Volume 18 Digital Issue
DIWA INNOVATION SPOTLIGHT
Finding the Right Flexible Learning Partner for Your School
Online learning is not new to Philippine education. Over the years, schools all over the country have made a conscious but sporadic effort to use technology in instruction. Recent events, however, have forced schools nationwide to embrace online learning. With the Philippines mandating a shift to distance learning, it was up to schools to choose which learning delivery modality will best fit the resources and capabilities of their stakeholders.
Transitioning to online distance learning
Sto. Rosario Montessori School (SRM) in Valenzuela City is one of the schools that implemented online distance learning for their learning continuity plan.
“The school opted for online distance learning, with the precept that it will make education more flexible and will optimize learning by maximizing the use of technology,” shares SRM school directress Fredalynn Geralde.
To ensure a seamless transition from the traditional classroom setup to distance learning, SRM administrators and the academic staff formed a core strategic group to conduct an extensive research on how online distance learning is done both in local and international settings. They also conducted readiness assessment surveys of their students, parents, teachers, and admin with regards to the new normal in education.
Saint Columban College (SCC) in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur took similar steps when they shifted to online distance learning.
“The Academic Council learned from the best practices from the schools that have implemented online distance learning for years and contextualized it to our environment,” SCC’s Vice President for Academics Susan Ramirez shared. “We attended various webinars, learned what others are doing, and copied those that apply to our context.”
SCC then conducted environmental scanning and gathered different resources available in their school to augment the services that are suited to the new normal. They also plotted a series of webinars and training for teachers and staff to be ready for new-age distance learning challenges.
Choosing a flexible learning management system
But even with ample preparation, the transition process proved to be challenging.
“Teachers, students, and parents of SRM had difficulty adjusting to the new normal due to the abrupt transition from the traditional classroom to the online environment,” says Geralde.
Internet connection and lack of gadgets proved to be major hurdles not only for SRM and SCC, but for all schools nationwide. SCC, in particular, had students from far-flung barangays in the provinces where there is no internet, so they had to utilize print modules to serve these students.
IN THIS ISSUE
Shifting to online distance learning need not be a burden for schools and their stakeholders.
Choosing a flexible learning partner, then, becomes integral to ensuring a smoother online transition for schools.
Geralde shared how SRM became as thorough as possible in finding a flexible learning partner. “We attended various orientations to select the most efficient, appropriate, and affordable learning management system (LMS) that will meet the needs of our stakeholders.”
SRM partnered with Diwa Learning Systems Inc (Diwa) and its pioneer learning management system, Genyo e-Learning.
“Genyo e-Learning has helped SRM in many aspects, especially in monitoring the teaching and learning process,” says Geralde. “Through its features, we were able to seamlessly shift to online learning.”
The LMS comes with engaging, interactive, and relevant curriculum-based content which can be used for synchronous and asynchronous learning sessions. Teachers can use the ready-made resources in Genyo e-Learning to create lesson plans and utilize the various collaboration tools to connect to their learners and implement performance-based assessments.
Geralde lauds the LMS for helping SRM implement online distance learning. “Genyo e-Learning has served as a repository of learning materials relevant to the delivery of instruction, making the learning experience simpler, personalized, more powerful, engaging, and interactive, which teachers and administrators appreciate.”
Aside from all the features in its platform, Genyo e-Learning also has e-learning specialists that conduct enriching specialized training programs throughout the school year, addressing the concern of schools when it comes to all the training needed to implement online distance learning.
SCC, which has been a Genyo e-Learning partner for nine years, is particularly grateful for the Online Parents’ Orientation, which has been crucial in educating parents about every step of the distance learning preparation stage.
“Genyo e-Learning was of great help because thousands of parents were able to join the series of parents' orientations to understand the process,” shared Ramirez.
Shifting to online distance learning need not be a burden for schools and their stakeholders. The right flexible learning partner could ease the process of online learning and help schools ensure that their learning continuity plans are implemented effectively.