September is upon us – and that means back to school. This year, however, it’s shrouded in uncertainty, at a time when we want our children to be learning, both safely and consistently.
That’s why we’ve launched online after school courses to keep young people creating with and learning about technology – on a schedule that fits around their school students. So – why are we such big believers in learning online?
Learning – but more effectively
Education has changed – and online learning will be a feature of children’s lives for a while to come. We believe learning online is not about replicating a classroom experience – it’s about taking advantage of the many benefits of technology to give students a rich and exciting experience to remember.
Parents tell us how different the Fire Tech learning experience is to other online courses. Students want to receive support instantly and Fire Tech online courses are taught in real-time. We create a participative experience by using digital tools like video calls, collaborative whiteboards, and screen sharing. Students always get excited to share with others and interact with the new learning environment. What better way to learn about technology than to use it?
It’s no surprise that our courses received a 92% rating from our students. They rate our courses so highly because they learn the subjects they love through play. Activities, games, and breaks are scheduled into the day. Our students love Kahoot quizzes and Pictionary. We also like to include sunshine with breaks and movement activities to make sure students do not sit for long periods.
What’s more, our courses have a real impact on students’ learning: twice as many students report feeling confident with technology by the end of the programme.
Create new friendships
For us, education is not just about new skills. It’s about bonding with your peers, making new friends, and sharing your excitement in play and learning – whether in the classroom or online! These relationships are vital for a child’s wellbeing and development.
We all know these opportunities for human connection have been all too few and far between recently. That’s why we make the social element of our courses so important. Our tutors start every session with an ice breaker and, between classes, our students introduce their pets, talk about the posters in their room or just show their colourful personalities.
Our students love making new friends on our courses – just like Olivia, who made a lasting friend in Evie on our recent AI course! Hear her story here.
What’s fantastic about learning online is that these new friends might be from all over the world! Our students might learn with a classmate from school as easily as they might a new friend from Sweden, Nigeria or Oman!
Set your schedule – ahead of time
What feels better than the peace of mind that planning ahead gives you?
Our tech courses run throughout the school term, at regular times designed around your child’s timetable – so you can pop that time in your calendar and have a fixed plan each week for them to keep learning and exploring new hobbies outside of school!
Get time for yourself
Summer’s over and, as a parent, we know that you’ll have busy schedules to get back to – so we have designed our course experience for you, too. That means easy set up prior to the course, clear instructions sent as soon as you book, and tech experts on-point to help you on day 1. We are sure you have enough on your plates in this difficult time – and that shouldn’t include Zoom links or downloading software for your child – so we’re here to make this as seamless as possible!
A recent parent told us, “Both my kids have loved their courses. I’ve been able to work this week without any disturbance.”
Just like this parent, our courses mean that while your son or daughter is meeting new friends, enjoying fun games and learning exciting new tech topics, you can sit back and enjoy a little peace and quiet, or focus on your day’s work. Our students end the week reporting how much fun they’ve had, and how much their skills and confidence have grown!
Learn, play and thrive – without exam pressure
We all know how the pressure of regular exams can be stressful for children and impact their ability to learn in a joyful way.
Children may spend hours on their favourite hobbies – mastering a video game, improving their technique at tennis, or learning to play a musical instrument. However, we rarely see this level of obsession with schoolwork. So what happens if you take pressure off and make learning feel like a hobby?
That’s how we approach learning at Fire Tech. We want to nurture learning through play and encourage deeper motivation and enthusiasm for the subject. On our courses, students are given conscious choice – opt-in to learn how they want; they have feedback loops – through goal-setting and continual recognition for their progress; engage with scaffolded problem-solving, where challenges are broken down into achievable stages; and learn real-world applications, to help contextualise how what they learn is relevant to their lives. Each of these elements help to foster students’ curiosity.
Promote creative thinking
Learning about technology is a highly-effective means of promoting a child’s creativity.
At Fire Tech, we want our students not to learn by rote or by copying, but to really understand subjects through curiosity, investigation and experimentation. The way this happens is through effective questioning. We know that coding and other tech subjects can be hard, but they are best learnt through trial and error. Much like the way that programmers ‘debug’ code to find errors, humans can learn complex things through breaking them down into simpler, smaller tasks.
Each student has the chance to put their new skills into practice by working on their own projects – whether it’s designing a video game, creating a world in virtual reality, or designing a computer vision algorithm using AI! Already this year, our students have already designed AI models that try to detect COVID-19 patients, created virtual worlds to discover extinct wildlife, and built their own YouTube cooking channels to inspire others.
These projects give them each an opportunity to learn hands-on and let their creativity flourish, and everyone graduates from Fire Tech with something tangible that they created.
Even better, each student has the chance to share these projects with their peers and parents at our ‘grand finale’ where students present the projects they’re so proud of. We love these moments!
To find out more about our After School Courses, view them here or call our team on 020 3950 7310.