Teaching Kids to Mitigate Online Burnout

Teaching Kids to Mitigate Online Burnout

The risk of burnout is one of the primary threats of contemporary life. But it’s important to remember this isn’t an issue strictly limited to those of us of adult age. Kids are just as susceptible to the damaging effects of the stresses and expectations they’re faced with.  Among the contributors to burnout for kids in this way is their online behavior.

While the internet can be a positive tool, it is also one of the ways children are subjected to pressures and anxiety. While it is certainly a virtual environment, the threat is no less real. Indeed, with the prevalence of smart devices and online learning, your kids may find it somewhat inescapable, leaving them at greater risk of burnout.

Let’s take a look at how you can effectively teach your kids to mitigate the potential for online burnout.

Boundary Setting

One of the most important areas of knowledge you can pass onto kids regarding online burnout surrounds setting boundaries. Teach them about the various types of limits they should be setting for themselves throughout their online use. This can begin with something as simple as overall screen time. But it could also include keeping devices away from the bedroom at night so they’re not connected right up until bedtime. This helps to ensure good quality and quantity of sleep.

Another boundary can surround the safe use of social media platforms or online communities. This isn’t just about time spent on them. It’s also about the kind of content being consumed and the discussions they engage in. Peer pressure, trolling exposure, and even pop-cultural disagreements can get heated and stressful. Teach them to recognize the boundaries and when to separate from the negative influences.

Alongside recognizing and setting the boundaries, you should teach your kids how to respond to them effectively. It can be healthy to encourage a digital detox when social media use is becoming problematic in particular. Help them to make accurate assessments about how long this detox should be depending on the severity of the impact on their lives. This could be blocking social sites for a couple of hours each day, or even separating entirely for 24 hours.

Symptom Awareness

Burnout can sneak up and take the victim unawares. A key to mitigating burnout can be recognizing the symptoms early enough to make adjustments. By teaching your child what these are, you can work together to identify them before they get out of hand.

Some of the key signs of online burnout in kids include:

●     Slipping Grades

This can be especially prevalent when your child is experiencing the stress of remote learning. The relentless nature of performing their schooling online without casual interactions with their peers can make the situation especially difficult. When your child is unable to disconnect from this environment and struggles to cope with the stress, their schoolwork can start to suffer.

It’s important to encourage your child to speak up when they find their grades are slipping or they don’t enjoy the work as much as they would have in person. This allows you to make adjustments to their learning space or routine to better suit your child’s remote learning needs.

●     Isolating Behavior

It is not unusual for children to withdraw from the family space, particularly as they approach pre-teen years. But refusing to engage with family and friends can be a sign your child is experiencing online burnout. This is because the stress they’re living with is driving them to reduce the stimulus they’re exposed to in other areas of their life.

Talk to your child about recognizing when they feel they don’t want to spend time with other people in ways they would have otherwise enjoyed. Help them to see that feeling they’re too tired or too busy for social interactions can be a sign they’re burning out.

●     Anxiety

Online burnout creates a situation in which it becomes harder for your child to function comfortably each day. Sure, they may always have had challenges in their lives. But the constant stress and negative influences of their online spaces can result in them experiencing fear. Even their self-consciousness around their online presence or remote schoolwork may be more pronounced. As such, they can find themselves more emotionally distraught and crying more often. Even their sleep may begin to suffer.

Balance Maintenance

You should stress to your child that reducing and preventing online burnout can be about creating a balance in their life. Simply developing a positive attitude despite the difficulties they face isn’t enough. Rather, it’s about taking action to reduce the negative impact on their lives. With kids, this isn’t always an easy idea to get across, so it’s worth taking a practical and visual approach.

Work with them on a weekly basis to list all the essential online activities for each coming day. This may not be limited to schoolwork alone. A growing number of children are using online methods to stay close to their long-distance parents. This is a vital element to maintaining their wellbeing and forging strong bonds. Knowing clearly what these essential online activities are can help your child feel more in control and less overwhelmed.

You can then list all the non-essential online activities they can engage in. Don’t make them feel as though their gaming time or social media use isn’t important. It may be wise to create separate columns for online activities and offline activities each day. This gives a clear view of how successfully they’re achieving a balance. These columns don’t have to be equal each day. But it can be a good tool to help them recognize when their day is imbalanced to the point they’ll risk burnout.

Conclusion

It is important that you as a parent remain vigilant for when your child is displaying signs of online burnout. However, it can be more empowering for your child if you teach them about mitigating the risks themselves too. Talk them through the importance of setting boundaries and recognizing the symptoms of burnout. This, alongside activities to maintain a healthy balance, can help make sure your child approaches their online time in a healthy manner.

