E-Learning Lessons from the Perspective of an Educator

Staff ni Anjie
For both kids and instructors, the past year has been a difficult one. With the world suddenly locked down in the midst of a global pandemic, the transition to an online learning arrangement has brought a number of challenges that, thankfully, the most dedicated instructors have been able to overcome.

E-Learning Lessons from the Perspective of an Educator
E-Learning Lessons from the Perspective of an Educator

Domuschola International School's (DISinternational-calibre) educators list the lessons they've learnt through the transfer and how it's extended the scope of modern education.

Putting Well-Being First

The pandemic's stressors, as well as the subsequent lockdowns, added a new element of uncertainty that affected not just the pupils, but also their parents. As a result, “well-being sessions” for students and their families are now included in modern e-Learning.

Mark Francisco, DIS's Head of Guidance, explained, "It's half instructional and half therapeutic." “Mental health is an essential component of learning. Students and families that are experiencing such difficulties will find it much more difficult to learn. “Removing some of those stresses and problems ensures that what we teach the pupils is retained well,” Francisco added.

These sessions are primarily made up of collaborative activities and events that include check-ins and chats to gauge general feelings. They help people develop meaningful connections and develop ways to make learning enjoyable and interesting for everyone.

Less is more in this case.

Students have a harder time focusing on their lessons in a remote education setting, according to a school year's worth of online classes. Teachers have altered their respective courses to be more focused and concise, in addition to encouraging families to avoid distractions.

“Over the last year, we've altered our classes to fill up the gaps in learning so that no kid falls behind,” said Jourdan Gan, DIS' Head of School. “By giving kids shorter lectures, we can increase the amount of time they are engaged and reduce distractions,” Gan added.

Beyond the 'Zoom'

During the pandemic, the Zoom Meeting software has become the most popular video conferencing tool, allowing people to work and learn from home. Despite their popularity, video conferencing solutions are not without flaws. Through considerable research and application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) into the real world, educators have uncovered numerous different applications that they can employ to enhance the learning experience.

Flip Grid, a social media education software, has made conducting school exercises and reports easier; Pinterest has become a good source of creative activity inspiration; and Google Classroom allows students and teachers to share files more easily. The Foreign Baccalaureate program, which is offered to pupils as young as the elementary level — a milestone for international schools in the Philippines — personifies and exemplifies this type of varied approach to learning.

Learning's True Potential

Learning was always considered as a service in the pre-pandemic era; schools were service providers, and parents/students were the customers. The paradigm has altered, according to Bambi R. Fernandez de Castro, DIS's Head of Administration, and education is now more partnership-oriented. “The issues that each party encounters are now more understood by the schools, families, and students,” Fernandez de Castro explained. “As in the Enhanced Learning program, inclusive and thoughtful education goes outside the four walls of the classroom, taking stock of what needs to be addressed before barreling forward,” they added. “This enables all three stakeholders, schools, families, and students, to create a learning environment that is suited to their specific needs and abilities.”

This venue is used by all stakeholders to learn essential lessons that will aid them in navigating a pandemic-affected environment.

Anything Is Possible

If there's one thing educators have learned from dealing with the pandemic on the operational side, it's to be ready for everything. Fernandez de Castro stated, "Preparation was crucial in making the shift to online learning somewhat pleasant." “We had time to foresee how things may evolve in the future year because the first lockdown was fortuitously near to the conclusion of the school year,” she continued.

While there were no definitive answers at the time, Fernandez de Castro noted that they understood they needed to make sure their ICT infrastructure were in good working order, particularly in terms of data security and privacy. Another key concern for DIS was the health and safety of the workers, whether they were teachers or not, as well as their ongoing upskilling. This level of preparedness gives DIS the assurance that they are prepared for practically any scenario.

“What makes the DIStance Learning Program a success, more than just skills, is the favorable attitudes of the teachers when we transitioned to online learning,” she highlighted. “The wellspring of care and compassion that they have pulled from in order to accommodate the difficulties and tribulations of these uncertain times is incredibly inspirational, and it is what we as educators believe is the true differentiator of this program from other learning arrangements..”

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