Teachers unite for MOOC Camp
Participants beamed with happiness as they posed with their certificates to indicate their commitment to finish the TEYL MOOC and welcome the challenges that come with contextualizing the theory and practices mentioned in the course work.
Around 80 teachers from nearby cities flocked to SDO San Juan Conference Hall on May 1 Labor Day, to attend the orientation on the latest course to be offered through Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) entitled, “Teaching English to Young Learners” (TEYL). The TEYL MOOC is designed to introduce the participants to the theory and practice of teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) to young learners age three to twelve years old.
“It is notable that you are here despite the holiday. It is a testament of your commitment to improve your practices through the MOOC and we are more than happy to be part of your journey as your partner,” remarked Dr. Helen G. Padilla, Chief Education Supervisor of SDO San Juan who welcomed the participants.
In the orientation, Dr. Rina A. Angeles, SHS faculty of San Juan National High School and E-teacher alumna of US Department of State, highlighted the benefits of the camp. She said, “TEYL gives you the opportunity to interact with other teachers from all over the world while you get to earn international badges and certificates from experts in the field without any cost.”
As an alternative to teacher-training programs, the TEYL MOOC allows teachers on their own free time to access its engaging videos and practical readings that can help them explore research-proven approaches that are not only effective but also fun and engaging for the young learners. Aside from the self-directed weekly participation in the MOOC via online, teachers are encouraged to do two meet ups in learning action cells (LACs) to deepen the understanding of the lessons learned in their respective contexts.
In the subsequent talk, Dr. Nanelyn T. Bontoyan pointed out the connection of LAC sessions in developing Communities of Practice in education. She narrated her experiences as the Senior Education Program Specialist of the Teaching and Learning Division from the Bureau of Learning Delivery in DepEd Central Office.
“LACs allow us to grow as a community providing support to each other while we face the challenges that confront the Department. We bring our own dreams and aspirations of the kind of teachers that we are and connect these with the others to build a stronger network that can provide a much stable foundation for the learners,” she implied after the activity on the paper tower.
Meanwhile, Dr. Marco D. Meduranda, English Supervisor of SDO Navotas and E-teacher Alumnus, discussed how the participants can transform their MOOC experience into action research. He narrated the research journey of Navotas teachers who took ownership of the issues in their classrooms and found solutions that worked. Later on, he presented his own research that was built around his experiences being a MOOCer himself and challenged them to do the same.
The TEYL MOOC is provided by George Mason University, as part of the American English (AE) E-Teacher Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with Canvas.net as its official platform and SDO San Juan as the host camp for this summer. For more MOOC schedules, interested teachers may visit the Facebook Account of Regional English Language Office-Manila, the English Supervisor of SDO San Juan, Ms. Rina Angeles, or ask the nearest MOOC Camp leaders who are active in the area.
Article written by:
Marnelli B. Tolentino, EPS-English