Re-inventing Classroom Learning

When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” This adage was never as apt as in these pandemic stricken times. All across the island, enrichment and tuition centers were asked to closed down by the government as part of stricter safe distancing measures from the end of March, even before the circuit breaker kicked in.

Needless to say thousands of children were affected as tuition lessons, music, art and sport enrichment classes abruptly closed. For parents accustomed to ferrying children to and fro classes, the sudden disruption meant finding activities to keep children occupied at home and to devise alternate learning at home.

Enrichment centers were caught off guard too. But soon the enrichment schools upped their ante by offering innovative solutions to keep students learning on track and maintain business continuity. So exit physical lessons and enter virtual lessons and tutorials, live streaming and even hosting online contests and hackathons to generate interest in children and ensure the parents that they are getting their money’s worth.

All Lessons are Not Equal

However all enrichment classes are not created equal. While for some enrichment centers, it is easy to make the switch to online lessons such as coding classes where these is a pre-existing virtual immersion and application based lessons or mathematics enrichment lessons which allow problem solving virtually and other similar classes. But for others it is a massive transition requiring trial and error. These include language, music and art lessons and sport enrichment classes. In these classes personal interaction with teachers and physical presence is important to deliver learning.

It is also very difficult to replicate a physical training session say for football, basketball, martial arts or dance. But even here, schools are coming up with online tutorials where children can attend trainer led virtual lessons with workouts over zoom and skype calls. Children are also encouraged to record and share videos of practice sessions. There are contests and rewards that encourage participation from children. If nothing else, then the classes keep the children active and fit during a period when outdoor play has been restricted.

Parents World has rounded up a list of virtual lessons including holiday camps for May and e-learning platforms that you can explore to keep your child engaged productively during the circuit breaker.

E-learning Platforms:

Geniebook – Local edutech startup Geniebook is offering free online live stream lessons and software to the public, during the mandatory home-based learning period to support parents and children in this challenging period. Unique feature of the e-learning platform are AI-generated worksheets that personalize questions based on student’s strengths and weaknesses and is available to both primary and secondary levels, starting from Primary 3. The one-hour lessons in English, Math and Science and the synced smart worksheets are in line with the MOE syllabus and guidelines.

The platform runs in partnership with Singapore Asia Publishers (SAP) and Educational Publishing House (EPH). One can register for free here, to access the live stream lessons and worksheets. Post the HBL period, Geniebook will continue to cater to its paying subscribers with normal lessons and worksheets inclusive of the May holidays.

KooBits – KooBits is a fun and engaging educational Math learning platform available to primary school students. The platform is popular with primary schools that have partnered with it to support children’s home-based learning. Children are regularly assigned topical assignments and home work. These are complemented by fun challenges after which children are rewarded credits which they can utilize toward playing video games. With peer challenges and comparable scores, children are motivated to practice Math daily!

All worksheets and assessments are based on the latest MOE syllabus relevant to each grade level. In order to also help parents and educators cope with the transition to fully home-based learning, KooBits is now offering their ‘KooBits Weekly Homework’ program, previously only for partner schools, to everyone free of cost till the end of this academic year . Register here.

Additionally, KooBits is offering subscription based packages for ‘Home-Based Learning’, an online mathematics learning platform, and ‘Live Tutoring’, an AI-enabled online live tutoring service for those children who are looking for more intensive learning. Find out more about KooBits here

Enrichment Classes:

Coding Lab – is offering complete e-learning solutions for their coding classes with live video conferences with tutors, workshops, online questions, video-on-demand for children of all age groups.  Children can continue to design apps, games, create animations or pick up a new coding language such as Scratch or Python, all from the comfort of their homes. Coding Lab is also offering May Holiday camps at discounted prices, workshops for Mother’s Day and other engaging activities to keep those brain juices flowing in the circuit breaker period!

School of Perfect Bakes – As families stay in and celebrate special occasions at home, baking at home has received much love both as a newly acquired skill and as a family bonding activity. The School of Perfect Bakes is offering Asia’s first online baking course with Diane Gale’s specially curated recipes, lessons and master-tips. You can also register and access three popular and absolutely delectable recipes here. With these virtual lessons, you can bake your cake and eat it too!

Tanglin Arts Studio – With the help of Zoom, Tanglin Art Studios has managed to continue its classes, albeit virtually. With a dedicated website catering to its online classes – consisting of live classes plus pre-recorded masterclasses, theme weeks and sharing of interesting stories; Tanglin Art Studio has gone the whole way for its existing students and those who want to join anew. Ballet, hip-hop, jazz and musical theater are some of their offerings for children of all age groups. You can register your budding dancing star here.

May Holiday Virtual Camps

Lorna Whiston – Lorna Whiston Schools are coming up with virtual camps for all age groups this May. Coding camps are available for 9 to 11 year olds, English Explorer camps for 3 to 8 year olds, Cooking camps for 6 to 12 year olds and Multi-Activity Club comprising of educational and creative lessons for 3 to 5 year olds. Visit here to register.

MADDspace, one of the leading Performing Arts Schools in Singapore is conducting live virtual classes in Dance, Drama, Music & Art for preschoolers, primary school goers and teens. Register here to avail a 50% off on their packages.

GATE – Gifted and Talented Education School is offering online camps through the month of May right from precshoolers to upper primary students. Camps offered include Public Speaking, Math Olympiad, Creative Writing and PSLE preparatory camps. Check out the schedule and register here.

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