Jenielyn Padernal says educating students in a crisis situation can be as easy as PIE.

Based in the Philippines, an area prone to typhoons, other storms and the occasional volcanic eruption, Padernal has been coping with interruptions to face-to-face learning since long before the COVID-19 crisis.

That’s why PIE – plan, implement and evaluate – is so critical for Padernal, the Director of eLearning Integration at Cypher Learning, as she looks to help fellow teachers lay the groundwork for success in educating students who can’t be in the classroom.

“Planning is the key for a successful development of a disaster-proof education,” she said. “It’s very important for us to consider the objectives. What are the goals we are trying to achieve? What are the questions that need to be addressed?”

When it became clear shelter-in-place restrictions would be needed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, many districts were sent scrambling to get the right setup in place to allow classes to continue. They had to overcome hurdles like students without access to internet in their homes. If there had been a plan in place, the process would’ve been simpler.

Then, they need to implement that plan smoothly and, once the crisis is over, evaluate what worked and didn’t for the next time.

An important factor in the implementation process is choosing the right Learning Management System. If a school or district opts for an LMS with limitations, the teacher may be handcuffed and unable to execute some of the plans put in place.

“Right now, a Learning Management System is a tool that’s very, very critical and important, because this is the tool that can make teaching and learning still happen, even if we’re not inside our classroom,” she said. “An LMS allows us teachers to still create and still deliver content that can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere.”

While we all hope to avoid more crisis situations, planning ahead can be the best option for educators and administrators. Even if they utilize eLearning tools frequently, they can lean more on systems they’re already using in the classroom when disaster strikes.

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