At Whitby, we love e-learning because it gives children a chance to own the learning process and dive into subjects that interest them.
Last week we shared a selection of e-learning websites and apps that we recommend because of their structured educational activities. Yet as we know from teaching children at Whitby, some of the best learning activities are those that engage children’s imaginations and sense of curiosity.
Today, we’d like to share some e-learning activities that challenge kids to think and discover more about the world around them. Our recommendations range from videos they can watch to games and DIY projects. In fact, your child might have so much fun doing those activities that they don’t even know how much they’re learning!
5 More E-Learning Activities for Kids
1. National Geographic Kids
If you have kids who love to explore, National Geographic Kids is a treasure trove of facts and pictures from around the globe. Kids clicking around the website can learn about everything—from dinosaurs to rollercoasters to Sweden’s 24 hours of sunlight in the summer. They can explore Nationals Parks and learn about animals through award-winning photographs.
Digital Citizenship: A division of National Geographic, National Geographic Kids inspires young adventurers to explore the world through award-winning magazines, books, apps, games, toys, videos, events and an interactive website. Children must have parental consent to create a free account and National Geographic sends parents an email informing them of their child’s intent to create an account.
Create a free account for your child: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/privacy-policy/#members.kids_join
Read National Geographic’s Terms of Service: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/community/terms/
2. TED Talks
Instead of letting kids watch a television show, encourage them to watch videos that will expand their mind. TED Talks were originally founded to give creative people the chance to learn about interesting topics. Today they curate some of the most-watched video channels on the Internet, with speakers ranging from 11 year old prodigies to founders of global corporations. TED Talks run about 10 minutes to half an hour and you can search by category on the TED.com. Or get started with a TED-curated series of Talks to Watch with Kids or the new TED Education channel.
Digital Citizenship: TED Talks is an non-profit, non-partisan foundation that offers free short, powerful talks on almost all topics in more than 100 languages. The majority of TED videos can also be watched online without registration, although it’s necessary to have an account to leave comments, save talks to watch later and track TED-Ed lessons. Children over the age of 13 can join by providing basic information to create an account.
Sign up for TED Talks: https://auth.ted.com/session/new
3. MIT’s Video Channel
For older kids, MIT’s video channel offers a unique chance to learn from real MIT professors. Kids can learn how to make their own lava lamps or discover the physics of skydiving in the MIT+K12 educational video series, or browse through the departments to listen to real lectures.
Digital Citizenship: The MIT Video Network is a free video aggregation service that collects videos created by the MIT Community, including MIT students, faculty and staff, as well as external copyright holders. MIT Video Network does include “User Submitted Media,” which is content provided by third parties not under MIT's control.
Not all video games are created equal. The wildly popular game Minecraft has been found to help children develop valuable 21st century skills such as collaboration and creativity and practice everything from city building to physics. At Whitby, we even offer a Minecraft summer camp where kids can learn to play the game.
Digital Citizenship: A trademark of Mojang Synergies AB, Minecraft is a for-purchase downloadable game for computers, video game consoles and mobile devices. To comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), Mojang requires players to verify their age and provide a credit card. Children under 13 must obtain parental consent to unlock playing on Minecraft Realms, chatting in Scrolls, making purchases, and the ability to change settings on the Mojang account.
Terms of Service: https://account.mojang.com/terms
5. Pinterest & Instructables
Many people worry that kids will have trouble applying the knowledge they learn online to real life. That’s why we think Pinterest and Instructables are both great e-learning resources. Start off by having your child go online and pick a recipe or project that fascinates them. Then help them get the resources they need to follow the instructions and complete the recipe/project they’ve selected. Make sure to encourage them to use the internet to look up any additional information they need (e.g. how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon?). Not only will they learn a lot, they’ll see a tangible result from their hard work.
Digital Citizenship: Instructables has free and premium options for people aged 13 and up. Learn more and sign-up for an account at http://www.instructables.com/account/gopro Learn about how teachers use Instructables at http://www.instructables.com/teachers/
Instructables Terms of Service: http://www.instructables.com/tos.html
Pinterest is a free membership site. The minimum age to open an account on Pinterest is 13-years old and content on Pinterest is not curated. Parents can help their child sign-up for a free account at https://www.pinterest.com/
Pinterest Acceptable Use Policy: https://about.pinterest.com/en/acceptable-use-policy
Pinterest Terms of Service: https://about.pinterest.com/en/terms-service
Help Your Child Develop a Passion for Learning
E-learning is a great way to help children dive into learning more about subjects that interest them. The more you can encourage your child to be curious about the world around them, and take on activities that challenge them, the more likely they will be to become lifelong learners.
To discover more ways to engage your child’s brain through technology, check out our last blog post on 6 Fun (and Educational) E-Learning Activities for Kids. And please share your own recommendations for e-learning resources in the comments below.