Embracing a Virtual Learning Experience
09 February 2021
This last year has been full of changes. Many of these have been forced upon us, causing us to adapt in response. At Worldwide Kids, we have always been proud of our ability to adapt: we work internationally, with children aged 4-months to 17-years, so it’s more of a necessity than a choice for us! That’s why we have decided to embrace digital learning.
The newest addition to the WK portfolio is a range of practical, engaging, specifically developed online training courses.
At Worldwide Kids, we know that children learn through play, and we try to take the same approach to training adults, as running activities for kids: both must be fun, participant lead, practical, and social. So how have we translated this from face-to-face training to online?
Worldwide Kids has never subscribed to learning as being a group of people who are simply presented with information in a traditional ‘classroom’ environment. We value interaction, discussion, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and practical application of learning. While we are aware that there are many ways to facilitate eLearning, anyone who has spent long hours on Zoom recently will attest to the fact that some are better than others!
We are able to provide ‘download and keep’ resources, design assessments, and host webinars, all in one place.
So after months of planning, we finally launched our very own Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This specifically developed online portal allows us to create, curate, and upload content for our learners, and offer interactive learning opportunities. We are able to provide ‘download and keep’ resources, design assessments, and host webinars, all in one place. Our VLE is also suitable for all devices, making the learning experience even more adaptable. We can contact individual learners or groups, participate in discussions, and also send reminders where needed.
As part of the process, we had to consider how we would ensure that this ‘new way’ of learning measures up to the traditional face-to-face model. In developing our courses, we’ve come to the conclusion that it does more than ‘measure-up’. Going online can, in fact, give a new perspective, and even enhance the learning experience.
Our clients often comment that what they value about our training is that it is so personal. Therefore making our online courses equally full of WK personality was central to their design. The result is professional online courses, combined with the fun of working with children. The WK training team is also on hand for any questions and can be reached directly by learners through the portal, whenever a question comes to mind. Depending on the specific course, WK trainers will also conduct webinars and question and answer sessions. Each aspect of each course is also designed to be adaptable to any childcare setting.
With a variety of content, we create an inclusive environment, promoting engagement and empowerment learning by catering to the individual preferences of learners.
As with children, WK recognises that all learners are different, and our online learning courses allow learners to progress at their own rate, engaging with content in the way they choose. All courses comprise of a broad range of original and curated content, including videos, voiceovers, articles, and links. This variety creates an inclusive environment, promoting engagement and empowerment learning by catering to the individual preferences of learners. The WK Virtual Learning Environment also provides a safe space for learners to reflect, double check what they have learnt, and question anything they are unsure of.
For any learning to be valuable, it is crucial that the skills and knowledge gained can be practically applied. This is why we’ve integrated tasks throughout all of our online courses; for learners to use what they’ve learnt in their own specific childcare setting.
Sceptics might argue that online learning is not ‘as sociable’ as face-to- face. In response, WK would point out that the last year has shown us how valuable technology is as a tool to support social interaction. Our Virtual Learning Environment promotes collaboration, both through the tasks we set, but also as learners are signposted to team discussions, or to connect with other learners in the course-specific forums.
WK eLearning courses overcome the ‘logistics barrier’ by providing a flexible solution; learning wherever, whenever works for your operation.
In our experience, logistics have consistently been a barrier to learning. When you work with children, they are always the priority (closely followed by their families). It may not always be possible to take a team out of their operation to complete a full face-to-face training course, and even if it is possible, it is unfortunately, rarely seen as a priority.
Not only is our online learning accessible on any device, it is also accessible at any time. WK eLearning courses overcome the ‘logistics barrier’ by providing a flexible solution; learning wherever, whenever works for your operation. We believe learning should compliment your operation, not disrupt it. Using their unique login, each learner can also ‘digest’ their learning in whichever way suits them best.
Worldwide Kids is an international company. It’s in our name! While WK trainers love to travel, meet our learners, learn about the local cultures and customs, and deliver bespoke training for your specific needs and operation, we realise that this is not possible right now. Instead of longing for those unique interactions with childcare teams around the world, we have decided to embrace this new opportunity, and offer something extra, new, and exciting.
So this is how we see it…
This ‘new’ way of learning is really just us embracing the technological advances that were designed to make our lives easier. Our online courses are a tool that we have created to support clients who want to adapt, to be able to continue to exceed guest expectations through the provision of professional, safe, and exciting childcare, even in tough times.
Although we have had to adapt through necessity, we’re so glad we did. Developing our online learning has shown us all of its benefits, and we’ve not even mentioned the fact that fewer trainer flights is a positive for the environment!
Ultimately, children are always at the heart of WK, and our eLearning courses enables us to continue to support childcare staff in creating a safer, more exciting experience for children. ABBIE CLARK
Abbie Clark is the Learning and Development Manager at Worldwide Kids.
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