Cebu Normal University (CNU) educators imparted ways to have an interactive virtual learning environment and to effectively teach reading online during the fifth session of Higher Education Connect (HEdConnect).

The HEdConnect Session 5 was organized by CNU College of Teacher Education (CTE) with the theme 
Meeting the Challenges of a Virtual Learning Environment. The webinar was held last August 29, 2020, through the Zoom platform. 

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The webinar featured two faculty members from CTE who are experts in the field of Education. They were Dr. Noremay Perez, Integrated Laboratory School (ILS) Student Teaching Mentor and Dr. Janet Mananay, CTE Undergraduate Studies – Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSEd) and Diploma in Professional Education (DPE) Chair. 

Perez talked about Creating Engaging Learning Experiences in a Virtual Classroom, while Mananay shared about Teaching Reading and Developing Critical Thinking in a Virtual Environment.  

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“The virtual classroom is a new learning environment; hence, teachers are still figuring out the best way to deliver lessons and to engage students in learning,” Perez said.

She said that defining how to communicate with students, establishing virtual classroom rules and expectations, planning of virtual class, utilizing multimedia materials, making the class interactive with different online tools, asking for feedback on your online class, and taking time to relax are ways on how to create engaging learning experiences in the virtual classroom. 

She then gave a tutorial on how to make use of online platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet to have an interactive online class.

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Mananay on the other hand discussed on virtual learning environment, reviewed some principles of teaching reading, and shared strategies that help develop critical thinking skills of students.

She formulated ways on how to effectively teach reading virtually by using the acronym READING and called it the ‘Magic 7’.   

The Magic 7 includes: Receptiveness to Digital Tools, Engagement is an important key, Active involvement of parents, Distance is addressed through presence, Interactivity leads to quality online learning, Nurture the love for reading, and Give yourself and your students time to adjust. 

The HEdConnect is an ongoing webinar series of the University which aims for educators to share experiences and discuss ways to overcome the challenges brought by Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). This is the pledge of the University – to serve in the new normal.

The first session of HEdConnect was held last June 30, 2020, as a post-Foundation Anniversary activity in celebration of the University’s 118 years of existence. (JDF)