Online courses offer tremendous potential benefits to gifted children before they start university. But is your child ready to effective engage in online learning? Let’s explore the options and ask some serious questions about learning readiness.
Opportunities Online Learning Presents
Gifted children are blessings to our society. Their creative and intellectual abilities are best shared for the economic, technological and recreational benefit of everyone.
Studies have shown that gifted high school kids perform better when placed in homogenous groups. In particular, gifted children benefit from partnering with intellectually and creatively gifted peers rather than being blended into heterogenous classes.
The advent of online learning is seen as a great benefit for these gifted kids, especially when their present physical environment does not allow easy access to homogenous learning with like minded peers. Online study doesn’t see physical access as an obstacle as long as the gifted students have access to the internet and computer tools. They can avail themselves of online learning anytime and anywhere.
Gifted students are geographically scattered throughout the country. Online learning is considered an advantage that parents and guardians can consider seriously as their gifted kids’ education alternative.
Online Courses Available in Australia
Online courses for your high school kid is a stepping stone towards acceptance into a college or university. If they do well in the digital realm, there’s no doubt their transition into university will be smooth in this increasingly internet dependent world.
Getting an early start might help a child discover their likes, dislikes and talents, allowing them to make a wiser choice in terms of university degree. The range of online courses in Australia is huge and so are the career possibilities. A good choice can have a huge lifetime payoff.
As with most things online, you don’t have to be limited by geography however. For example, Coursera offers plenty of interesting course options for high school students. EdX also caters to pre-university students with its free online courses.
Questions About Online Study Readiness
Before deciding on online education for your gifted child, you should consider if it is a good fit for their unique personality. You might also want to cultivate some of the requisite skills and qualities in them.
In-person education with a homogenous group in their geographical location is still considered a good default option. But if this is not viable, online learning should certainly be considered. You don’t want to put the special talents and skills of the child to waste, not only for society but also for the child’s welfare.
Here are questions to ask before making the final decision to enroll your kid in an online curriculum.
- Does my child have the time to devote to an online class? Does my family have the time to give the necessary support for the child’s success in online learning? Online classes require an additional 5 to 10 hours of commitment on the part of the child aside from the time spent for synchronous learning. Careful and affectionate monitoring by the parents/guardians while the child undergoes the transition from classroom to online learning is critical to avoid the child from dropping out of online learning.
- Does my child exhibit basic computer skills? Unless your child is an “old soul” (prefers physical books and activities over digital tools), basic computer skills won’t be a problem for their generation.
- Does my child have the patience and the flexibility to adapt to unpredicted frustrations? Exploring a new online tool or app might take time to learn for the child who might have been used to be in close physical proximity to teachers who provide immediate feedback. But if your child have a high level of independence and ability to switch to adjust to the new situation, there will be no problem.
- Does my kid have the reading comprehension to carefully follow written instructions? Even in conventional heterogenous schools, if your kid already exhibited exceptional understanding of written instructions, then, the digital counterpart will be no different.
- Does my kid have the ability to communicate effectively with instructors and with classmates? If the kid is already comfortable using social media tools long before the advent of online learning for their communication needs, this won’t pose a problem.
- Does my kid have a time management procedure to be able to keep track of deadlines? Executive functioning skills for the kid are critical tools for your kid to be able to organize a scheduled timetable and meet deadlines. Online calendars and built in reminders will make your kid more efficient for time management.
- Does my child have the traits to be able to work independently? Just like a brick and mortal school, parents and guardians are not around most of the time to monitor the decision making and the learning strategies of their child. Online learning should also be an extension of this ideal situation, but with the added advantage of parental comforting whenever needed by the child.
- Does my child have distraction problems?
- Does my child have the maturity to engage with others ethically in an online environment? It is important for the child to be self regulated when it comes to distractions when doing online learning. Focus should be on the lessons while they are still ongoing, and the distractions (like online chats with friends) which they actually need for their socialization needs could all be attended to at the proper time.
- Does my child show an interest in online learning? Your child must show an interest in internet tools before delving into online learning because it is 100 percent sure the use of digital technology will be the critical factor for online learning to have successful results with your kid.