Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from the officials of Mindbuilders Preschool and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.
Mindbuilders Preschool Adapts to the New Normal of Teaching Children
The months-long COVID-19 pandemic has deeply altered societies worldwide, causing businesses, civic organizations and academic institutions to slow down and even shut down.
I have written about this Mindbuilders Preschool for some time because of their very active role in the community here in the south. Not only do they teach children academics through their Multiple Intelligence curriculum, but also involve them regularly in social responsibility programs. Last school year, their plastics drive was a big success to create awareness among the kids to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
It became of interest to me to know how this school is adapting during this time of COVID-19 as DEPED has announced that schools may implement distance learning this coming school year.
The education system of the Philippines as a whole is struggling to adjust during the pandemic. Until vaccines and other treatments for COVID-19 are fully developed and released, going back to school the old-fashioned way is out of the question.
Online learning is the way to go for now.
How would preschools adapt, when the signature characteristic of teaching is the face-to-face and interactive learning inside a school setting, together with classmates and teachers?
Mindbuilders Preschool’s Model for Online Learning
I had a chance to talk to Mindbuilders Preschool’s Directress Teacher Marah, in relation to the preschool education’s current situation.
I asked her about the adjustments her own preschool has taken to keep operating and educating the children who need learning.
Teacher Marah mentioned that Mindbuilders Preschool’s bold move to shift to online class happened as early as April 2020, during the hard lockdown stages, when children and parents were staying at home and needed some way to continue learning.
Mindbuilders Preschool was quick to adapt to an online learning program which is a product of their commitment to give quality learning programs to the students and help the parents during this time of crisis. During the lockdown/quarantine, the preschool conducted two successful runs of their online summer program: Summer Tales and Busy Bees.
Summer Tales was initially offered to their own students, and subsequently, Busy Bees was opened to other kids. Not only were they able to attract enrollees based in Parañaque and Las Piñas, but also those from Quezon City, Antipolo, Batangas Province and even from the United States! This shows that being online allows opportunities to transcend geographical limitation.
It is marvelous to see that Mindbuilders Preschool’s credibility is growing as it also reaches overseas via online learning, literally crossing borders and attracting new learners.
Platform is important, according to Teacher Marah. When it comes to the design of their online learning system, Mindbuilders Preschool uses a leading, fully featured learning management system called NEO LMS by Cypher Learning. Based in San Francisco, California, Cypher Learning specializes in providing learning platforms for organizations around the world. It is the same platform used by other local schools such as Enderun, STI, iAcademy and DLSU–D.
Mindbuilders Preschool describes their Learning Management System as user-friendly. It has an interface that helps them easily deliver the lessons to their students. It is significant to note that positive feedback from parents who enrolled their children in Mindbuilders’ summer program, confirms the success of the NEO LMS as an online learning platform.
The asynchronous learning component of the LMS was a welcome development for parents who were working from their respective homes, as they now take an active role in the learning of their child. The system was not only fully functional and efficient, it was crucial in the success of the virtual, live classes conducted via the Zoom app, wherein Mindbuilders’ teachers were able to engage with their students from a distance.
As part of the process, the parents were given the means to access the LMS where they will find new video lessons for students to learn before the live Zoom classes commence. The video includes Circle Time, Story Telling, Lessons, Art Activity, Games and other Learning activities. The learning environment has proven to be very safe.
Learning packets are also being prepared to aid the children in their hands-on learning. This includes a parent’s step-by-step guide, the schedules, learning materials such as worksheets, textbooks, art materials and school supplies.
Mindbuilders Preschool’s teachers and staff have adapted well to the new system and they are already working on ways to keep improving.
It is quite reassuring that an institution like Mindbuilders Preschool is opening the new school year with the experience they have gained and the tools they have been using to ensure that they will continue to deliver high quality, Multiple Intelligence education to the children.
School officially starts on August 3, 2020 for Mindbuilders. Along the way, FREE webinars will be offered, to help parents of the enrollees transition smoothly to distance learning. The sponsored webinar, “How to Create Learning Spaces at Home” will be held on August 1. The second webinar, “Education and Parenting in the Time of Pandemic,” is scheduled on August 8.
Also, Mindbuilders Preschool has scheduled a FREE trial class online on July 14, 2020 to give a sneak peek of how their online classes will be done. The class will be composed of two parts starting with a video lesson at 9AM using the NEO LMS, followed by the scheduled Virtual Class that will be done via Zoom at precisely 10AM.
To register, one must send via text message to 0927-2062506 or 0939-3527809 the following information: the child’s full name, birthdate, age, parent’s name, mobile number and email address (for class details to be sent to).
For more information, contact Mindbuilders Preschool via their Facebook page, or via mobile numbers 0917-2062506 and 0939-3527809.
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