Learning HQ
In any case, the learning objectives should be the starting point for selecting and running the activities.
Kindiedays is working together with Finnish companies providing high quality teaching activities and lesson plans. These are designed for children aged 3 to 6 by experienced Finnish early educators and based on the Finnish Early Childhood Education curriculum and pedagogical approach.
Activities can cover all or selected parts of the core learning areas of the Finnish ECEC and follow a theme-based working method to ensure a holistic learning experience for the children. All plans are play-based activities that foster children’s creativity, collaboration and other 21st century skills.
For distance learning all plans should be in digital form and consist of detailed instructions for preparing and conducting the sessions. Digital plans are easy to organize, share, store and update as required.
In-class learning will also benefit from the use of digital tools. With the use of the digital, easy-to-share plans, everyone can follow children's learning and conduct professional teaching activities for young children in-class or as distance learning.
Kindiedays Pedagogical Management Solution for blended learning
Digital solution to support collaboration between educators, children, and parents in-class or in distance learning.
With Kindiedays you can implement a complete pedagogical process in line with best Finnish practices:
- Provide activities with learning objectives for in-class and distance learning to maintain a high-quality teaching process.
- Make observations of children’s learning in class or with the help of parents in distance learning and link them to the preinstalled curriculum objectives to strengthen children’s learning journey.
- Compile and share the children’s e-portfolios to keep parents engaged and motivated.
- Collect learning statistics to further develop teaching and learning.
For distance learning Kindiedays is complemented with free video call services such as Zoom or Google Meet as well as support for sharing activities with parents.
Kindiedays pedagogical management solution and working process connects the learning objectives, activities, and the child’s learning process to a high-quality service for the children and parents.
A stress-free solution for blended learning from Kindiedays
A childcare center with a blended approach following the outline above can be flexible and let the children continue learning whether the center is providing in-class or distance learning.
Kindiedays can help your preschool or childcare center to stay open with a blended learning approach, despite possible lockdowns or restrictions for online education.
Sign up for a free consultative call with one of our Early Childhood Education specialists to explore and discuss how to organize early childhood education "in the new normal".