The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the education landscape globally, and the Philippines is no exception. With schools closed and classes moved online, students have had to adapt to a new way of learning. Learning in the new normal is composed of blended learning, and it’s likely to stay for a while as new variants of the virus continue to spring up.
The Department of Education has planned to open face-to-face (F2F) classes in November 2022, bringing the education sector back to its feet, and private schools have supported it. Furthermore, CHED has allowed colleges and universities to decide on returning to F2F classes on their own.
Whether blended learning or F2F, learning in the new normal takes as much, if not more, time and energy as any classroom learning. You must be organized and self-motivated to do well in your online class, and it’s not always easy, but it’s doable.
While this can be challenging, students can do some things to make the transition easier. Here are some online learning tips for students in the new normal.
What is the New Normal Learning System in the Philippines?
The new normal learning system is a hybrid approach to education that combines traditional classroom instruction with online learning.
This type of blended learning allows students to get the best of both worlds: the personal interaction and attention of a classroom setting, along with the flexibility and convenience of learning online from home.
In many cases, blended learning can also be more custom-tailored to individual students' needs and preferences. For example, a student who struggles with a particular concept can receive extra support through online resources, while a student who thrives in a more independent learning environment can devote more time to working independently on assignments.
Ultimately, blended learning provides a more well-rounded and personalized educational experience for all students involved.
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Learning in the New Normal: How Students Can Cope
There are many challenges with the study from home set-up and the new normal classes. But follow these tips on studying in the new normal to help you focus better and achieve more.
1. Set a Goal
One of the important things you should do when learning in the new normal is to create a personal goal. When you set clear goals, it’s easier to manage your time and stick with your tasks.
Remember why you’re studying in the first place. Focus on your end goal and what you can achieve when you finish your classes. That should be enough encouragement and motivation.
2. Have a Study Plan
Before your new normal classes start, make a study plan. It can help you stay on top of your deadlines. You can use a planner to help you organize tasks and assignments that you need to complete. Outline schedules and set several hours per week for readings or research. Stick to the schedule, but adjust it when necessary.
3. Practice Time Management
Students in the new normal should also practice time management. Don’t wait until the last minute to do your assignment! Not only will this stress you out. It will also make you rush your work and submit sloppy or low-quality work.
Time management for students in the new normal is a must. Without it, you’ll just feel tired, overwhelmed, and stressed all the time. So set a time for studying and doing your assignments. Estimate how much time you need for your tasks and schedule them accordingly.
Start with the most important or most time-consuming tasks, and then tackle the easier ones last. This way, you’ll have more breathing room and even allow yourself to relax a bit.
4. Create Dedicated Study Space
Since classes in the new normal don’t require 100% in-person classes, you need to create your own study area at home. Your study space can be in your bedroom, the living room, or even the kitchen. Just make sure that you use the space exclusively for studying and that you can focus on your tasks when you study in this area.
Having dedicated study space can also help you stay organized. If everything you need is in one place, you won’t need to leave your study area to grab your book or print a handout. As a result, you don’t break your momentum.
5. Eliminate Distractions
The average person is distracted every 40 seconds when working in front of the computer. So it’s important to keep yourself away from distractions when it’s time to study.
Turn off your phone, or put it on silent at least. Sometimes even listening to music can be distracting, so make sure to choose a playlist that will boost your concentration instead of making you break out in song. Also, ask your family members not to disturb you during your dedicated study hours.
6. Get Off Social Media
You may think it doesn’t affect your online learning experience in the new normal. But getting off social media can be very helpful.
It sure is fun to get lost in the black hole of your favorite influencers’ Instagram posts or TikTok videos. But when it’s time to study, you have to put your phone down.
Log off from all your social media accounts when it’s study time. If you still can’t resist picking up your phone, keep it away from your study space.
7. Figure Out Your Learning Style
What time of the day do you feel your best, and when are you at your most energetic or productive? If you’re a morning person, make time for your tasks in the morning. And if you’re more of a night owl, study and do your assignments at night.
Learning styles vary from person to person. Some learn through visuals, while others learn better by listening to audio materials. Whichever style of learning you prefer, take advantage of available learning tools. Consider creating infographics as reading material or look into audio and video-based course content.
8. Be Engaged
Participate in your online courses to help you better understand your course materials. Talk to your classmates regarding your given topic. If your class offers online forums, share your insights there. Ask what your classmates think and find out what your teachers are saying on these forums, too.
If you’re struggling and feel like you’re falling behind, don’t hesitate to talk to your teacher. Ask for clarifications or other supplementary materials that can help you better understand your lessons.
