By Daniel del Rosario
Last Thursday, March 12, the Philippine government officially suspended classes from for a month due to COVID-19. Due to this, schools on the old June-March calendar have ended the school year, while universities on a August-May calendar (ex. UP & Ateneo) have prepared alternative ways of delivering their classes and administering tests.
At the same time, educational technology tools have been on the rise since the early 2010s, for teachers have been using learning management systems like Edmodo, Moodle, and Genyo to make classroom management easier. These tools allow teachers to receive student papers and grade them easily. Also, they make it easier for teachers to disseminate announcements. For example, Ambeth Ocampo uses Edmodo to make announcements, and grade student papers. In short, his class has become paperless due to Edmodo.
However, these tools are used to augment classroom teaching, but in this day and age, can full-fledged online learning be another means of education, especially with all the suspensions caused by not only by viruses like H1N1 and COVID-19, but by natural disasters?
It is Indeed Possible!
In fact, the UP System is already implementing online learning through its Open University. AMA University, on the other hand, has its Online Education system where people, even OFWs, can earn their college and graduate degrees online. For basic education, AMA has even implemented an online version of its Senior High School program.
Despite technology making online learning possible, the idea of learning going beyond the physical classroom is nothing new. It all started with correspondence courses in the 1800s, where students would mail their work to their teachers and teachers would mail their comments back. Improvements in technology have only made distance education much easier to implement.
As a result, it has become much easier for supplementary education providers, not just for schools, to provide their services outside a physical classroom. This is why English as a Second Language (ESL) services like 51Talk have been sprouting like mushrooms. All that is needed to bridge the distance is a webcam, a computer with internet access, and a good set of headphones (w/ microphone).
AHEAD Will be Conducting Online Tutorials and Reviews (Again)
This is why AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center, the leading provider of supplementary education services in the Philippines, will be conducting its tutorials and review classes online once again. This is not only because of COVID-19, but because online tutorials and reviews have other benefits.
First, it will allow AHEAD to reach more students to form into tomorrow’s leaders, for students living far away from AHEAD branches can still experience its quality educational services.
Second, holding tutorial and review services online will allow students to concentrate better, since they will be able to review for the college entrance tests and be assisted academically from the comfort of their own homes. As a result, students will no longer have to worry about braving traffic.
Third, it will be more convenient for tutors, since they will no longer have to shell out money for the commute, so they will be able to focus more on lesson preparation. This will provide an enriching learning experience, both for the student and the tutor.
Fourth, online tutorials can help keep the show going, especially with suspension of classes, for homeschool support tutorials can stay untouched. Thus, more non-traditional students can be reached.
Where There is Uncertainty, There is Innovation
As a result, it seems that online tutorials and reviews are no longer a stop-gap option for crises like COVID-19, but they are here to stay. Remember, where uncertainty rises, innovation also rises. As a result, AHEAD will rise from COVID-19 with a new determination to serve its current students, and reach those who couldn’t be reached before!