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Distance learning for children
Accessibility and legislation

Distance learning for children

Apprentissage à distance pour les enfants

We talked about the challenges of distance learning for students in this article. Today with Covid-19, home schooling, distance learning for children is more relevant than ever.

Distance learning for a child

Distance learning also known as e-learning is a form of education that is aimed at a wide audience in a variety of fields. Being at a distance means that the teaching, the learning, does not take place in a school. It takes place without the physical presence of a teacher. Several structures have existed for a long time to offer distance education and training.

In concrete terms, distance learning for children involves first of all learning at home. Without their classmates or their teacher. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. However, it can give them other possibilities, such as adapting the curriculum to their own pace, learning differently, varying learning styles, etc. Often more than at school, where everyone follows the same course.

Thus, in distance learning for children, we note five different forms/supports of learning :

  • Audio
  • Video
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Games

Note that reading can be done on a written text, via a book or via subtitles. Just like for adults!

The aim in this period of crisis is for children to continue their learning without going to school. In addition, to make learning more fun. And this, all disciplines combined: French, Mathematics, History, Languages, Art, Sciences…

Existing resources for children’s distance learning

Existing resources for children's distance learning

To help them, there are now excellent online education and distance learning services for children. Indeed, instead of attending face-to-face classes, there are many resources available. Applications, online games to keep the child’s mind engaged and learning, even at home.

Of course, first there are the official resources of the government and the French National Education. But there is also a plethora of alternative solutions.

In France, the CNED (“Centre National d’Etude à Distance National center of distant studies) is THE reference on the sector for distance learning for children, but also for parents! The CNED is particularly well known among expatriates, for the courses it provides to many young French people abroad also children with disabilities, with school phobias… The CNED offers courses to the more than 14,000 expatriate children who wish to follow their schooling, according to the French national education system, from the kindergarten section to the “Baccalauréat”- A Levels , and even some “BTS” Higher National Diploma.

These courses can be taken at home or in the classroom in French schools accredited by the AEFE (Agency for French Education Abroad), or by the MLF (French Secular Mission). In addition, according to Bruno Viale, deputy commercial director of the CNED, the CNED also offers courses “adapted to the different situations in which children living outside France may find themselves, such as personalized courses, supplementary teaching and tutoring”.

In the same vein, there are also entities such as the Cours Legendre and Acadomia.

France 4 offers live classes during the confinement period

On television and on the web, initiatives are multiplying in France. For example, France Télévisions is part of this facilitation of distance learning for children. Indeed, France 4 offers live courses on television to better accompany children and parents in their daily lives.

Since March 23, France TV has been broadcasting La Maison Lumni, a 52-minute daily show dedicated to students aged 8 to 12, produced in conjunction with the French Ministry of Education. La Maison Lumni will be broadcast on several linear and digital channels: at 10.00 a.m. on France 2, 11.00 a.m. on France 5 and 3.45 p.m. on France 4, but also at any time of the day, replayed on Lumni.fr and the video platform france.tv”.

The presenter Alex Goude will be surrounded by experts to cover the essential notions of the school programs from kindergarten to middle school. In addition, variations for each level will also be offered. This will allow the children to interact differently and to learn in a different and additional way.

Applications for the little ones

Another example, Lalilo is a web application created with school teachers to allow follow-up in class and at home. The little ones can find individualized interactive exercises that are personalized according to the child’s starting level. Like Adibou for the elders, the universe of Lalilo takes the child into several worlds and makes distance learning even more fun.

The benefits of distance learning for children

Distance learning requires great rigour and discipline on the part of the child. On a daily basis and especially in the long term!

Young, in full development, the child will need to be followed and morally supported by his parents. Indeed, it is not always easy to study, to learn when one is left to oneself. Parents also have a role to play in education.

Children will have to learn to manage this distance, which they are not used to. Indeed, in class, they are used to having everything immediately at hand: lessons on paper and on the blackboard, the teacher available to guide them and answer their questionsWithout delay.

Learning at home for a child

When learning at home, the child will have to understand that there will be a lapse of time between sending his homework and returning home, that the learning materials will be different… Nevertheless, this whole process of distance learning for children should enable some to regain a taste for learning, with a certain creativity and above all to gain in autonomy, responsibility and self-confidence! This happens more quickly than in the middle of a class of 30 students which is the average number of students in France.

Moreover, by not having to leave home to go out to learn and study, the child will gain time to go to other activities, gain in quality of sleep… So if you are a parent worried about this new situation, don’t worry too much about them, children have a great capacity to adapt!

Statistically, students who have followed a French distance learning course have a better level than those who have joined a local French school. Even if there are very few figures concerning distance learning for children, the results of the BAC abroad are there to prove it.

Avenues for reflection on the evolution of learning for children

The context makes us reflect on some possible evolution of learning for children. For example, UNESCO says it supports “the implementation of large-scale distance learning programmes and recommends open access educational applications and platforms that schools and teachers can use to reach learners at a distance”.

In addition, the organization recommends taking advantage of low-cost mobile technologies available for educational purposes. Indeed, this is another major advantage for children to learn at a distance, it is also cheaper and globally more accessible!

Thus, reflecting on these issues, opens the debate about distance learning for children, their needs, better digital accessibility of courses and educational and play resources.

At Authôt, we contribute, at our level, to this acceleration of digital accessibility of content for children in particular thanks to our expertise in subtitling.

Learning and making content accessible to children

The web and digital are today essential pillars for the exchange of courses, the broadcasting of videos, audios, games so many resources for children’s distance learning. Several sources agree that we are only at the beginning of the process in France. The use of our automatic transcription application, subtitling and translation services will be very useful for the future. We are in line with the evolution, the global context and are constantly improving our learning methods.

Distance learning thus brings many benefits for children. By extension, we can easily imagine a deployment in several languages to translate courses so that every child has access to comparable, quality learning, training, games and teaching.

All in all, we hope that this article on distance learning for children will reassure you and make you think about new possibilities for learning at any age. If you are a company, a media company, a school and you are interested in making your content accessible to children, do not hesitate to contact us!

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