Recognizing the challenges as the country shifts to distance learning, Globe myBusiness focused its 9th E-skwela webinar episode on preparations and transitions that parents, educators, and learning institutions can adapt to assure that learning does not stop in the new education platform. The discussion highlighted the mindset that teachers must have at this time of crisis as well as how schools can strengthen their marketing in the new normal.
Education experts Grace David, Chief Marketing and Partnerships Officer of Edukasyon.ph and Sabrina Ongkiko, teacher from Culiat Elementary School shared their knowledge and expertise on the subject matter, while Mark Arthur Abalos, Segment Head for Education of Globe myBusiness served as the moderator.
The power of “yet”
Participants of the webinar, mostly educators and school administrators, were asked to share the changes they are most afraid of with the shift to distance learning. When summarized, their answers revolve around the attitude of their students, the technology to be used in learning, job security, and maintaining work-life balance.
To help them address these uncertainties, Teacher Sabrina Ongkiko put focus on the right mindset in approaching the upcoming school year. She emphasized the power of “yet” — which reflects a growth mindset.
“The growth mindset gives us the chance to improve and work on ourselves,” she said, speaking about teachers who are apprehensive about the use of digital platforms of learning. “Beyond just confidence, it is admitting that there are things you still don’t know. Afterall, it is in striving to improve that we eventually learn.”
She goes on to say that teachers should not get ahead of themselves and think that they must know everything immediately and be fully adjusted with distance learning. “It’s okay to try and experiment. Let’s be kind to ourselves,” she added.
When it comes to how teachers can support each other through this transition, Teacher Sabrina expounded on the importance of praise and empathy.
On the apprehension towards distance learning
Chief Marketing and Partnerships Officer of Edukasyon.ph Grace David laid out the current education trends in the country. Generally, the sector is ripe for innovation with strong support from the government. With the pandemic happening, the digital transformation in education has been greatly accelerated and education issues were also magnified.
Another notable trend is the transfer of private school students to public schools as parents face unemployment coupled with additional costs for gadgets to be used in distance learning. Some are still not sure about the effectiveness of this new format compared to the traditional classroom set-up–mainly driven by factors such as poor internet connectivity, lack of gadgets, low family income, fear of contracting COVID-19, and doubts around schools delivering distance learning.
“It is our job to make students and parents feel confident that distance learning could work and the experience of learning something new can happen even if there’s not a teacher in front like in a classroom setting. That’s the challenge we need to address,” David emphasized.
Sending the right message
For some, distance learning may seem useless or too complicated, opting to forego this school year and just wait until face-to-face classes resume. Learning institutions, especially private schools, can encourage parents to enroll their children by crafting the right message and sending it to the right audience—the Gen Z.
“We are in a generation wherein deciding which school, course, or strand is no longer dictated by the parents or the family. This generation is making decisions together with their parents who are now also more open to listen to the preferences of their children,” added David.
Gen Z students want the power to choose and make decisions, to belong by simply being themselves, and to redefine success according to their own terms. However, the uncertainties of the current situation also led them to seek guidance when it comes to their education and career.
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