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Virtual Learning: The New Norm and How We Can Help

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Virtual Learning

Posted on Sep, 30 2020 by Rennu Dhillon

Unless you are part of the 3 percent of families who have traditionally home-schooled their children, chances are that the COVID-19 pandemic has put a serious strain on how you manage your child's education. Since March of this year, many parents and families have struggled with the challenge of juggling job commitments, Zoom meetings, and lockdown orders, while trying to find the time (and patience) to help their children stay motivated to learn. As the new school year begins to start back up, it is important for parents to know that things will eventually get back to normal.

While virtual learning is most likely going to remain the norm in the immediate future, physical, brick and mortar schools will eventually reopen their doors. Instead of enrolling your children in a purely virtual school, finding an educational institution with years of experience in actual, face-to-face instruction should be a priority.

Genius Kids has many years of valuable experience fostering and developing every child's potential in the cognitive, fine, and gross motor skills, social, emotional, and communication areas. Furthermore, the school, which has 30+ locations throughout the Bay Area is specifically focused on promoting each child's independence, self-determination, and self-advocacy skills. The invigorating classroom environments offer personalized care and attention and have an intricate focus on social skills development and public speaking.

During the pandemic, Genius Kids has also developed one of the leading virtual learning platforms that offers innovative and pioneering online learning for preschool, pre-K and TK, Kindergarten, and grades 1 through 8. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect schooling around the world, Genius Kids offers a unique opportunity to enroll your children in a leading virtual learning program as well as a Flex Plus Learning program if you are ready to get your child back into a physical classroom.

Ready to enroll your children? View our class catalog and sign up today!

The Impact of COVID-19 in the World of Education

A United Nations policy brief published just this past August states that “the COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents. Closures of schools and other learning spaces have impacted 94 percent of the world’s student population, up to 99 percent in low and lower-middle income countries.

The report goes on to say that “the crisis is exacerbating pre-existing education disparities (and that) some 23.8 million additional children and youth (from pre-primary to tertiary) may drop out or not have access to school next year due to the pandemic’s economic impact alone.”

Obviously, schools and teachers across the country are doing what they can to improve educational possibilities and access for their students. Nonetheless, the transition to virtual platforms is certainly a steep learning curve for many teachers whose primary background and experience is with in-class instruction. In fact, a study by McKinsey & Company analyzing expected learning loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic found that students will likely suffer from anywhere between 3 and 14 months of learning loss depending on the length of school closures and the quality of online learning offered.

Even more worrisome is the fact that more than half the states in the country which constitute around 48 percent of K–12 students, distance learning has not been mandated, thus leaving many children with virtually no educational opportunities.

The Option of Full-Time Virtual Schools

Given the challenges and hardships that naturally arise with a necessary transition to online learning, many parents and families are opting for enrolling their children in full-time virtual schools. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic affected educational institutions around the world, online learning platforms were seeing exceptional growth. Ten years ago, there were already almost three million students enrolled in online courses. In terms of economics, the worldwide e-learning market is expected to grow from $165 billion in 2015 to be worth $325 billion by 2025.

While much of that growth is fueled by online classes in higher education, elementary, middle, and high schools are also transitioning to virtual education. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that “during the 2017–18 school year, about 21 percent of public schools and 13 percent of private schools offered any courses entirely online.”

Furthermore, the 2019 Keeping Pace with Digital Enrollment Report finds that “enrollments in online schools (K-12) that serve students across entire states are growing slowly but steadily, at a rate of about 6% per year” with an estimated 310,000 students enrolled in these schools nationwide.

Students enrolled at the best full-time virtual schools have shown equal or superior academic performance compared to traditional, in-class instruction. Furthermore, the McKinsey & Company report mentioned above states that “there is evidence from online-learning providers’ internal, peer-reviewed research that some virtual-learning experiences can achieve parity with brick-and-mortar experiences for students, especially those who were struggling academically.”

What Genius Kids Provides

Genius Kids Virtual Learning attempts to provide a sense of normalcy for your children which comes from daily interactions among teachers and students while continuing their learning journey, despite the challenges posed by the current pandemic. The company has 20 years of experience in curriculum development and in-classroom teaching and has successfully converted that experience into a complete and impacting online virtual educational program.

The combination of small class sizes (12 children to one teacher), direct teacher-student interaction, and effective, a proven curriculum for different age groups has allowed Genius Kids to ensure that the social and educational journey of children is not interrupted by the COVID-19 school closures.

Unlike other online learning platforms, Genius Kids attempts to re-create the classroom experience for young learners, implementing interactive and collaborative tasks that go beyond the screen and give children a sense of belonging to a group of peers. Instead of recycling generic educational material, all of the curriculum and programs were individually developed and conceptualized by Rennu Dhillon, founder of Genius Kids. Dhillon has been internationally recognized for her passion for early education, and an emphatic focus on public speaking, communication, and confidence-building.

Despite the obvious challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the world of education, Genius Kids offers an opportunity for parents to entrust their children to "the school that shapes tomorrow's citizens". You can register for the wide range of virtual classes provided by Genius Kids here and here.