9. Take Advantage of Online Resources
If your school offers an online library, utilize it to find relevant materials that can help with your assignments. Use browser extension add-ons like Grammarly if you’re writing a paper to check for spelling and grammatical errors. Online dictionaries are also available to help with your vocabulary.
Other online resources that are worth checking out include Project Gutenberg for free books, Trello for task management, and EdX.org for open-source courses.
Check the video below for some helpful tips on how you can get more out of online resources.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask
Part of being an active class participant is asking questions, especially if you’re struggling with a topic. Ask questions as soon as one pops into your mind. If something is confusing, ask your teacher to give more concrete examples. This will save you time trying to understand it on your own later. Seek your teacher’s help. They’d be more than happy to answer your questions.
11. Join Online Study Groups
Want to know how studying can be fun and effective in this new normal using distance learning in the Philippines? Be a part of a virtual study group with your classmates and have regular discussions. Schedule these sessions regularly so you can pick each other’s brains and help each other out on topics you find challenging.
12. Take Some Time Out
If you find the online class extra challenging, take a break after it. Taking small breaks in between your online classes will refresh your brain and help you refocus.
Walking outside, napping, or talking to your family members can re-energize you. Do the same thing if you find yourself working on a particularly difficult assignment. Stepping away from your desk for a few minutes, listening to a song or two, or maybe having a light snack can also help you think of new ideas on how to tackle your task.
13. Set Personal Deadlines
Coping with the new normal in education is already a struggle. Don’t make it even more challenging by procrastinating. If your paper is due on Friday, don’t wait to do it until Thursday night. You’re just creating unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Just tell yourself that your assignments are due at least a day earlier. This will give you extra time to finish everything. If you need to make revisions, at least you still have time to do so before submission.
14. Be Accountable
In a traditional classroom, your teachers will constantly remind you when your assignments are due. But with online classes, it’s up to you to keep track of submission dates and deadlines.
To make sure you don’t forget, ask a family member to be an accountability partner. They can remind you of your tasks and when they’re due. But at the end of the day, you shouldn't need to be reminded because it’s your responsibility as a student to know these things.
15. Make Online Learning Enjoyable
Learning in the new normal need not be monotonous, stressful, or sad. Play your favorite songs to keep yourself alert and in a good mood. Decorate your study space to make it cozier and more welcoming.
It’s easy to get stressed when taking online classes, but it can be exciting and rewarding, too. You still get to study, learn, and try out new things in a safe environment.
16. Keep Yourself Healthy
Don’t stay up until dawn if you have an early morning online class. And don’t skip breakfast. You need good sleep and nourishment if you want to be alert and energetic.
Take breaks to eat and stay hydrated. It will help you focus better on your tasks. Moreover, eat healthy and load up on multivitamins to boost your immunity.
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17. Stay Motivated
Learning in the new normal takes commitment and effort. If you’re having a hard time with your classes, try to put things in perspective.
You’re feeling tired from all the Zoom meetings. But have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a teacher in the new normal? Your teachers are also struggling, so let their hard work and dedication be your motivation.
Remember the goals you set at the beginning of the school year. If everything seems challenging to you, take some time off for yourself to refocus and re-energize. But always show up and do your best.
18. Reward Yourself
If you did well on a test or a project, treat yourself. You deserve it!
Celebrate with your loved ones with samgyup at home. Have a Netflix night with your family. Buy something cute from your favorite online store.
Don’t forget that you have a life outside of your online classes. If all you do is study, you’ll be burned out soon.
Ways to Study Effectively in the New Normal Education
Wondering how students cope with the new normal in education? Sometimes it’s sheer talent and skill, and other times it’s because of clever education apps and websites.
Brainly.ph is an online community where you can find help on your tough assignments through its website or app. With over 350 million students and experts on this knowledge-sharing platform, you can easily find an answer to your toughest homework questions.
Get answers on Brainly.ph Science or Brainly.ph Math page for your physics or geometry assignment. Or help other Brainly app users by answering their homework questions.
For the Brainly app link, just go to the website and click on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store logo.
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The Pomodoro technique increases your productivity while also giving you enough time to rest. It’s quite simple, too. Work for 25 minutes (equivalent to one Pomodoro) and then rest for five minutes.
When you finish four Pomodoros, you can take a longer break (up to 30 minutes is fine). Keep adding Pomodoros until your task is finished.
Trivia: Pomodoro is Italian for tomato. Francesco Cirillo developed this technique in the 1980s using a tomato-shaped kitchen timer.
