A Little Distance Learning History
As we know, distance learning and digital learning are not synonymous. Distance learning has existed for a looonng time. Early on, it was called ‘correspondence education’ or ‘correspondence learning.’
Students received assignments in the mail, completed them, and mailed their work back to their educational institution.
A few examples of early distance learning include:
- The University of London offered degrees via distance learning, starting in 1858.
- The International Correspondence Schools, based in PA, was founded in 1888 and provided training for immigrant coal miners who wanted to become mine inspectors or foremen.
- Radio and television eventually provided universities with the ability to broadcast information to students, with Pennsylvania State College broadcasting live radio courses in the 1920s.
Check out this infographic for more detail about distance learning history.
Distance Learning Doesn’t Have to Mean Digital Learning
Why consider this history? With schools moving to distance learning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to remember that even though we have the technology to provide digital learning experiences, distance learning doesn’t have to mean just digital learning.
- Paper and pencil activities have their place in distance learning; in some cases, such activities can provide greater benefits than digital activities.
Why are color by number activities an important part of the current distance learning needs? Because of the many benefits coloring provides!
During this difficult time (and ANY difficult time), the benefits of coloring are so helpful to our students and our own children (and to us). Here are just a few:
- Coloring reduces stress: this pandemic and the changes in their education, routines, LIFE, can certainly create stress for our children. Color by number activities provide not just the math practice they need (or other content practice), but also stress reduction.
- Coloring stimulates creativity! When you’re coloring, your mind is focused on the coloring movement, but it can wander, allowing space for the mind to seek new ideas. This is a great time for kids to generate and explore new ideas.
- Coloring on paper gives the mind and eyes a break from working (or playing) on a screen.
- Coloring potentially helps improve sleep and attention span.
In addition to practicing math and getting the coloring benefits, students can also take some time to create their OWN color by number activities.Each of my color by number resources includes a blank coloring sheet, which students can use to design their own patterns, explore color combinations, and enjoy the fun of creating for someone else.
Take care, and take some coloring time for yourself!!