USAID and ¡Supérate! launch project “Digital Talent”

Online teaching and learning is here to stay

17 February, 2021

Written by Mercedes Segura, ¡Supérate! Hilasal Principal. Translated by Gerardo Melgar, ¡Supérate! Hilasal English teacher.

During all these years in the Program, I have witnessed how ¡Supérate! culture influences our students, their families, teachers and all the staff involved in the transformation process through education of our students.

Last year was not the exception, 2020 pushed us to change many traditional ways of teaching and it took us to a virtual environment. This new working method has been very beneficial for us, it has motivated us to continue innovating and to adapt quickly to different teaching and learning methods. Online teaching has also challenged our teachers to develop new skills to maintain the quality education that characterizes our Program. Moreover, virtual teaching has helped our teachers to try new and more innovative strategies in their virtual classroom, it has made them look for different ways to keep students’ motivation and participation high. Each teacher in our Program has had to be very creative to motivate students to learn through a computer. What is more, virtual teaching has helped us to understand that even when we are far, we can still feel close to each other, it has helped us to prove that even in the distance, we can get to our students’ homes and families, always considering their realities, which is different for each of them.

One of the biggest achievements our program has had during this new reality has been the use of educational platforms. I cannot deny it, the first weeks were a challenge, but we have definitely learned a lot and we have understood the benefits of organizing the teaching and learning process as a Program. The platforms we are using now (Microsoft Teams, Office 365 and Moodle), have helped our students to develop new abilities, they have allowed teachers and students to interact in a more personalized way, and they have helped us to keep our students and teachers updated. More importantly, these platforms have helped us to develop more autonomous students.

The use of platforms has promoted a professional collaborative space where all the teachers of our Program can be part of and learn from each other. It has also helped us to be more open to changes and innovation, it has helped us to develop problem solving abilities, to be more flexible, to plan the learning process in a different and new way and finally, it has required us do more research to continue learning and to continue improving.

Our Program continues moving forward, it continues developing our students’ potential even more and focusing on creating citizens with great values and committed to help our country. This can only be possible thanks to the effort and hard work of the teachers and the staff of each ¡Supérate! Center. I firmly believe that education transforms lives, and it has been a reality for many of our graduated students and their families. Of course, students’ motivation and ambition to become great professionals are key factors that help us to adapt to new situations and to continue changing more lives no matter the circumstances.

We will continue walking the extra mile and working as a team during this new reality!