8 mins read

Screen Time For Learning: 3 steps we take to keep it in check

By LingoAce Team​ |US |August 17, 2021

Learning Chinese

Do you remember the days when as a child, you would play outdoors with your friends in the neighbourhood park or field? Those times create sweet memories that remain even many years later. Sad to say, children of this generation do not seem to share or treasure those same experiences.

Previously, uses of technology were confined to radio, television and, occasionally, maybe a clunky home computer. However, today’s children are exposed to digital devices at a much younger age. More than just a trend, the move towards digital is a reality that we all need to adapt to. The key is what we do to help our children adapt.

Managing your child’s device usage

It is good to allow your child to be exposed to the positive uses of digital at an early age. Children below the age of 12 are better able to absorb than at a later age. Technology advancements during their growing up years will force them to develop and adapt to face the new version of the world as they grow into adulthood. They will need to use technology whether at school, at work, at home and even during leisure time. So shutting them off from technology is not the answer. Can they adapt fast enough with the progress of technology? Are they comfortable learning online? The choices made in their early years either support or weigh down their growth trajectory.

Yet, the challenge of managing the use of devices is a common parental concern. You are not alone! We understand that parents like you want only the best for your child and may be concerned about how online learning impacts your child’s screen time. At LingoAce, we take care of your child’s health through optimal device usage and duration of screen time. Here are three things we are doing to keep your kid’s screen time in check and make sure they get the most of their screen time with us.

Shorter Chinese class duration, conducted online

Screen time problem #1: Too much time indoors and too little time outdoors when kids are glued to the screen, looking at their phone or computer.

Solution: Our classes are capped at 55 minutes and conducted twice a week. Screen time is not a problem when it is in check. It is a problem when it spirals out of control (think binge-watching Netflix or binge-playing a mobile game). It cuts down the time for physical exercises and social interactions.

At LingoAce, our 55-minute class duration means your child can spend more time outdoors, interact with other children in the neighbourhood or simply be a child at home. What is more, our flexible class scheduling means you have more control of your child's schedule instead of being bogged down by a certain fixed class time.

Our classes are conducted online, which also means more time savings for the family. No need to wake up early on a Saturday to fetch your children to enrichment lessons. No need to drive to class or sort out the logistics of which parent is going to pick up the child after lessons. All this translates to more time spent on family bonding activities, activities that can take place in nature or outdoors away from the screen.

Visual, auditory, and intellectual stimulation for active online class participation

Screen time problem #2: Eye and neck strain after staring at a fixed position for an extended period.

Solution: Intellectual stimulation and human interaction to create active participation in children’s online classes.

Instead of moving around and being active, we are seeing more and more children kept occupied by their digital ‘babysitters’. You see it in restaurants, public transport facilities, and at malls. This is a concern because prolonged periods of staring at the screen without much movement is not good for development of the child’s eyes and neck. The problem is not with the use of digital devices, but in becoming a passive user of them. To combat this, we make each of our Chinese classes filled with visual, auditory, and intellectual stimulation.

Our students do not spend their 55 minutes with us sitting idly in front of their devices. Instead, they are active participants! Conversations with their peers and teachers are the norm during classes. Our native speaking Chinese teachers have been trained to teach for the online platform. Your child’s teacher will guide them through lessons, start discussions, provide feedback in real-time, and facilitate games and activities. Our students’ visual and auditory senses are constantly stimulated during classes, much different from passive rote learning that some learning centres use. To facilitate proactive acquisition of knowledge, we also employ color psychology in our courseware design, which fosters an atmosphere of engaged online learning.

In our pre-school foundation program, children have a chance to immerse themselves into one of the 96 animated stories. Each of these animated stories that we crafted feature our original characters, Tigo and Duoduo. Children get to know new friends with Tigo and learn new Chinese words with Duoduo. The high interactivity increases the level of enjoyment and drives high levels of learning motivation.

LingoAce is kidSAFE-certified!

Screen time problem #3: Unsafe elements or dangerous people on the internet.

Solution: Our learning software offers a 100% protected environment for our young learners.

The unprecedented convenience enabled by the internet also gave predatory behaviour and malicious content easier access to the users. When unsupervised, it will do more harm than good to our young users.

At LingoAce, we use our in-house software (not a third-party software like Zoom) with dedicated apps for parents and students, respectively. Our company is certified as kidSAFE! This also means our software meets the online safety and privacy standards needed to ensure safe consumption for children. We are intentional in building a safe walled learning environment just as the school compound is a gated facility.

Your child should not be a slave to technology, but a wise user of it. We make sure your child’s screen time with us is balanced, interactive and safe. This sets the expectations in your child on what a healthy use of digital devices and optimal screen-time is like. The benefit of such a healthy foundation extends well beyond building a sound Chinese linguistic education.

All members of the team have a background in linguistic education, strong bilingual abilities, and at least two years of international experience. They have a good understanding of the living environment and language environment overseas, focusing on the language learning experience for children aged 3-15. They continue to introduce Chinese culture to children across the globe, and are the best storytellers in LingoAce, helping to facilitate language learning for parents overseas.​