Education in the time of Dystopian-like Pandemic
by: Yolanda A. Soliveres
All the dystopian movies and TV series on Netflix couldn’t have prepared us for the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hunger Games almost hit the jackpot foretelling a one-tribute-per-household scenario. We have those tributes now whose names are written on a government-issued quarantine pass that allows access to essential necessities like food and medicine. Of course, the movie stopped at one tribute per household.
Bird Box and A Quiet Place, on the other hand, have a different take on educating children when schools are closed because to go out will mean contracting a dreaded disease and passing it on to everyone in the family!
Suddenly in March all schools were asked to close and padlock the gates and to move classes online! The COVID-19 pandemic is real after all!
Teachers all over adapted to the “new normal” in no time. Or tried to.
Suddenly everyone’s going digital which adds more work to teachers and more resources to make it happen: digital devices, internet connection, learning management systems, learning experience platforms, ebooks, etc.
Moreover, since classes are online, teachers find themselves talking to parents asking for assistance or to iron out concerns of students 24/7.
At Informatics, moving classes online is not something new. The Philippines is annually visited by typhoons from Amang to Zigzag. We also have 22 active volcanoes that take turns acting up. We have earthquakes, floods, and other emergencies both natural and man-made. When they happen, classes are suspended for days, even weeks. Thus, we move classes online so students do not have to attend make-up classes.
Our Informatics students and teachers use Informatics Intelligent eLearning powered by Percipio, a learning experience platform that holds thousands of academic and training contents allowing students to study by reading, watching videos, listening to lectures, and even by practicing at virtual labs in the comfort of their home! At the end of each lesson, students are assessed and they receive a certificate of completion when they pass the test.
Teachers and students collaborate and hold discussions at MS Teams, a cloud-based collaboration tool that is part of the Office 365 suite of applications. It allows messaging, calling, video meetings, and file sharing.
However, this pandemic is different and it tests everyone’s resolve and resources. To prepare for full online learning, Informatics retrains all its teachers even while on Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) via MS Teams. Simultaneously, over 200 of our teachers attended online training from the National Capital Region, Cavite, Baguio, Cebu, and Cagayan De Oro.
No one can ever be prepared for something like this pandemic; one just has to do what needs to be done.
Informatics is a Singapore-based training institution that provides education and training services to individuals, institutions, and corporations. We have been in the Philippines for over 25 years and have trained over 600,000 Filipinos and more than 500 top corporations.