How to Incorporate Peer-to-Peer Learning into your Child’s Education
Peer-to-peer learning helps complement traditional education by offering additional learning support, and by making that learning support easy access through e-learning websites. Studies have already shown that peer learning enhances and progresses their academic, social, and communication skills
. The ideal example of this easy access and the friendly user interface is exemplified by the peer-to-peer learning platform Peer Square.
As a parent, it may be tricky to recognize whether or not your child is getting the most out of their peer-to-peer learning experience. This article helps highlight the ways your child can incorporate peer-to-peer learning. These methods and practices can be offered at your child’s traditional school system, after-school programs, or through EdTech e-learning websites like Peer Square. This article will also help you identify what you, as a parent, should avoid when looking for peer learning platforms, what you should consider, and how to make sure your child is getting the best out of their peer learning experience.
E-learning websites have increasingly incorporated games in their operations as a way to speak the language of the student. When it comes to peer-to-peer learning, gamification provides a unique opportunity for implementation.
That is where gamification comes into play. Constance Steinkuehler, from the University of Wisconsin
, found that multiplayer online games are "sites for socially and materially distributed cognition, complex problem solving, identity work, individual and collaborative learning across multiple multimedia, multimodality 'attentional spaces'’”. Steinkuehler makes a point that these spaces and applications should be considered to be part of the educational research agenda. She continues that given the amount of time young people spend in these environments and their importance for socialization, enculturation, and learning, that further research is required. Such methods of applications can be done in person or on e-learning websites, where the bulk of the gaming industry resides.
This isn’t a new phenomenon in education, as we’ve witnessed education incorporated into competitive gaming events, such as math competitions and spelling bees to name a few.
Another way for incorporating peer-to-peer learning is through student-led initiatives where students are the individuals responsible for the outcome of a task or project. This can be done via traditional educational hours or in a separate schedule as part of added learning support.
have shown that student-led peer-to-peer learning initiatives are an efficient way for making sure that all learners are actively engaged in the learning support process during these simulations, and that these simulations have the potential for broad applicability. Allowing students to take control of the reins a few times, and manage the course of their education through a guided and structured medium has its positives. Also, through this method, students have shown a higher self-confidence in their skills, and knowledge in a subject matter.
Team Work and Social Skills Building
Finally, another way peer-to-peer learning can be applied is through the use of team-building exercises or exercises done in groups of 2 or more. The purpose of this is to offer the learning support students need that can be acquired by working in pairs or groups. In groups, roles are defined, and assignments are cast. The students all come together to achieve a common goal. Peer-to-peer learning in this process becomes tantamount to the success of the group. The beauty of this method is that it can be used on e-learning websites, thus not obstructing traditional education, rather complementing it.
Another positive of this method is that it helps hone and enhance students’ social skills. By working in groups, a social element is added to the educational one. Students must learn to work with other students to reach that common goal. They must take into consideration other students’ opinions, methods, and points of view on how to best carry out the assignment.
The Role of the Parent
In non-traditional forms of education, parents play a huge role. They are not the ones providing the learning experience to their children, but they can play a role in monitoring and observing. With this, parents can help guide their children, without interfering directly with the peer-to-peer learning process.
What to Avoid
As a monitor, there are a few discrepancies a parent should be alert to. For starters, parents should be aware of any collaboration that is not helpful, as this provides no benefits, and simply hampers a child’s learning. Also, a parent should be alert to extended use of the platform, without any time off. Lastly, parents should look to avoid meetings or classrooms that have not identified clear guidelines and learning goals beforehand.
What to Look For
In contrast, there are many things parents should look for when incorporating peer-to-peer learning in their children’s education. For starters, parents should seek a platform that is a safe place for their children to communicate. A non-judgemental environment that seeks to draw the best out of all its members. A parent should want a peer learning platform that is properly monitored, managed, and moderated. A platform like Peer Square, that offers credible knowledge, and a communication space, where children grow their knowledge and skills.
In closing, peer-to-peer education is an added benefit to traditional forms of education. Through peer-to-peer learning, students received the learning support they don't usually receive in traditional education. Parents play a huge role in that they will select and monitor the platform from which their children learn. In doing so, parents must know the criteria in which to choose an eligible platform and to assess the benefits of that platform on their children.
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