Webinar series for safer digital space for learners set

Published July 15, 2020, 1:06 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

In an effort to promote a safer digital space as schools transition to flexible remote learning, a Makati City-based school will hold a series of discussions that will benefit students and the whole school community.

To help ensure that learners will be safe in the digital space while attending their lessons — to be delivered digitally or via online platforms — iACADEMY is set to hold the “iACADEMY Webinar Series: Digital Peers,” a three-part webinar that will discuss media literacy, digital etiquette, cyber bullying, cyber libel, and how to grow a community of responsible digital citizens.

 The first session is scheduled on July 17 while the second and third sessions will be held on July 28 and Aug. 10.

iACADEMY president and chief executive officer Vanessa Tanco said that iACADEMY has always been at the forefront of Safe School campaigns. In 2014, the school launched a Metro-wide anti-bullying campaign called “Bullyproof.”

“We gathered school administrators and guidance counselors to share best practices and provided tools to better prevent and respond to cases of bullying. It became an annual and continued effort to spread awareness,” Tanco said. iACADEMY, she added, also sent resource speakers to different schools to provide seminars to students and school employees.

Tanco underscored that in this day and age, “we source out most of information via digital platforms and because of the current health crisis.” Thus, schools like iACADEMY are “challenged to deliver lessons through a flexible remote learning arrangement.”

Through these series of webinars, Tanco hopes that “we can to extend our help to our students by ensuring that they are protected, discerning, and knowledgeable in using these online platforms.”

The first part of the webinar will discuss the fight against fake news and the importance of media literacy. The speakers will also share the proper fact-checking and digital etiquette that shall guide the students from fake news and misinformation amidst a global health crisis.

The second part of the webinar will be focused on cyber-bullying, cyber-libel, and relevant issues to be tackled by lawyers from Ayala Law.

The last part of the series will be presided by over iACADEMY’s guidance counselors together with some of its students who were trained by Facebook Philippines on responsible digital citizenship. They will discuss how the school aims to extend help to students who are adjusting to a new learning environment through the creation of a digital peer group, which will guide students on how they can protect themselves from potential risks and dangers in the virtual space.

“Staying true to our mission to provide game-changing education goes beyond our service to our students,” Tanco said. “Since we are a community of educators, it is through these meaningful discussions where we believe we can foster an alliance with other schools whose purpose is to provide a safe and supportive virtual environment for our students,” she added.

Tanco noted that webinar series is “just one among the school’s initiatives that aim not just to extend help to its students but also to lend assistance to other schools.”

In the last week of July, iACADEMY will hold another webinar series called “SHARE or Students Health in Adapting to Remote Education” which aims to foster an alliance among counselors of other schools by sharing counselor-led strategies that will support social connections between students in the so-called “new normal.”