How to Use Instagram as a Teaching and Resource Tool

How to Use Instagram as a Teaching and Resource Tool

There’s no denying that Instagram is a powerful tool. Not only for advertising and e-commerce businesses, but it can be a great resource and tool for teachers too. Harnessing the social media platform’s strengths — its rich audio-visual experience and accessibility — Instagram can be the key to engaging with both kids and their parents.

Why Instagram?

Instagram’s content is filled with inspiration. Whether you’re a teacher by profession, a tutor, a mentor or just a parent who wants to stimulate their child’s creativity, the photo and video sharing platform is a great place to begin. In fact, studies have shown that Instagram is able to improve a student’s motivation to learn and their class participation.

The fact that the app can be accessed through most mobile devices in the market today, makes it a viable option for any parent — no need to spend on expensive devices and software! The app is also extremely user-friendly, so kids and parents alike won’t need any technical know-how to be able to navigate it.

We’ve listed some effective ways you can use Instagram:

Use Hashtags for Inspiration

As mentioned, Instagram is filled with a ton of educational and inspirational content. You just have to know where to look. If you don’t have specific accounts in mind, all you need to do is search for trending hashtags.

Searching for hashtags is highly dependent on your needs or your niche but these are some of the most popular hashtags used by teachers today:

  • #TeachersofInstagram
  • #Teachherlife
  • #ClassroomIdeas
  • #TeachersFollowTeachers
  • #TeacherInspiration

You can also type your keyword on the Instagram search bar and the top hashtags will pop up. Click on your desired hashtag and you’ll find hundreds of thousands of posts at your disposal.

Clicking through hashtags can help you in so many ways. You can find lesson plan ideas, new activities, workshops for kids, fun classroom setups, and so much more!

Once you find posts that you like, you can click on the Save button in the bottom right corner.

Pro-tip: Make sure to click “Save to Collection” and label each category accordingly. This way, you can easily navigate through your saved posts and find exactly what you’re looking for.

On the flip side, if you have helpful content to share that other teachers can use as reference, don’t forget to use a hashtag to make it searchable. Using a hashtag on your post can also help you boost engagement. Additionally, you can use free Hootsuite alternatives to schedule your Instagram posts at once allowing you to have some extra time to focus on more important work.

Showcase Your Students’ Work

Instagram is first and foremost a content-sharing platform. As a teacher, it’s one of the best stages for showcasing your student’s work. Think of Instagram as your digital bulletin board where students can be recognized.

Having a digital bulletin board is also helpful as parents can keep track of their child’s progress and find out what they’re doing at school.

You can also use Instagram Stories to create collages of student projects or share live updates on activities and classroom events.

Post Class Updates

While printed circulars and memos may feel more official, keeping things paperless and digital is more cost-efficient and earth-friendly.

Posting assignments and class updates on Instagram is a fun way to keep the parents updated. You can also make parents part of the decision-making by using the Instagram Story Poll Stickers. For instance, they can decide on themes and field trip locations. Some schools may pair this with an online course platform that allows much of the course content to be hosted digitally.

The Instagram account can also be a way for parents to reach out to you directly and ask questions.

Interact with Fellow Teachers

One of the most valuable aspects of Instagram is its wide user base. With over a billion users and rising, there must be hundreds of thousands of people just like you. If you want more resources and ideas, one of the best ways to do it is by connecting with other professionals.

If you’re a kindergarten teacher, for example, you can find someone with the same credentials  by using the search bar or hashtags. If you want to be searchable as well, you can put “Kindergarten Teacher” in your bio description.

You can learn so many things by talking to people! Imagine connecting to fellow teachers from across the world. You can exchange ideas and learn from each other, a luxury that was close to impossible before social media was created.

Capture Memories

Class picture day shouldn’t be the only day immortalized in photographs. So many fun and special moments happen every day, and parents won’t always be there to see them. Use Instagram to document special events and fun memories.

Create Instagram-themed Assignments and Activities

This is an activity that has to be done in collaboration with parents. For example, you can do a student Instagram takeover, where parents will help the child share snippets of their days on the class’s Instagram account.

It can be simple as sharing:

  • What their favorite breakfast foods are
  • Their hobbies
  • Their pets
  • What they like to do on weekends

You can also assign a student Instagram Photographer for the week, who can take photos and decide on captions per post. This will help inspire their creativity and perhaps develop their talent in photography.

Having an activity such as this can be a great segue into teaching your students responsible social media usage (it’s never too early!).

Things to Keep in Mind

Exposing children to social media at such a young age is a sensitive topic. It’s important to have strict guidelines when navigating the platform and make sure that parents are aware and onboard. An added bonus would be to include instruction on how students can maintain a healthy relationship with social media.

