Six months ago, a lot of people would have probably started wondering where they would escape to in the summertime. Who wouldn’t want to fantasize about summer vacation when they were almost in the last stretch before the long school year ends? Being in the Philippines, many would have been excited to visit the pristine beaches, ready to take in the warm sun, clear waters, and the relaxing sounds of waves crashing by the seashore. However, just like every other student in the world, their dreams of the perfect summer escapade disappeared as fast as a single water drop in the ocean.
The strict protocols to control the COVID-19 pandemic included the immediate shutdown of all establishments in order to alleviate the risk of infection. Many schools had to quickly adapt to learning in a remote environment. Though this is a very different and sometimes difficult situation for both students and teachers, it is important to remember that this can be approached as a new learning experience for everyone.
One important way of adjusting to this “new normal” in education is through acknowledging that despite being a less than ideal situation, remote learning has its fair share of benefits and important takeaways that can be highly useful even when we resume traditional classes in the near future.
Remote learning allows flexibility.
Traditional classes are very structured. There is a fixed schedule set with specific learning targets and tasks required to be accomplished. Students and teachers have to comply with these procedures and have to thoroughly plan their days according to the time frame.
Remote learning gives an opportunity to everyone, especially the students, to become flexible with their own time.
With the online classes being separated into synchronous and asynchronous sessions, the students are given ample time to complete their requirements according to the pace of their own learning capabilities. Students don’t need to rush to finish their tasks and can actually take the time they need to effectively apply what they learn to creating quality outputs. Teachers can track the progress of their students more accurately as they are able to assess their works without time constraints being an issue. It definitely also doesn’t hurt that everyone has more time to complete a fulfilling morning routine rather than being startled from the multiple alarms they set the night before (and more often than not, ignore).
Remote learning encourages control of learning spaces.
Learning spaces and working environments are highly essential for a conducive learning experience, and sometimes the classroom isn’t the best place to achieve that. Various distractions (such as tardiness, unnecessary banter, and malfunctioning classroom devices) can occasionally hinder students from focusing on their class activities.
Remote learning presents a chance for students and teachers to take advantage of the corners of their homes and convert it into an efficient and comfortable space for them to spend most of their days in.
Creating a functional working environment can help improve productivity, which can allow everyone to heighten their attention towards completing their daily tasks. All the necessary materials and supplies needed for the classes can all be accessible within the learning space. Don’t forget the little power snacks to give a little boost in class breaks! In addition, having an efficient learning space can accentuate the mood of being in a proper “classroom” setting, minus the distractions of course.
Remote learning fortifies computer and technological literacy.
One of the major shifts involved in remote learning is using technology and software as the focal tools for learning and instruction. At first, this can be understandably challenging for many people since the transition to online class was very abrupt and not all are technologically adept. Other external factors can also make the online experience a challenge (*side-eyes the WiFi modem*). Nevertheless, even beyond remote learning:
It is imperative that everyone learns how to operate essential computer functions and how to use certain software in order to be at par with the technological landscape of the world.
Even during a pandemic, computers and innovations will continue to develop, so it is beneficial for people to expose themselves to different facets of technology. Moreover, the usage of educational software and applications such as Flipgrid, Padlet, and Nearpod can contribute to more engaging class activities and allow the learnings of the students to be enriched.
Remote learning fosters parent, student, and teacher collaboration.
Remote learning is a new experience for everyone, so it’s important that all possible reinforcements are set in place in order to maintain a conducive learning environment.
Whatever challenges that online classes may bring can be overcome through a meaningful collaboration between parents, students, and teachers.
The virtual setting allows teachers to be more accessible to both the students and the parents at given times. Teachers are very open to answering questions, addressing concerns, and of course to extend understanding and patience towards their students. Parents also are highly encouraged to help ensure that their children are adjusting well to remote learning. They are given the chance to become motivators to their kids and to guide them through the daily activities. They are also encouraged to allow their children to spend ample time away from their online responsibilities for the benefit of their physical and mental health.
The world has moved into an unpredictable stop, and it has led to a global paradigm shift especially in education. Though nothing can replace being in school grounds with classmates and teachers, it is important to face these challenges head-on and proactively adapt to this change. Just like riding the crystal waves in the Philippine beaches, riding the remote learning wave can be a little rocky at first and sometimes people fall into the water. However, after a few tries and practicing balance, flexibility, and determination, it can become a meaningful learning experience for all.
Article by Justin D. (Grade 11); Feature image by Marianne G. (Grade 9)
The views expressed in this article represent the personal views of the author and should not be taken to represent the views of Dragon’s Print and Cebu International School.
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