Online Coding / Robotics – Learning never stops!

What is your COVID Experience?

COVID-19 forced individuals and business to be creative and innovative to sustain our way of life. No one has been immune to the disruptions including children. After-school activities make up a big part of a child’s learning, socialisation, and their overall routine. NSW school lockdown in the mode of crisis meant that after school activities grinded to a complete halt; the traditional form of face to face learning was out of question. This period of uneasiness opened a new door for delivering coding and robotics workshops online. Here are our observations on our experience with our students.

Whilst most parents were dealing with adjusting to online schooling, understandably they did not wanted their children to spend additional time on screens with online coding and robotics workshops. A small cohort of our old and some new students from our Paramatta, Blacktown, and Carlingford area schools joined us for the online learning. During these trying times, we did not have any expectations from our students and hoped to keep their routine with our coding and robotics workshops as much as possible. However, the transition from face to face learning to online learning was exceptional. Aside from some minor issues, the transition to online learning was mostly seamless; leaving students and parents satisfied with the new ‘normal’. We observed that students were generally more enthusiastic and excited to learn and participate. Students as young as 7 years old were able to work with us on Zoom and use virtual robots quite effectively. We found them to be more focused and completed their tasks promptly – perhaps because they were not distracted by their friends and in some cases they were being watched/assisted by parents.

With online learning taking place, now more than ever; parents were able to actively provide feedback and understand our coding and robotics workshops through the online medium. Unexpectedly, we received overwhelming support and encouragement from parents, with a parent of one of our students saying “My child has special needs; these online workshops created a safe space for him and allowed me to understand and help him too”, like many other satisfied parents this feedback encouraged us to continue our online workshops. So much so that we will continue to operate at least one coding/robotics workshop per week even after our face to face workshops resume.

While online learning lacked traditional face to face interactions and it had its limitation, there were better outcomes and experiences that we can carry forward and sustain in the post pandemic world.