Before creating an account, you’ll also have to double-check your school’s regulations.

Public or Private?

Posting photos of minors on the internet without the consent of their parents is a big no-no. But if your account is completely private and shared only between the parents and students in class, then it is a discussion you can have with everyone.

To be safe, you’ll have to ask parents to sign a waiver that states that they allow you to post images of your child in your class’s Instagram account. With the many issues surrounding child security, it’s best to take necessary precautions for every child’s safety.

This account should be an official class account, with nothing but class-related content. Followers should only be the parents of your students and if necessary, school administrators.

Unless you get the go signal from all parents, do not post any photos of your students on social media.

Educating Your Students About Social Media

Sure, Social media can be an awesome place for learning but it can also be a dangerous place for kids. Children should know about the dos and don’ts of social media even at an early age,  and even if they won’t be using the account themselves!

Rather than teaching your students that social media is a bad thing and just a distraction, show them how social media can be used wisely and mindfully. A positive experience with the internet early on might shape the way they use it in the future.

Pro-tip: For virtual learning, easily split educational videos with Clipchamp.

Instagram is going to be part of your students’ lives sooner or later, teaching them responsible usage and digital citizenship is a must.

Wrapping up

Instagram is a fantastic tool and resource for teachers. All you need is a little creativity and it can be a great way to engage with your students as well!. It’s important to experiment with what works best for you and your class.

If you’re still a little bit hesitant, just remember that social media is here to stay, so might as well embrace it!

Read about how parents and teachers alike can guide kids how to stay safe on Instagram.

This is Why Storytelling is the Secret of Every Great Kids Content Creator

Why Storytelling is the Secret for Every Child

For kids, games come in all shapes and sizes; from video games to board games, it’s easy to get lost in the world of play. And who can blame them? Kids are born with an innate sense of curiosity that makes them eager for new experiences and learning opportunities.

The younger generation is already ahead when it comes to technology; they’re familiar with smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc., because these devices are now part of their daily lives. Smartphones make access to information possible at any moment or place, but this also means kids (and adults) spend more time indoors than ever before.

Technology is meant to be used as a tool for work and entertainment, but too much screen time has the opposite effect – one becomes less motivated and less willing to explore the great outdoors. Besides, the internet is a massive source of information, so why even leave the house when you have Google at your fingertips?

There are lots of articles out there about how technology is ruining our kids’ creativity, but here’s an important aside: it’s not just the internet’s fault. The world needs creative individuals who are motivated to create and share their ideas with others. Perhaps one of the most important contributions you can make is ensure internet safety for your young one.

It’s for the concerns surrounding technology that makes storytelling so powerful; it activates imagination, helps children make sense of the world, and encourages them to seek out new experiences. Storytelling can never be fully replaced by technology because words can capture the most profound imaginations through sensory immersion. According to the reviews of profs, who know how to motivate students during distance learning, the younger generation may not be playing board games with actual cards or chess pieces to learn, but they’re still able to become engaged in interactive storytelling through apps.

Since storytelling has an influence on social development, kids who play online games tend to have greater cognitive skills than those who don’t – gamers excel at strategic thinking, problem-solving, imagining alternative endings and other creative abilities that build after a child begins to construct a more thorough understanding of the world around them.

Unstructured play allows children to learn by exploring, and storytelling which is an effective window into this type of self-expression. It encourages kids to investigate their surroundings from a different perspective, often becoming motivated by the desire to live vicariously through their favorite characters. However, it’s important not to underestimate the value of educational content in online games for younger audiences; it provides information on subjects like having greater cognitive skills and math skills, science facts while promoting logical thinking and creative problem-solving.

While parents may cringe at some mobile games that don’t offer much educational value, there are many apps that provide a balance between fun and fundamental learning principles that help young children grow into well-rounded adults. Kids are born with a desire to explore the world, so it’s up to us as parents and educators to encourage this tendency through storytelling produced by professional content creators.

What Parents Should Know about Telling Stories

Kids love to be entertained, which is why they go crazy for TV shows and video games. They want their eyes and ears to be stimulated, and it’s up to parents and educators to choose content that matches with educational goals and fosters healthy habits. Kids shouldn’t spend all their time with technology; it needs to be used as a tool for learning, just like books or any other form of storytelling. There are many benefits of telling stories instead of simply reading to them, such as:

  • Interactive dialogue encourages kids not only to listen but also to respond in some way: Words have the ability to capture imaginations, but kids also need a voice to make sense of their thoughts and emotions.
  • Interactive dialogue encourages problem-solving: When characters come across an obstacle in a story, kids are motivated by the desire to help them succeed. This is how a child begins to learn problem-solving skills at a young age.
  • Interactive dialogue motivates kids to explore worlds beyond this one: Being able to explore new environments through stories allows children’s imaginations to run wild. Their physical surroundings no longer limit them; they become more willing to leave the comfort of home because it means learning about something special or discovering something hidden from plain view.

