Hello earthling,

It is the 3rd week of the COVID-19 Lockdown here in Kenya, I hope things are taking shape in the home front. The last two weeks have been met with different emotions and reactions from children, parents and guardians. I have been asked, “ Evelyn, how can I turn my homeschool into a digital learning environment when my children have little to no experience using digital tools independently?”

Most parents and guardians fall under this category as well, not to mention the load of responsibility that comes with a lockdown like office and house work.

Well, it is not easy to make that transition, but because I am privileged to be a common sense media educator I will share some guidelines to help parents / guardians settle into digital learning. (Courtesy of Common Sense Media Education Tools)

They say “ Not planning is planning to fail” so here are some friendly, easy to understand and implement guidelines, weekly learning plans that can help you ease into a digital learning routine.

  1. Digital Citizenship – This is the basis of ALL digital learning. In order to play, learn and create online, students and their families must understand what it means to be a responsible citizen online. Bring in the lessons of Self Identity tied in with Family Values. 
  2. Set reasonable weekly goals – When it comes to goal setting, always begin with the End on Mind, paint your desirable end results and work backwards to see how you can achieve them. Manage your expectations from the start, it is OK if you don’t figure out everything at once. ( As we are in week 3, it is important to do an evaluation of what worked, what didn’t work and what can we improve? ) 
  3. Develop a schedule – It is not always possible to keep the schedule, but coming up with one gives you structuring during the day and help your children know what to expect.
  4. Use safe tools – As a common sense media educator, I use tools they have recommended for learning. I acknowledge that there are so many apps, websites and games online, it is be a tad overwhelming.These guidelines are not a replacement for the real school season, but I hope you can establish a healthy, positive culture of digital learning with your children.

    We need to develop some ground rules.

Media Balance Rules.

  • Pause for people: When someone wants to talk to us, we stop look up from the screen, make eye contact and talk to them.
  • Every day engage in an outdoor activity ( If possible ) or a physical activity (move parts around)
  • ALL meals are device free. (Stick to the tech free areas or zones)
  • Use devices at the stipulated time for the agreed period. (Parents will supervise screen time)
  • Have some quiet time to reflect, everyday.Dear parent

    , remember to schedule your office work, telephones, extended family time,social media & news time.Prioritise self care and manage your anxiety during this lockdown period and take care of your mental health.

    When your day does not pun out as expected, do not beat yourself up, try again the following day.

I wish you a great week ahead, I send my love, thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and observe high standards of hygiene.

Evelyn Kasina

Family IT consultant