THE regional director of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in Northern Mindanao believes that among all other platforms, digital television is the most doable medium for blended learning for the upcoming school year in the new normal.
In a phone interview with this writer, NTC 10 director Ted Buenavista said digital TV has a wider reach and thus, cost-beneficial.
Buenavista said that digital TV can be accessed in areas where signal for cellphone networks is unavailable, as long as there is electricity in the area.
He pointed out that unlike cellphones where students or parents need to buy load now and then for Internet connectivity consumption while lessons are in progress, the learner needs only to make a one-time purchase of a setup box if his family’s television set is still an analog one. For households which already own an HDMI-ready TV, there is no need for any additional gadget.
Buenavista continued saying that should this medium of blended learning be pursued, a digital TV content provider may ink an agreement with the Department of Education (DepEd) or a private school for the provision of airtime.
He said digital TV stations possess one more advantage over conventional radio and TV stations – their lone transmitter is already capable to create as many as ten channels on free TV.
“For instance, one channel will be dedicated to first graders and so on and so forth until the tenth channel will be for Grade 10 students,” Buenavista explained.
He said that subjects such as Mathematics cannot be fully explained over the radio since they are merely auditory.
Analog TV stations can supposedly provide visuals but each station is limited only to one channel, and this is where the advantage of digital TV will come in.
Digital TV setup boxes also have the option to record each class session and the student can replay it afterwards with no additional cost as compared to a YouTube-based lesson where cellphone users need to consume Internet data.
Buenavista also said that digital TV learning can be sustained beyond the new normal.
“In essence, it can be a solution to traffic congestion. Students – which make the bulk of our everyday motorists and pedestrians – will stay at home to learn their lessons,” he said.
There is only one digital TV provider here in Cagayan de Oro City and that is JaoTV.