Teachers think out of the box, embrace TikTok
MANILA, Philippines — From modular, radio and TV-based distance learning methods, teachers are now turning to TikTok as an educational platform.
Over the weekend, the Information and Communications Technology Service-Educational Technology Unit of the Department of Education (DepEd) conducted a webinar session for public school teachers on how to use the video-sharing application to deliver educational content.
Under the remote learning setup adopted last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers have faced the challenge of developing meaningful connections with their students.
This prompted the DepEd to launch the first “TikTok for Education” webinar to allow teachers to teach through the social media platform that has become popular, especially among the youth.
“Since children are more interested when we talk about social media, they become more encouraged to watch … so wherever their interest is, we teachers must go after it,” said Jeric Torres Casino, a teacher from Nueva Ecija, who hosted the event.
“We need to keep up with the changing times to meet the demanding expectations of our teaching especially since we are in transition from distance learning to remote learning,” he added.
Innovate, creative, techyOne of the resource persons, Mark Anthony Mangiduyos, a 25-year-old teacher from Villarosa Elementary School also in Nueva Ecija, shared some of the things to consider in creating better TikTok content.
He said that while people initially view social applications as primarily intended for entertainment, these could also be used to help children equipped with gadgets and an internet connection who are ready for the online learning method.
“Teachers need to become innovative, creative, and have techy minds. We should be adaptive to the current trends and changes in the teaching-learning process,” he said.
TikTok lets users create, watch and share 15-second videos taken on cell phones. As a user himself, Mangiduyos said the app has personalized feeds of “quirky” short videos.
“The app is notable for its addictive quality and high levels of engagement,” he added.
The popular social media app has more than 1 billion users, according to the Digital 2021 Report of Hootsuite, a social media management platform.
During the webinar, Mangiduyos discussed how TikTok works by navigating the app and creating video content.
He also shared ideas on how to make better TikTok content, including making use of social media challenges such as the ALS ice bucket challenge that started in 2014, and called for participants to take a video as they pour cold water on their heads.
Aimed at promoting awareness of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and raising funds for research, the challenge trended because of the participation of many celebrities who posted their videos on Tiktok.
In 2019, the independent research organization RTI International reported that the awareness campaign allowed The ALS Association to drive up its annual research funding worldwide by 187 percent.
Mangiduyos also recommended making content through video based on hashtags, dance videos that demonstrate important values, song imitations, and dialogue reenactment.
Another resource speaker, Lyqa Maravilla (popularly known as Coach Lyqa), shared her insights on TikTok as an online educational content creator.
According to her, the classroom-based model, where learners are arranged in classes that meet on a regular basis at the same place, tends to leave some students behind.
“Our goal is to change this model so that those who are outside [the classroom] and are not learning for a long time can learn for free,” she said.
Budget hike for DepEd, SUCs
Anticipating the return of face-to-face classes in more schools next year, the Senate finance committee has pushed for an increase in the funding of DepEd as well as state universities and colleges (SUCs) under the proposed 2022 national budget.
The panel chair, Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, said the budget proposal submitted by the executive branch did not make any provision for preparations and the implementation of in-person classes in public schools, whether at the basic, secondary or tertiary level.
With last week’s rollout of the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in 100 public schools and 20 private schools starting Monday, Angara said the DepEd and SUCs should receive the necessary funding support “especially with the expectation that more schools [would] be allowed to resume classes in the coming months.”
As a result, “the committee saw fit to recommend increases in the budgets of the DepEd and SUCs,” he said.
The additional allocation may be used by school administrators for the retrofitting of classrooms and other facilities to comply with safety standards set by health authorities, Angara said.
These could include the modification of the layout and ventilation of classrooms, laboratories and other parts of the schools as well as the COVID-19 testing of faculty and staff to ensure everyone’s protection, including students.
If necessary, Angara said the funds might also be used to buy supplies and other equipment for the implementation of safety protocols and standards.
“We want to give them some degree of flexibility in the use of the funds since each institution would have different needs,” he added.
“This is why we included in the menu of programs assistance to the students, teachers and staff for their transportation requirements, which include the purchase of nonmotorized forms of transportation such as bicycles,” Angara said.