Blended learning: New tack in education

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    `Blended learning will involve one or two days of face-to-face teaching in schools, then the use of computers at home for online lectures and feedback.’

    IN just a matter of days, the COVID-19 pandemic has generated a surfeit of various terms and abbreviations now commonplace in our everyday life. These terms have to do with creating and delineating the limits of various concepts, for example, the various levels of quarantine policy in the country.

    So now we can navigate the whole gamut of personal and social communication with terms like GCQ, ECQ, modified ECQ, quarantine pass, hard lockdown, extreme ECQ, SAP, IATF, OP, DOH, LGU, PPE, OFW, ES, travel authority, PDLs and the like. There are also high-sounding concepts that have wormed into everyday discourse, such as “flattening the curve,” social or physical distancing, triage, confirmatory test, rapid test, and “new normal” which actually is an oxymoron.

    The Bayanihan to Heal As One Act is not referred to by its authors in the Senate and the House of Representatives (who are, by the way, very fond of acronyms) as the BAHO Law, for obvious reasons.

    The newest idea, this time in the education sector, is “blended learning” strategy for students, which the Department of Education (DepEd) is experimenting for this school year, if and when classes open.

    Blended learning will involve one or two days of face-to-face teaching in schools, then the use of computers at home for online lectures and feedback. Also to be used are learning modules, printed materials for those who do not have computers at home, government radio and TV broadcasts, and all media platforms that can reach children at home, considering that face-to-face learning is still risky at this time, even under GCQ.

    Because children and their families have different levels of economic status, and that there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor, the DepEd assured that they will be “sensitive to equity considerations.”

    Specifically, the department will provide “printed self-learning modules” so that students who do not have access to modern gadgets and the internet will not be left behind.

    Meanwhile, the schools will have to draft a seating plan that will limit 20 students only per room, who will observe — together with the teachers — physical distancing and use of face masks.

    We note the efforts of the education department in trying to meet the need for learning and knowledge among our young population, and at the same time follow official protocols on quarantine and health safety.

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