Though distance learning in the Philippines has been around since before the pandemic, the arrival of COVID-19 definitely turned the world upside down. With businesses and institutions shutting down nationwide and countries all over the world going into lock down, all face-to-face interactions have been minimized to lessen risk of transmission.
However, we cannot let education come to a grinding halt. As schools around the country shut down to lessen infection rates, distance learning has become the best solution for Filipino students to continue schooling.
Advantages of Online Learning During COVID-19
1. Brings a sense of normalcy
With so much of our lives having changed because of the pandemic, being able to attend classes via distance learning brings a welcome sense of normalcy that not everything has changed. Whether it be an online high school program or an online bachelor’s degree, students can still feel connected to their professors and classmates by way of collaborating through technology and various video and messaging tools.
2. Instantly accessible
One benefit that is especially appreciated by students in online postgraduate degrees is the high levels of flexibility and accessibility that distance learning can afford them. Gone are the days of having to rush from your workplace to get to your postgrad class on time—you can instantly connect to your class with the click of a button. Online education reduces the hazard of having to head outside to procure physical textbooks or to even sign up for enrollment. With online education, students can instantly enroll online for their classes, attend classes virtually, and can download all the learning materials they need with a click of a button.
3. More affordable
Many parents may think that online learning is more expensive than on-campus learning but this is actually not true. Online education is actually proven to be cheaper than a traditional set-up because schools don’t charge for miscellaneous fees, lab fees, and such. Parents will also no longer need to pay for uniforms (if the school requires is), physical textbooks, or money for the morning and afternoon commute (or pay for gas to get there). All students will need is a working computer or laptop and stable internet connection and they’re all set for the year.
4. Student-teacher interaction
Online learning makes it easier for students to get feedback from their instructors. In a normal classroom setting, students have to fight for their teacher’s attention while in an online learning set-up, all they have to do is send their teacher an email and they can either have a personal consultation set-up or have a correspondence via email. With a personal correspondence done via email, teachers can spend as much time as they need to thoroughly explain concepts and ideas to their students.
5. Its safer
Lastly, online education is clearly safer than on-campus learning. Students (and parents) will no longer have to worry about venturing out of their homes just to continue their education. They can do so from the safety of their own homes. No more unnecessary exposure to other people while commuting or even during in class. Everything from classes to quizzes and even exams can be safely conducted through their devices.
How Students and Teachers are Adjusting to Distance Learning in the Philippines During a Pandemic
Online learning during COVID-19 has not been easy for everybody. With the sudden surge of COVID-19 cases at the start of the pandemic, both businesses and schools were blindsided by its effect on the educational system. Students and teachers alike have struggled to adjust to the new normal and continue to do so two years into the pandemic. As the pioneer of distance learning in the Philippines, we share some of our best practices in encouraging communication and performance in both students and teachers. Read this short guide on best practices and supplement it with this compilation of our best online learning tips!
Teachers have always known about the importance about adaptability in their careers. This includes changing the pace of their teaching to better engage students, learning how to manage their classrooms, and even adapting to the times so they can better relate to their students. These days, the skill of adaptability comes into play when disruptions happen such as connection trouble or when students get distracted when they are online. Unlike in a regular classroom set-up, keeping students engaged online is much harder when you cannot see them face-to-face, so teacher must be quick on their feet and think of innovative ways to keep their students’ attention.
Setting Realistic Goals
The biggest and most important change that has come this pandemic is that teachers are quickly learning to set realistic goals for how much lessons they can cover in a day. Online learning is vastly different from traditional learning, especially if both the teacher and the students are not used to the set-up. Teachers understand that there are many factors at home that can distract students, such as slow internet connection, siblings, even pets, that can make it difficult for students to stay attentive. So teachers have to frequently adjust their lessons plans, and that’s alright.
Keeping Engagement Up
One of the keys to successful distance learning in the Philippines is conquering the challenge of lowered engagement. Some students may feel that distance learning is isolating rather than liberating, so it is up to teachers to raise engagement in the online classroom. Teachers need to hold their students’ attention and keep them away from any distractions. To keep them engaged, many schools are cutting lectures into short sequences to make online learning more manageable. Teachers have also been more animated and livelier during classroom discussion to keep students entertained.
It takes a village to raise a child. Now more than ever, this saying holds true. Because teachers do not have direct access to their students, they are relying more than ever on parents’ active participation in the student’s remote learning. Teachers are establishing open lines of communication with parents to help keep students on track with their studies. Teachers and parents need to form a strong partnership and work as a team to ensure the educational success of the students.
Many schools have found the shift from traditional learning to online learning a difficult one but luckily for OEd, we have long mastered the art of online learning. As one of the pioneers of online education in the Philippines, our educators know how best to teach each student so that they reach their full potential.
COVID-19 has shaken the world and changed the way we do things, maybe forever. If there’s one thing we’ve realized, it’s the utter importance of education, and that no matter where we are, learning can take place. Given today’s technological advancements, online education is easier than ever and can perhaps be the new normal, even beyond the end of this pandemic.
Distance learning does not have to feel like a temporary solution for the pandemic. Our Online Education (OEd) programs are built to provide a quality learning experience that encourages independence and self-discipline for any student. Enroll in our distance learning programs and take charge of your academic journey through an independent and conducive online education!