Google Philippines to hold free distance learning webinars for parents, teachers

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2020 10:26 AM

Google Philippines to hold free distance learning webinars for parents, teachers 1
Single parent Merly Villasanta works on the enrollment forms for her four children using a computer with internet connection on July 1, 2020 in Antipolo City. All four of her children will be using different gadgets to satisfy the requirements of distance learning the respective schools will be implementing. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Google Philippines said Tuesday it would conduct a free 2-day webinar to share tips on distance learning as students, parents and teachers embark on education during the new normal. 

The webinars will help teachers and parents use collaborative tools such as G suite and YouTube for distance learning as well as online child safety, Google said in a statement. 

The Philippine government has approved distance learning to protect children from contracting COVID-19. President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said face-to-face learning should only be allowed once a vaccine becomes available. 

“It is an uncertain period and there is no ready playbook to all the challenges we are facing at the moment but we hope that through efforts like this webinar series, we are able to contribute and play an important role,” said Google Philippines head of communications and public affairs Mervin Wenke.

Sessions will be streamed live on Aug. 20 for teachers and Aug. 21 for parents at 2 p.m. via Google Philippines YouTube channel and Facebook page, it said.

The sessions for teachers will delve on instruction strategies using G Suite for Education, YouTube for Education and engaging students in virtual spaces, among others, Google said.

For parents, Google said it would focus on using G Suite, supporting families with distance learning and online child safety and protection.

The Department of Education further delayed the opening of classes to Oct. 5 from Aug. 24 heeding calls for adjustments as the Philippine education system shifts to distance learning.

Schools and teachers have been conducting "simulations" to ensure a smooth transition to the virtual classrooms when schools start in October, while some parents prefer modules instead. 

Some parents and teachers have earlier complained of lack of tools such as applicable devices as well as internet connectivity to participate in online classes.