INQUIRER.net BrandRoom / 09:00 AM February 02, 2021
Education in 2020 was compelled to make groundbreaking shifts and massive experimentation as it transitioned to an entirely new modality of teaching. Physical campuses have been temporarily suspended due to the pandemic crisis, thus teachers and students shifted to digital learning via virtual classrooms all over the world. Adapting to the new normal classroom is not easy, however, there are EdTech apps such as ClassIn—the world’s first ever online educational solutions provider—that offers alternative and genuine virtual classroom environment. ClassIn is known worldwide as a valuable aid for teachers who are continuously striving to ensure that the quality of education will never be compromised, especially those educators who are going above and beyond their responsibility and continually look for ways to spice up online class interactions.
To celebrate the excellent efforts of Filipino teachers, ClassIn collaborated with Oxford University Press to co-organize the Philippines Online Teaching Exhibition Series which they launched in November last year. Recently, ClassIn held a closing ceremony and awarded outstanding teachers who really showcased their ability to deliver informative, interactive lessons online.
A total of seven judges from the UK, US, and the Philippines formed the judging panel and gave thorough evaluations on the teachers’ performances using ClassIn videos. The panel included Charl Fregona, a SEDA Fellow and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy who has decades of online teaching experience in both higher education and secondary school settings; Jo Wallace, Founding Head of Kensington Wade School, Europe’s first bilingual English-Chinese preparatory school; ClassIn’s Vice President of Education, Michael Epstein; Kate Morgan, ClassIn’s Head of Curriculum Development; and Simon Walker, who supports educational enhancement across UCL, leading educational strategy initiatives on assessment and feedback and programme design.
Philippines-based judges were Teacher Lilian C. Javier, principal of St. Francis of Assisi Montessori School of Cainta; Teacher Mario, Grade 9 adviser who teaches Araling Panlipunan of Grades 5, 6, and the Junior High School at St. Francis of Assisi Montessori School of Cainta; and Ryan Villanueva, school president of St. Francis of Assisi Montessori School of Cainta.
More than 4,000 Filipino teachers registered and joined the PH Online Teaching Exhibition Series. And after weeks of preparation, ClassIn and Oxford University Press provided 9 online training session and over 50 teachers from more than 10 different Philippine institutions submitted their lesson recordings as their contest entry. To date, the event website has attracted almost 1 million from interested audiences, in support of the teachers who joined the contest.
The videos of participating teachers were assessed and evaluated based on Pedagogical Design (how they shared knowledge and inspire thinking, how they quantify, and track learning progress based on tangible results, and how relevant the content is enough to encourage individual critical thinking for students), Teaching Technique (how it encourages active engagement, what teaching tools they used, and how did they manage time in between teaching activities), and Teaching Outcome (how valuable learning behavior was quantified, and if the content provided reliable means for teacher and student to evaluate learning). With these criteria, teachers showcased their most creative and inspiring teaching prowess.
Announced during the virtual Closing Ceremony held recently were the outstanding winners handpicked by the distinguished panel of judges. A total of 20 Bronze Awardees, and 8 Silver Awardees were bestowed. The Gold Award was conferred to Lyza Jane Lagura, a Math 3 and 4 teacher at The Eastbridge School in Rodriguez, Rizal.
“I wanted to show that even though online teaching can be limited in some areas you can still make a way to deliver your objectives. In my entry, I focused on how the lesson can be applicable in real world situations which most students tend to neglect, especially Mathematics. ClassIn has helped me improve my method of teaching and provided possibilities for the us teachers to make the lesson engaging with the student’s ability to write, draw, raise hands, inside the virtual classroom,” the 27-year-old teacher said.
Lagura’s winning entry, besting around 50 contestants, utilized cartoon characters that reminded students to stay 2 meters away from one another when going out, then segued teaching the extremely interactive kids about units of measurement using ClassIn tools such as a video (from the internet that really matches the lesson content), a powerpoint presentation that helped her stay on track with the flow of your lesson, pictures or terms in the virtual blackboard so that students will have something to focus on rather than a blank page.
“Resourcefulness is always key to make a good virtual classroom setting. I only used quite a few tools because too much can also be overwhelming both for the teacher and the students,” Lagura added.
The Eastbridge School, a progressive institution with a curriculum based on the Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory of Howard Gardner & Singapore Math (touted the best Math curriculum in the world) was given the special citation as the Outstanding Institution Awardee during the Teaching Exhibition series. Lagura and fellow mentors profusely thanked ClassIn not only for the award but more importantly for the teaching tools that made digital teaching and learning less difficult and more interesting.
ClassIn as an EdTech tool is relentless in providing support to teachers, school administrators, and students get back to the learning environment in the “new normal” through its various features that allow interaction similar to a classroom setting. It allows teachers to design the blackboard and lighten up the mood for the children, multiple screen-sharing to help them monitor what the students are doing.
But more than being just a teaching tool, ClassIn provides video conferencing as a ground feature which offers educators a cohesive, interactive virtual whiteboard to make it easy for teachers to conduct their classes the way they used to do in a face-to-face scenario. The more popular built-in instruction tools frequently used by both teachers and students are the virtual timer device, small blackboard, text collaborator, screen sharing, raise hands icon, and trophies (given to students for every correct answer). All these adhere to a typical classroom activity and aid teachers in creating engaging contents so students will less likely view online learning as an uninteresting and tedious task.
ClassIn is a pioneering online teaching platform that empowers teachers and students to come together online and learn in a collaborative virtual environment. With a united, interactive blackboard, a suite of essential teaching tools, and a cloud service that allows easy access to teaching materials, ClassIn has almost all tolls educators need to produce engaging classes online. Whether they are teaching ESL, Math, Science, Art, Music, Coding or offering professional development courses, ClassIn’s mission is to enhance online education by providing teachers and institutions the platform they need to make online learning personal and engaging for the students. Currently, ClassIn has over 60,000 partner schools and institutions and 20 million monthly active users from more than 150 countries like the UK, US, Italy, Brazil, Japan, Argentina, UAE, Spain, and now, the Philippines, successfully delivering 200,000,000+ class hours.