To inform educators and learners alike, the Department of Education (DepEd) held its three-day webinar series titled “International Multidisciplinary Webinar for Teachers” last June 30 via YouTube live. Featuring local and international speakers, including DepEd’s own Educational Technology (EdTech) specialists, the webinar tackled the application of technology in education and included a special segment on mental health.
Drawing on educational experiences from the past year, DepEd has decided to consolidate and establish an online initiative that caters to educators and learners on a larger scale.
The rapid shift to a home-based learning environment caught everyone off guard, especially those who do not have access to proper technology. This prompted Mark Anthony Sy, an EdTech specialist, to introduce DepEd TV—a television-based initiative designed to balance the distribution of quality teaching and learning materials across the nation.
“We (DepEd) are initiating the use of TV-based learning to provide quality education to reach learners in the last mile schools,” remarked Salvador Manansala I, an EdTech specialist who seeks to improve pedagogical competence by using television as a tool of learning instruction.
Televised education is designed to advocate equitable learning. Because it is mass-produced, television can dedicate vast resources to a single program that is transmitted to millions of viewers in a single day. “TV must be accepted as the basic instrument for education,” Manansala posited, “This project highlights inclusivity at its finest.”
Auxiliary collaboration tools
The event also gave an overview of collaboration tools that can boost productivity and learning for educators and learners.
“Make collaboration easier, streamline instruction, and keep your learning environment secure,” advised Rowena Reyes, a DepEd TechEd Specialist, highlighting programs from the Google Workspace such as Google Drive and Google Docs. Van Thanh Lai, a lecturer at Vietnam National University, on the other hand, provided the audience with a brief orientation on the collaboration tools of Microsoft365 such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
Both speakers also said Google Workspace and Microsoft365 help educators streamline class instruction and boost overall performance while providing an avenue for them to connect with other educators during the pandemic.
Sara Sarino, another EdTech specialist, provided a list of educational applications that educators can use to meet their learning goals. Among these are Duolingo, Quizlet, Kahoot, Remind, and Photomath.
An educator’s key attribute
Other guests, meanwhile, discussed qualities expected of educators.
Bonny Chen, a lecturer at the University of Bangkok, emphasized that forgiveness is the key leadership skill of educators and that it is an opportunity to teach students to solve problems on their own. “Remember the golden rule,” Chen reminded, “Take a deep breath, forgive, and remember your responsibility as their teacher.”
On the other hand, Vinthiya Balancharan, a psychologist from the University of Colombo, emphasized the importance of stress management during the pandemic. She explained that spending more time in the digital world—which ensued from quarantine—can take a toll on people’s identities. For this reason, she said teachers must adopt habits that keep them grounded, not only to themselves but also to their students.
The basics of netiquette
EdTech specialist Joy Salazar also advised students and teachers to be extra vigilant when using the internet. She expounded that mindfulness of one’s digital footprint is an essential practice as the internet becomes increasingly pervasive and that negligence of this can potentially affect an individual’s future and lead to identity theft, cyberbullying, and fraud.
Similarly, Magdalena Brzezinska, a lecturer at the University of Warmia and Masuria, shared some tips for educators to create a safe and interactive online environment for their students.
“The dangers that lurk the internet are inevitable,” she cautioned, encouraging educators to take responsibility for securing the future of their students. She called on educational sectors worldwide to create programs that are equipped to sustain productivity and keep students future-ready.