How to Use Online Games with Kids for Storytelling

Making up stories allows kids to explore their own creativity while learning about the world around them. On top of that, creating content themselves helps children find better ways to express themselves; this is why apps which provide interactive platforms for young writers are so popular. There are many benefits to collaborative storytelling, such as:

  • Kids get a chance to publicly show off their work. This motivates them to write and share their stories with others in a safe and encouraging environment.
  • Kids learn the importance of sharing ideas while building relationships with peers who have similar interests. Collaborative storytelling can be an excellent way for children to learn social skills at a young age, especially if they’re struggling with understanding how interacting with other people works.
  • Collaborative storytelling is less intimidating since it provides more of an opportunity for kids to express themselves creatively without pressure from outside sources. In this case, parents shouldn’t feel the need to step in every so often because there’s no expectation of high standards or serious criticism.
  • Kids learn about story arcs and character development while encouraging one another’s work. They help each other grow, which is why collaborative storytelling has the power to transform little writers into powerful communicators as they mature.

When it comes to choosing storytelling devices that encourage young children to use their imaginations and follow their creative impulses, parents should focus more on building a safe environment. The environments should allow the kids to thrive instead of analyzing every single detail of what their child creates with the app.

Parents Can Be Kid Content Creators Too

Since storytelling is an important part of childhood development, parents should feel encouraged to create content that helps cultivate life skills and develop ideas about science and math. This isn’t just for entertainment; stories come with valuable lessons that teach children how the world works, like:

  • The idea is that everything they do has an impact on others (and vice versa). Stories help kids understand how their actions affect other people’s lives; this is why young children are encouraged to share their work with each other instead of keeping it all to themselves.
  • Every single person has their own perspective on the world around them. Every story teaches kids there are multiple ways of seeing things depending on who’s looking at the situation. This helps them establish empathy for others by understanding where they’re coming from and what they experience on a daily basis.
  • Being able to think critically about what they see in stories builds problem-solving skills as well as analytical thinking. Kids can consider alternate scenarios and explore the many ways of seeing a story from unique angles.

Final Thoughts

Parents should encourage their children to be creative, but it’s also important for parents not to stifle their kids’ imaginations by constantly questioning them about what they’re writing or drawing. For example, don’t ask why a child drew a certain picture because you might get an answer that triggers more questions until the original purpose has been completely forgotten. Never criticize or give your opinion unless it’s absolutely necessary; simply say something like, “I’m happy to help if you need any ideas,” and let your child do all the thinking while guiding conversation where necessary.

What Does the Future of School Look Like?

The Future of School

For 60% of Americans, the traditional education system is not up to snuff.  When asked why, students and parents alike couple grim statistics with their own personal experiences.  More than 6 million students are “chronically absent” from school in the US each year. Teenagers are 5 times more likely to suffer from a mental illness now than in prior generations.

Furthermore, a whopping 86% of high school students believe their schools value grades more than learning, as they say most students end up cheating at some point.  Radical change needs to happen in the school system.  And it has, just not for the reasons reformers expected.

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, millions of students tried out online learning for the first time in 2020.  Now as the pandemic progresses, schools of all types are going in and out of the virtual format in an ad hoc manner.  Despite the frustration caused by switching around, 57% of students feel more positively about online learning than they did prior to the pandemic.  Imagine what a planned, professionally designed virtual school environment can do for children.

Could virtual schools be the future of education?  For some students, yes.  Families all over the nation are turning to online education because it offers more flexible schedules, a safer environment, and more chances for family involvement in their child’s education.  Flexibility is a great thing for students because it allows them to be treated like individuals, something large school districts struggle to do.  Online school has lower incidences of bullying than in-person school does.  Furthermore, online school is time effective.  Online learning can cover the same material in 40% to 60% less time than traditional school formats.  A virtual student in school for the same amount of time could potentially learn twice as much.

Moreover, virtual school is a chance to design education for the 21st century.  Traditional school settings value compliance and uniformity while the modern workforce wants to see people exhibit innovation, creativity, and initiative.  Individuals who take more initiative in their own learning are more successful in our rapidly changing technological world.  Online school is a chance to create better learning formats, such as a project based curriculum with greater focus on the student’s goals and needs.  Traditional grading scales can be replaced with self-evaluation and more descriptive forms of teacher feedback.  New options arise thanks to online schooling.

What Does the Future of School Look Like?

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