Collaboration introduces new online platform, DepEd Commons to maximize remote and home learning
To enable both teachers and parents to integrate digital learning into their homes, Globe myBusiness partnered with the Department of Education (DepEd) for its second E-skwela Webinar session themed “Making Homes the Extended Classroom: Parent-Teacher Collaboration in the time of COVID-19”.
The online discussion centered on challenges and best practices to assist faculty and parents on how they can integrate tools and activities that are experiential and collaborative, as well as how they can maximize the learning experience at home.
The panel of notable experts included DepEd Undersecretary Alain Del B. Pascua and Ginger Arboleda, co-founder and COO of Taxumo Inc. and CEO of Manila Workshops. They were joined by Globe Representatives: Mark Arthur Payumo Abalos, Education Industry Lead and Learning Technologies Scholar; Michelle Peralta, Campaign and Communication strategist and Fab Inay founder and moderator; and Miguel Martin Bermundo, Citizenship and Advocacy Marketing Division Head who also facilitated the webinar.
Addressing online learning challenges
As educators and parents have shifted towards online learning platforms, students show they are able to adapt to online classes. Educational institutions, however, still face challenges on how to urgently onboard teachers and how to enable their institutions with the right tools and techniques to fully utilize and maximize digital learning.
In interviews with educators, Abalos shared that their biggest challenge was the lack of internet connectivity—the main prerequisite for online learning. He also stated that some teachers and students lacked the necessary basic skills for digital learning such as familiarity with using emails and navigating video call tools.
In Michelle Peralta’s case, she touched on how limited screens at home can impact learning. This is even more amplified for kids enrolled in public schools, where priorities are on other important necessities such as securing food inside the household. In such cases, accessible learning materials and trainings are crucial.
Maximizing learning at home
According to Usec. Pascua, while school opening is dependent on measures to address COVID-19, “but looking at opportunities, the quarantine has made us explore other means on how to enable parents with basic education materials for their children.”
One measure DepEd has taken was to launch DepEd Commons, an online learning platform where teachers can upload content that parents, students, and other teachers can access online. According to Pascua, more than 4.2 million users nationwide have visited the site in its first four weeks of implementation. “Globe and TM subscribers can use DepEd Commons free of charge,” added Usec. Pascua. “We’re continuously uploading content and training teachers on how to make content.” As for the rest of the population without internet access, DepEd is looking to optimize other media such as radio and television, to foster remote learning as well.
Globe also recently launched Globe eLibrary, where useful learning resources such as ebooks and educational videos are available and can easily be accessed by teachers, parents, and especially K-12 students. The site can be accessed for free by students, teachers, and the general public at www.globeelibrary.ph so that learning can continue even as they stay #SafeAtHome.
For other tools to aid teachers and help students become self-sufficient learners, Abalos highlighted pedagogy and curriculum as crucial components when integrating technology in the learning system. As for remote learning tips, he recommends teachers and parents set a weekly learning schedule, while students make their own plan for self-study. “Notes will help you remember lessons, and treat your day as if you’re going to school,” explained Abalos.
Spotlight on best practices and opportunities with innovations
As for other good practices, parents also discussed how they and their kids were able to cope with the new lifestyle changes—what activities can help promote learning at home and how parents and teachers can work together to promote continuous education.
For Ginger Arboleda, her recommendation is “Try to observe your kids more at this point, and how they learn at home. It does not necessarily follow that what is being done in the classroom has to be done at home.”
As for Michelle, she keeps her children busy with online classes and other activities that fit her kids’ interests, while also using digital tools being used by her children’s schools.
“That is the role of technology: to bring new tools,” says Usec. Pascua. “And this quarantine period has given us a new perspective towards learning. We need to prepare for this situation in the months to come, review existing tools, and to build on other platforms and technologies to deliver the education that we need.”
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