The Philippine Department of Education continues to confront COVID19 pandemic related issues by addressing challenges in the basic education through the Learning Continuity Plan (LCP). This will take effect by school year 2020-2021 which will open on August 24, 2020. The schools will choose their learning modality depending on their local COVID19 situation as well as access to learning platforms. Definitely, there will be no traditional face-to-face classroom set up. Online learning is only one of the options of government as they will determine the appropriate strategy for every location. In my daughter’s case, her school has conducted an Education in the New Normal Readiness Survey on parents’ willingness and preparedness to embark on an online learning for their children.
Are you optimistic or skeptical about online learning? is the crucial question that we as parents have to respond to because our primary concern is the health, safety, and well-being of our daughter. We are equally concerned about the quality of education as we want only the best in every aspect of her life. Our daughter is a consistent achiever since junior kinder and has remained in the grade school’s best section with high honors.
In the decision-making process, my husband and I considered the following points:
STRENGTHS OF ONLINE LEARNING
Online program is now a popular form of distance learning. It provides opportunities to students, allowing them to participate in high quality learning. Access to this is usually limited in the face-to-face classroom due to distance and time. Students can participate in classes from the comfort of their own home provided they have a computer and internet connection. This also serves as an advantage to physically challenged students. The online classroom can be accessed by students through their computers at home instead of having to attend class physically.
The online format allows teacher and students to interact among themselves. Students can access their educational materials at any time of day or night. No doubt bullying is absent on the online learning. Focus is on the content and the student’s ability to respond intelligently. Students can access resources when the instructor provides links related to their subjects. The use of interactive learning materials can motivate self-confidence and critical thinking among students.
Home based online learning allows students to balance play and studies under the supervision of parents/guardian. Families get to bond more and experience quality time with each other that they don’t normally get from the traditional learning. There is stress reduction from preparing breakfast to dealing with time and traffic issues.
WEAKNESSES OF ONLINE LEARNING
My family lives in a highly urbanized city where the standard of living is really high. Internet providers are available, each one joining the race of product promotion and freebies. Providing the required computer and internet connection is not easy for it entails a significant cost against our savings which is not the right timing due to the pandemic.
Strict parental/guardian supervision is required to ensure the child is focused on daily online learning and assignments.
A minimum level of computer knowledge is required for teachers, parents/guardian and students. They must be able to use search engines, be able to navigate the World Wide Web and be familiar with e-mail procedures.
The technology of an online program should be user friendly and reliable. There are risks of system break down and failure of internet connection. Personal computer can have numerous problems which could limit student’s access. Unreliable technology can distract the student’s focus on the learning experience.
Following a thorough consideration of the pros and cons, my husband and I decided to complete the school’s survey form favoring the online learning with added information that our child is equipped with a laptop, stable internet connection and a printer. Education is the cutting edge of knowledge. In the midst of the current turbulent time and future challenges, an online learning plays a vital role in a child’s development with the love and support from family and school administrators.
By: Merlinda De Guzman