One year of pandemic – induced online learning

August 22, 2021 People's Tonight 288 views

AS the COVID-19 pandemic raged across the country, hundreds of thousands of students were stuck at home.

Completing a school year without seeing your teacher and classmates has brought forth digital advance to many students as well as their teachers and dangerously putting at risk our kids to extended exposure to their gadgets.

Experts say the “new normal” has opened doors for blended learning which is going to stay in the future and is not just a “stop gap arrangement”.

The new normal also exposed the digital divide in the country where students, parents and teachers scrambled to find ways for those who did not have access to internet or digital devices.

Students are still struggling to find spaces in their homes to work, dealing with financial and health crises, seeing their parents struggle day in and day out.

Educational technology has never been intended to replace in-person learning. It’s best when it supplements it,” said Brian Galvin, chief academic officer at Varsity Tutors, a virtual tutoring and educational company. “It’s a tool that is amazing in certain use cases, and we tried to make it one-size-fits-all and it wasn’t designed for that.”

Many teachers have never received training in the techniques and tools to use for remote online instruction. And it was never clear how long the pandemic closures were going to last considering that more COVID variants are being discovered.

Online courses call for a greater amount of motivation and self-discipline than a classroom-based course. Online courses involve setting our own goals, tracking progress and meeting deadlines. One does not learn effectively in isolation so online courses do offer discussion forums, email and one-on-one support.

Online learning can help students pursue highly individualized learning programs, possibly even college level courses. These, combined with hands-on exercises, real world exploration, and thorough assessments, can be highly beneficial to their learning progress.

Cherry Z. Dimaandal, PhD, Principal 2, Libertad National Highschool in Abulug, Cagayan

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