Guest Column| How kids apps kept young minds hooked amid the pandemic?

2020 will be a year that will go into history as one of the most unanticipated and unimaginable phenomenon that man alive today would have never expected to witness. An experience that is still sustaining with no clarity of what is in the horizon. The COVID-19 pandemic that picked up pace in March 2020 across the world for the first time became a global situation that required everyone to relook at their way of living, working, engaging and most importantly, learning.

While one can never imagine looking at anything good coming out of a pandemic, we have to feel blessed that we are experiencing this at a time where we are all surrounded by devices and data that has not only kept us connected and informed in real time but also given our children the opportunity of keeping their education going while sitting at home.

Platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, etc got adopted overnight by teachers and students across the globe to continue the process of learning. Several App creators were able to ride on the opportunity as well. Parents encouraged their children to consume content that is edutainment driven and the adoption of digital learning has become synonymous with several new education-driven platforms. Schools too are now putting their focus on teaching children various topics through PowerPoint presentations and YouTube links. Apps such as VOOT, Hungama Kids, Lattu Kids and so on. are in the space of education through entertainment while the Government backed UMANG, BYJU’s, Unacademy, Udemy, Vedantu, and more are more focused on curriculum based education.

Soumini Sridhara Paul

However, besides these apps, parents need to constantly monitor their children because in the guise of using study apps, kids today have become so tech savvy that they are able to toggle between gaming platforms and free streaming platforms while they are doing online schooling and are constantly distracted. While education has gone online and so has video become the medium of communication, the role of a parent continues to be a daunting one and more challenging because we are now living in an era where children can possibly teach their parents more than parents can teach their children. Personally, I believe, the pandemic has created new habits and challenges but it has also accelerated the digital environment to an extent that it is not limited only to a few or to what one would call in the good old days as – the intelligent one.

Kids will now have to be taught how to use devices just like how we were taught how to write when we were growing up. The only hope is that devices does not replace the cognitive activity of writing which was already being threatened in the pre-COVID times as well. Apps, websites, video content and digitally interactive learning are definitely going to be growing bigger and bigger and schools will need to ensure that they are able to catch up on their curriculums to include them.

(This article is contributed by Hungama Digital Media vice president Soumini Sridhara Paul and AnimationXpress does not necessarily subscribe to these views)