At BAC, we understand that meeting the challenges of the New Normal is not just a simple matter of unleashing one’s unbridled enthusiasm (although it certainly helps!) While the world around us changes and develops, what is equally important is the willingness to adapt and stay relevant- as well as access to resources to enable one to do so. In an effort to ensure that we, as individuals and a collective institution, have the opportunity to further grow and develop, BAC Education Group (BACEG) launched the Professional Development Community.
Let’s go back to the watershed moment which led to the launch of this initiative. This will give you a better understanding, and will make things clearer!
“Watershed moment” (Wa ·ter ·Shed ·Mo ·Ment) is a phrase derived from the word “watershed.” A watershed is, geographically speaking, a ridge of land which divides the bath of a river, splitting it off into two different waterways. It is this act of division which caused the phrase ‘watershed moment,’ to mark a divisive or historic moment in the passage of time. And for the education sector on a whole? While you would be hard-pressed to find an exact date, if you asked around, you’d be sure to reach a consensus on one point- that 2020 marked a watershed moment in how the field operated, in terms of learning, and teaching.
Pre-2020, the education industry had a simple system- you attended and taught classes in person, while providing students with the guidance needed/requested. For those who could not attend physical classes, online classes and distance learning options were useful alternatives, especially for students who couldn’t travel to attend classes in person or those juggling multiple responsibilities. While they consisted of a small camp, as the world around us changed and developed to adapt to technological advancements and innovations, online learning became increasingly familiar. People signed up for online hobby classes, language skill lessons, self-help classes, college degrees; the list was endless! Pretty soon, people joked that may not even need to go into office to teach at all, with the possibility of doing it from home. Then, the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
To say that we scrambled was no joke. As the virus unveiled its virulence, the education sector went into overdrive producing solutions and alternatives for physical classes. Our own lecturers were advised to take the precaution of recording their lectures to be uploaded to the LMS (Learning Management System) system- a precaution which proved wise as the whole nation went into lockdown. And so online learning became a regular feature, with the April intakes being the first batch of students to experience 100% remote learning classes. While the switch to online learning was rapid, the development of the skills to do so took a little more time to hone.
There is no denying that even as we look forward to when things can go back to “normal” with the resumption of physical classes, online learning is here to stay, and we, as an education provider, need to make sure we are prepared for it. While the full-scale shift to online learning was rapid, the ability to stay abreast of the latest tech developments in online learning, seamlessly transitioning from conventional teaching methods and adapting to changes was a steep learning curve. Not wanting to compromise on students’ learning experience, BAC Education provided a platform and encouraged its educators to take the necessary steps to upskill and reskill; and to develop the expertise needed to create an engaging and immersive online learning experience for our students.
Kicking off in February 2021, The Professional Development Community (PD Community) was built with the intent of providing a platform to create a community to do just that – one where the teaching faculty can take the opportunity to upskill, reskill and further hone their skills and talents to cope with the changes of the New Normal. In a talk entitled “The BAC Mindset” by Mr. Raja Singham, the relevance of the PD Community and how it would help prep participants with the BAC mindset of relevance, competencies, leadership, character, and personal brand was highlighted.
The BAC Professional Development Community aims at building a community of members to continuously learn, upskill themselves and share best practices, so that the Group, as an institution can grow together to achieve a common goal.
To quote Albert Einstein, “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” As mentioned in the beginning of this article, let us harness our own innate willingness to adapt and remain relevant. The New Normal of education is now, and it is up to us to keep up with the times.