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Educator completes over 800 online courses during the pandemic

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Jan 15, 2021 10:36 pm

The COVID-19 outbreak didn't stop Jonald Blacer Sia, 32, from doing what he loves the most: learning. 

The full-time educator, who is also the College of Teacher Education Dean at Osmeña Colleges in Masbate, has taken a total of 854 online courses since the pandemic started. 

Not a fan of a sedentary lifestyle, Sia would always find time to go outdoors to jog, hike, and swim, among others. However, his daily routine got disrupted when a community quarantine was imposed in  the country. “I was like a tree uprooted from the environment that used to nourish me, and this eventuality caused me to get anxious and stressed,” he told PhilSTAR L!fe

Photos from Jonald Sia

“I reckon everyone will agree with me when I say that COVID 19 has affected us economically, socially, politically and academically,” he said, recognizing how difficult it can be to transition to the “new normal.”

“But let me tell you this: aversion from suffering from the ‘epidemic of lost learning’ and ‘paralysis by over analysis’ is possible,” he declared.

After binge-watching his favorite shows only a week into the lockdown, he had enough. “I snapped from my zombie-like state and started to accept a paradigm shift,” mused Sia. “I employed a kind of thinking that is different from the status quo: I cultivated a growth mindset as I tackled self-paced learning with my very first V-Smart Courseware.”

He expressed his gratitude to the Department of Science and Technology-Regional Office Caraga, which gave him a scholarship grant that enabled him to take a myriad of courses for free. "I have taken an assortment of topics, whatever I felt like studying at that time—arts and humanities, business, data science, health, personal development, social sciences, language, leadership, management," he shared.

So far, the number of his completed courses has reached the 800 mark. Those that dealt with growth mindset easily became his favorites, particularly “Mastering Your Personal and Professional Growth” from Charles Sturt University and “Growth Mindset” from Career Development College London. 

“The certificates I received had their genesis from a smorgasbord of webinars, short online courses, quizzes, so to speak,” he shared, adding, “But I don’t claim mastery on such. I simply made some sort of progress.”

How does he manage his time? Sia has been keeping a planner for almost a decade now, where he religiously writes his daily goals. “I suppose having one has kept my work and intellectual stretchers on track besides the new routine I birthed and adhered to last year.” 

For Sia, time has felt like it’s flying by too quickly that our initial learning experiences might not be enough to continue understanding what’s happening around us. “We have to consistently upgrade our knowledge and skills coupled with the strengthening of our characters to stay relevant. We have to be more, do more, so that we can give more,” he concluded.

Article thumbnails courtesy of Jonald Sia