Last September 24, 2020, PLDT – SMART had announced an emergency maintenance will happen on Saturday, September 26, 9:00 AM to Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 5:00AM due to the activities which will be conducted by the international trans-Pacific submarine cable system Asia-America Gateway (AAG). PLDT – SMART also assures its customers a continued internet connectivity all throughout the maintenance period as they have identified an alternative cable system. They also said that they have adopted a re-routing feature and local caching. The source can be found here.
In connection to this, our servers may continuously run on the cloud since it is independent from the internet service provider (ISP). But even with the assurance of PLDT – SMART that there will be continuous internet connectivity, it is still prudent that we have a backup plan during the maintenance period. The majority of the Filipino homes are using PLDT. It has no use that even our servers are running if the last mile is disrupted, our clients such as students, parents, and learning partners will not be able to access our servers.
What to do with your online classroom during internet disruptions?
- During this period, you may reduce your synchronous learning schedule, cancel it altogether, or you may choose to re-schedule it. Online and real-time classes through video conferencing tool needs extra internet bandwidth compared to just reading resources or materials through asynchronous learning via Learning Management System (LMS). Diverting your students towards asynchronous learning modes not only protects their learning from internet disruption, it could be an interesting new source of engagement and autonomy.
- Use pre-recorded sessions (video or audio) instead of conducting a live online class. Pro tip: Add resources and short quizzes in the middle of recorded video.
- If live video conferencing cannot be prevented, try not to share your webcam and not to do the screen sharing as much as possible.
- Avoid giving too many dynamic activities in the LMS like assignment submissions and answering quizzes especially when large volume of students will simultaneously access the dynamic activities.
- Avoid asking your students to upload large files during assignment submissions.
- Allow your students to study offline. Ask your students to download the Moodle Mobile App on their smartphones, or the Moodle Web App on their desktop/ laptop, and download their courses in the app. Even offline, they can study their lessons (static activity), answer the assessment (dynamic activity), and once they get online, they will be able to sync their app data to the server.