You can download a Pomodoro app on your phone or mobile device to help you accomplish your tasks quickly without feeling overwhelmed. Forest is a Pomodoro app available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
It’s a clever and cute way to stay focused on your tasks because you grow trees and fill the forest with them every 25 minutes of work you complete. The more frequently you use the app, the faster your trees grow as well. Consider it a mobile game and productivity app in one.
Any student who has ever struggled with math knows that it can be frustrating. Trying to work through a problem, only to get stuck, can feel like you're banging your head against a wall.
Thankfully, there's a new tool that can help. Photomath uses your phone's camera to read and solve math problems. Just point your camera at a problem and Photomath will give you the answer.
But Photomath is more than just a calculator. It also provides step-by-step instructions on how to solve the problem.
So, if you're stuck on a math problem, you can use Photomath to figure out how to solve it. Once you understand the process, you'll be better equipped to solve similar problems in the future.
So, if you're struggling with math, don't despair. Download Photomath and give it a try. You may be surprised at how much it can help.
Quora is a content platform that allows users to ask and answer questions on a variety of topics. As a result, it can be an extremely useful tool for students who are looking for information on a particular topic.
In addition, Quora also allows users to follow other users with similar interests, which can help find experts in a particular field.
However, not all information on Quora is accurate, and users should always double-check facts before relying on them.
Nonetheless, when used properly, Quora can be an excellent resource for students who are looking to learn more about a specific topic. You can download the Quora app on App Store and Google Play Store for free.
Challenges in New Normal Education in the Philippines
The transition to distance learning has been challenging for both students and teachers, who are having to adapt to new technologies and unfamiliar methods of teaching. Here are some of the challenges that need to be addressed.
The new normal learning presents new challenges, particularly in terms of accessibility. many Filipino students don’t have reliable internet access or adequate devices for online learning.
As a result, they’re at a disadvantage compared to their peers who can access the internet and participate in online learning. In addition, blended learning requires a different skill set than traditional face-to-face instruction.
For example, students need to be able to navigate online learning platforms, conduct research online, and effectively manage their time. These skills are not always easy to acquire, and some students may struggle with them.
The cost has always been a challenge when it comes to education, especially for families living in poverty. But with the shift to online and blended learning, the cost of educational materials and devices is becoming a new barrier for Filipino students.
According to a recent study, two out of five or 41.1% of Filipino households don’t have a computer or laptop and do not have a reliable internet connection.
For those who do have access to technology, many are still struggling to pay for data plans and online subscriptions. As a result, many students are being left behind in their studies.
Organizations are working to help ease the burden on families. But there is still much more work to be done to ensure that all Filipino students have access to quality education. Cost should not be a barrier to learning.
Flexibility and Method
Flexibility is one of the key challenges in blended learning among Filipino students. The traditional education system is based on face-to-face learning in brick-and-mortar classrooms.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools have shifted to a blended learning approach, which combines online and offline learning. This has posed a challenge for students, who are now expected to learn in both an online and offline environment.
Online learning requires a different set of skills than offline learning. For example, online learners need to be able to navigate virtual learning platforms, search for information online, and communicate with classmates and instructors via email or chat.
Offline learners, on the other hand, are used to receiving information from their teachers in a face-to-face setting and may find it more difficult to adjust to an online learning environment.
One of the challenges of blended learning is creating an effective environment at home. Filipino students face a unique set of challenges in this regard.
First, many households are crowded and noisy, which can make it difficult to concentrate on online learning. Second, students often have to take care of younger siblings while their parents are working, which can make it hard to find time to study.
Moreover, students may not have access to a quiet place to study at home. Also, Filipino parents may not be familiar with computers and the internet, which can make it difficult for them to help their children with online learning.
While these challenges may seem daunting, there are ways to overcome them. By working together, parents and teachers can create an effective environment for blended learning that will benefit all Filipino students.
The new normal learning system in the Philippines is constantly evolving. There are many helpful tips on learning in the new normal as mentioned above.
You can study effectively in new normal education, This includes understanding how you learn best, breaking down large tasks into smaller ones, and practicing self-compassion.
Despite the challenges faced, there are still ways to overcome them and stay on track. Try to strike a balance so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Set goals and track your progress, but allow yourself to breathe and relax from time to time. Most importantly, find more learning strategies that work for you.
Read other Education articles:
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-  Full F2F classes to bring educ sector back on its feet: solons (Philippine News Agency, 2022)
-  4 Strategies for Overcoming Distraction (Bailey, Harvard Business Review, 2018)
-  Brainly.ph
-  Forest
-  Photomath
-  Functional literacy rate of Filipinos by exposure to different forms of mass media ranges from 92.6 percent to 97.1 percent in 2019 (Philippine Statistics Authority press release, 2020)