SUPPORTING LEARNING AFTER THE ECQ
By Nathania Goddard
The Department of Education, with the approval of the IATF, has announced recently its opening of classes for basic education for school year 2020−2021. In spite of the agency’s commitment to ensuring the continuity of the students’ formal education, schools and parents alike are now facing many concerns in preparation for the opening of classes. As a possible solution to this issue, some school administrators have already begun studying the prospects of transferring traditional classroom learning to virtual platforms, using an array of digital resources.
Schools, however, must take into account the challenges and limitations of online classes. Before deciding on a learning platform, school administrators must study their students’ and faculty’s capacity and resources available. Does everyone have access to a stable Internet connection? How many devices do students have access to at home? Can students and their parents carry the cost of a learning management system prescribed by the school? Are there other options available given the different situations of students and faculty?
As we grapple with these concerns, is there anything that can be done in the meantime to support professional learning amidst the ECQ? Here are some suggestions that may help.
- School administrators should look into conducting an E-learning implementation survey to assess the students’ and teachers’ capability to access a stable Internet connection, available devices at home, computer literacy skills, and the support they can obtain from someone in the household.
- School administrators can arrange teacher training for faculty members through virtual or in-school training, when government restrictions have been eased. Several online educational organizations offer free special courses and webinars that educate teachers about transitioning to a virtual platform. Pearson Education, Microsoft Educator Community, Google for Education, and EdX among others. Brilliant Creations Publishing gives free webinars that hope to assist teachers in their professional development.
- School administrators, in collaboration with different school sectors, should be able to create contingency measures that will prepare the school community in flexibly adjusting to different circumstances and directives laid down by the government and other key agencies such as the DepEd, IATF, etc.
- The administrators must motivate teachers to ensure quality education by maximizing learning opportunities and utilizing accessible learning materials online. They can encourage the use of e-book versions of textbooks and modules if available, as well as slideshow presentations, educational website articles, and video tutorials. Assessing student learning, on the other hand, may be conducted through individual and group assignments, online tests, and interactive activities that let students work at their own pace. Some websites that offer these services include Scholastic.com, Funbrain.com, PBSKids.org, and Code.org.
- School administrators must be open to suggestions and feedback from faculty members and parents, and offer resolutions to their concerns.
- Administrators should also support faculty members in finding creative ways to make distance learning accessible to all their students. This may include providing and encouraging the use of online applications that have features available offline like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides.
- Administrators must stay updated with developments posted by the Department of Education. Recently, the government agency has addressed the issue of supporting learning continuity by announcing that all schools must submit their respective learning continuity plans before starting the school year.
While many questions remain, it is important for administrators to keep a level head and seek feasible solutions to prepare ourselves for the coming school year. The situation that we are all in calls for us to stretch our capacity to learn and to adapt to the times.
Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center. (n.d.). Supporting continuity of teaching and learning during an emergency. (PDF). Retrieved from rems.ed.gov./docs/Supporting_Continuity_of_learning_and_education.pdf
Castelo, M. 2020, April. Continuing remote learning for students without internet. Retrieved from edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2020/04/continuing-remote-learning-students-without-internet%3famp
Romero, J. 2020, April 21. DepEd: Learning continuity plan still in the works. Retrieved from google.com/amp/s/news.abs-cbn.com/amp/news/04/21/2020/deped-learning-continuity-plan-still-in-the-works