COMMUNICATION between parents and children and their teamwork in “co-creating” house rules are keys to ensure cyber safety and mental well-being of children amid remote online learning.
The government has been forced to avoid physical classrooms amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
For students whose schools have opted to conduct full-blown online learning, the incoming school year 2020-2021 will be a virtual environment.
Parents will need to help their children not only with their studies but also with adjusting to the new mode of learning. Parents also need to address the identified gap in technology and the threats in cyber security, including possible mental health challenges.
Michael Lu, operations director of CM Well-being Psychological Services, said most parents are comfortable using digital platforms. But youngsters who belong to Generation Z (those born from mid-1990s to early 2010s) are actually more digitally well-versed than their parents, he said.
Despite the youngsters’ familiarity with the virtual world, they must be guided in their first online learning, Lu said.
“We need to be able to align in terms of goals for the study, in terms of the house rules. We will adjust so that everybody, or the interaction of the learning will be more conducive,” he said in his talk during the Students’ Mental Health and Cyber Safety webinar on Saturday, July 25, 2020. The activity was organized by Thames International Business School and SunStar Cebu.
According to an action study conducted by Thames International Business School on the Online Learning Effectiveness in the Philippine setting, the feeling of isolation is among the biggest issues raised by student-participants in the research.
Students prefer a quiet place to study at home, according to the research. Students also expect learning at home to be conducive to laziness and distraction.
Thames International Business School, the first international college in the country, embarked on its Digital Transformation and began providing online and blended education in 2018.
Lu said parents need to be the guidance counselor and mediators for their children at times.
He noted that school-aged children studying in school are used to having a lot of support system from teachers, friends and counselors. With the new set-up, parents also have to double their roles as friends and as counselors.
As everybody is at home most of the time, he said it is also an opportunity for parents and children to find “common language and common discussion” in terms of how to set things right such as creating schedules together on how often can the children use their gadgets beyond class hours.
He emphasized the importance of sharing the task of coming up with house rules rather than just imposing them.
As there are some available online applications that are not appropriate for young children, he said parents must teach their children about these as well as the potential risks of sharing sensitive personal information. (WBS)