WE were supposed to have a virtual focus group discussion (FGD) on the online and blended learning framework currently being developed by the school in its proactive response to the ‘new normal’ expected after the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in two weeks, but it didn’t materialize because of various technical constraints on our ends.
The said FGD was an attempt to gather academic team’s views and readiness upon shifting to online and blended learning, identify challenges awaiting the transition, and come up with mitigation measures and concrete solutions.
Instead, we were just asked to share our insights and short responses to the provided questions by email, some of which I’ll share here. I guess it’s the same back-end preparation across all public and private schools nationwide – bid goodbye to the dominant and old paradigm and welcome the more flexible and undisrupted school systems through the available information and communication infrastructures.
We sense that ‘normal’ isn’t coming back, that we are being born into a new normal: a new kind of society, a new relationship to the earth, a new experience of being human — Charles Eisenstein
— signed MARCO (@signedMARCO) April 30, 2020
Question: What teaching or education practices do you see emerging as a result of the covid-19 crisis?
Answer: As what I have recently learned over social and even mainstream media, academic institutions have started adopting video conferencing (through Zoom and other application software) and electronic learning management systems (eLMS) for their delivery of instruction.
Question: If majority of the lessons will be delivered online thru elms and other digital tools, how will this affect you teaching practices?
Answer: I believe I can always adapt my teaching practices to the new teaching and learning context, i.e., the virtual environment. After all, we teachers are innately flexible and adaptive. We can easily adapt to change. We just need some time to explore the systems and acquire the necessary skills.
Question: What top 3 challenges will you likely encounter in delivering online and blended learning?
Answer: Undoubtedly, there are various challenges ahead, and I believe most of them are somehow manageable. However, the top three which I see on top of all these include (a) students’ adaptive response to the new learning environment, (b) technical aspects on both ends (teachers’ and students’), and (c) learning assessment practices.
Question: What support will you and your co-teachers need to increase your effectiveness in conducting online and blended classes?
Answer: Throughout the transition stage, what we teachers really need are (a) regular sharing of best teaching practices that can be adopted across various online settings, (b) open conversations about encountered issues and concrete solutions, and (c) provisions of additional tools and resources.