As the world is urged into isolation due to a global health crisis, technology plays a key role in education with the rise of digital learning. Various platforms for micro-credentialing, upskilling, and more, have become more accessible to everyone. Among many of those who took advantage of the available online training programs and certifications is Ms. Edwina Astrid Cuezon from Davao City, who is a Certified Professional Social Marketer and a school administrator.
Cuezon has received 1,045 online course certifications, certificates with professional development units, verified digital badges, and continuing professional education certificates, excluding certificates of attendance and certificates of participation. Among these certificates are from LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Hootsuite, Amazon, Udemy, and other renowned international schools.
“I have received these certificates when the lockdown and community quarantine started around March 2020,” Cuezon stated in an interview. “Even before, I used to participate in training programs both online and face-to-face, because of my profession and my nature of work.”
As a social marketer, part of her job is to handle and strategize digital campaigns by monitoring the latest trends. From an institution that prides itself in technological education excellence, Cuezon strives to pursue continuous learning for professional development and personal growth.
“Social media and the digital world keeps changing and evolving rapidly,” Cuezon shared. “That’s why if the digital campaigns of a particular business are assigned to you, you really have to update yourself or somebody else will lead digitally.”
Although during the community quarantine, travel and physical restrictions seemed to limit opportunities at first, her passion for learning and excellence drove her for continuous upgrades and updates.
On the other hand, she also faces the “Fear of Missing Out” or FOMO phenomenon where millennials are constantly searching for new experiences to share, often because of how the younger generation posts on social media. More than that, however, Cuezon believes that she needs to be a good model for the academic community and impart value to the younger generation.
“If you have the passion to learn and upskill no matter how busy you are with your present roles and responsibilities, you will really make and give time to learn more,” Cuezon shared. “On my case, I spend my break time and weekends in learning instead of doing unproductive stuff. I know that whenever I learn something new today, I will become a better person tomorrow.”
Contrary to common misconceptions, these digital certificates and badges are not just a collection to display, but they also maximize the value of your certification or training program. With the help of technology, there are no travel and accommodation worries to attend international seminars hosted by world-renowned speakers. In return, the certificates received are internationally recognized.
“This is something that we have to look forward to during the pandemic,” she stated. “Before, technology seemed to detach us from those closest to us. But now, technology allows us to explore the world easier and faster—as international opportunities for learning becomes reachable.”
Digital certificates received through online courses are also more convenient. Some are sent via email or ready to download after the course is finished, to which each certificate has a unique barcode and a unique credential ID where a third-party verifier may verify the certification.
“You don’t need to print your certificates because they are sharable on LinkedIn,” Cuezon stated. “All of my certifications are on my LinkedIn profile, easy to access, and easy to see. Everything is handy and convenient.”
In addition, these certificates are handy and sharable on social media or any professional social network. These can also be stored in digital drives or cloud storage where it can be accessed anytime and anywhere. Online programs and certifications are accessible even on different devices, and even on smartphones.
She also shared that before, a lot of money would be shelled out to pay for the expenses of international certifications. She mentioned that as she embodies the core values of her present institution, she grabs the opportunity presented to her in order to better herself through continuous learning.
In the new normal, communication is done virtually. It is not a surprise that lifelong learning has also transitioned to the digital landscape where it is faster and more convenient. For Ms. Edwina Astrid Cuezon, valuing personal and professional growth stems from having a passion for learning, as well as sharing and imparting the learnings and experiences for the next generation.