Blended learning challenges at upcoming EduVision summit

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    Videoconferencing is the new classroom. (Contributed photo)

    A CLASS of 2nd-year students at a university in Manila has, for two trimesters, struggled but successfully overcame the difficulties between their scholastic goals and the challenges of learning under these pandemic conditions.

    “At first we thought it was just going to be one month, that turned to three months, now it’s a year since we’ve been in an actual classroom and it can sometimes become very frustrating,” Aly A. said describing she and her classmates as “unfortunate” having been able to spend only two trimesters of their first year on campus when the lockdown began.

    “We were hit by the pandemic before we could even begin feeling like students in a university, in a campus,” J. Roy commented saying that though they breached the gap many times, it seems that the challenges also evolve.

    Aly, Roy, and all college students like them, learned to live with slow Internet connections, managing mobile data and available WiFi, and keeping tabs on their schoolwork over one of many available learning platforms.

    “Our school adjusted pretty quickly and the administration provided all it could in terms of keeping students connected. Improving on digitalizing everything from enrolment to the classroom and re-working the curriculum to make it more relevant and useful in a digital setting,” Timo T. said pointing out how academic institutions moved to adopt technology quickly including faculty adapting to the new modes of learning.

    Education and learning for the past year been at the very least challenging for both instructor and learner. Technology companies have come forward with solutions–ranging from videoconferencing to information tabulation, data storage, learning management systems, and even Cloud computing. But the concerns that crop up also need strategies–human interventions to resolve.

    “The difficulty lay on both ends–teaching and learning–but we believe the bigger burden lies in the teaching side, in delivering the learnings to the students, because, we as students are eager to learn, but we sometimes lose focus for a variety of reasons,” Gwyneth B., said.

    “We are used to the digital space. Small screens, mobile devices are part of our life so I think it was easy for us to move from classroom to Google Meet. Some faculty had difficulty adjusting to this mode of learning,” Rosemarie D. said. “We are glad that we are continuing our education in a platform we are familiar with.”

    Closing in on the gap created by the rapid, pandemic-forced digitalization and the absorptive, traditional learning students are used to is the topic of “Bridging the Gap in Learning and Technology Under the Not so New Normal,” part of the 2021 EdVision Summit, the very first virtual event of its kind for educators and members of the academe across the region.

    In the middle of the lockdowns and quarantines of the first and second quarters of 2020, global tech innovator Lenovo, in collaboration with Microsoft, introduced the EdVision program to assist schools in their digital transformation journey and increase digital literacy among the new generation of teachers and students.

    Continuing on that goal, the 2021 EdVision summit will feature esteemed experts from the two tech giants as well as collaborators from Intel, and the International Data Corporation (IDC). Speakers and panelists will discuss the transformation of education and implementation of new models of teaching, learning, and collaboration.

    “With digital transformation in the education sector hastened by the pandemic, a lot of new technology has emerged in the market to help schools adapt. In this time of radical changes, the EdVision Summit offers the platform to have much-needed conversations on the future of education,” Michael Ngan, Lenovo Philippines President and General Manager said.

    The rate of acceleration of digital transformation globally demands innovation from institutions to better prepare their students for the digitalized future. To help educators overcome the challenges surrounding the abrupt shift to the digital world, the EdVision Summit panel discussions will tackle the topics “Educational Transformation – Ensuring Teaching Continuity Using Today’s Technology” and “Shifts in Classroom Education – Is Personalized Teaching the New Norm?”.

    “Through raising discourse and developing innovative solutions and services, EdVision aims to lead the way to education transformation and empower institutions and students in this pivotal movement,” Ngan added.

    Furthermore, a representative from EdVision partner school Lyceum of the Philippines University will share their own digital transformation experience and how the technology helped them address the challenges that arose with the transition to online learning. Representatives Xavier School and Miriam College will also share insights on new digital pedagogies and solutions that support online learning.

    All educators are invited to attend the summit to learn how to better equip their students to excel in the digitalized world. The summit will be on March 23, 2021 (Tuesday) from 3 to 6PM. To register for the free virtual event and learn more about the EdVision program, visit <lenovoedvision.com>.

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