Today’s Philippine education system is currently facing the so-called new normal stage of education. Under the new normal education stage, physical attendance of learners to classrooms and schools are disallowed or least prioritized nowadays. Instead, the focus is more on the conduct and implementation of potential new normal mode of learning that would be feasible even when learners stay at home. These new normal modes of education valued at present include the blended learning approach. Basically, blended learning is almost related to the on-line learning applications. It primarily makes use of computer as its main tool of instructional delivery. However, blended learning systems also highlight the utilization of different ICTs including laptop, Internet, educational videos, television, Projector, tablets, cellular phones and other useful technological tools.
But in contrary to the perceptions of many, blended learning is not just simply the use of computer and ICTs in teaching on-line or through multimedia-aided instruction. Blended learning denotes even more profound academic implications to the education of learners. This is because the true essence of blended learning is to combine the use of technology to the conventional and established methods of instruction. These established pedagogies include lecture method, discovery, inquiry and problem-solving approaches to instruction. In quality blended learning systems, these established methods of instruction are combined, reinforced and supported by the proper utilization of ICTs. A concrete example is blended learning through combined Internet-based instruction or social media-based teaching and learning and lecture. In blended learning, it is highly possible for the teachers to provide quality and sufficient lectures and explanations to the learners on important subject matter through on-line learning or interaction.
Moreover, another benefits of teachers’ engagement in blended learning approach under this new normal mode of education is that traditional and conventional learning materials are capable of being modified and transformed into on-line instructional tools. These materials include learning modules, activity books, activity sheets and worksheets. When the educational reforms due to Covid-19 crisis strike, the need for the use of these materials is heightened as these can be distributed to the learners even via on-line or with the help of social media and Internet. When materials like worksheets are capable of being relayed and distributed to the learners via on-line mode or system, these materials are now worthy to be deemed as blended learners’ materials. Under the new normal mode of education, the use of these materials is at its highest advantage and benefit for the learners because these tools would help foster sustainability of educational services to the learners even when they stay at home while protecting themselves from the risks of local contagion due to COVID-19.