EDS 143 Blog #0: Introduction to EDS 143

Allowing ourselves to see and have a clear vision of our strengths and weaknesses as academic learners is a leverage that we can use to better position ourselves in the daily dynamics of teaching-learning interaction. We can focus our energy and resources to our skills which have the biggest room for development. As I write this blog, I can almost see the finish line of the academic program that I am taking; yes I have to be optimistic, dedicated and focused to guarantee that I will part of the students who will graduate from this program and from this university – making me more equipped and better educator in my own field. My educational journey in UP Open U has been pushing to me to the edge – allowing me to go beyond the lines drawn by my weaknesses hence making me a better person from yesterday.

The journey in fact has been teaching me a lot of substantial and real-world relevant knowledge – information, principles, and theories that I can apply in my work and in daily life. In this note, I believe that one of the best values that UPOU, my work and my daily struggles had taught me is to be resilient against the world’s storm of odds.  The company I’m working with and the great people from this university had taught me to look with sincerity and determination at my past shortcomings and recognize what went wrong and from there, learn from it and use it as I continue to improve my skill set.

In line with self-assessment, the set of tests and questionnaires reflected my skills as a student in the open and distance education learning – the most important result for me is that I have to improve my time management skills to avoid unnecessary cramming and to avoid compromising the quality of my outputs. Being in this mode of learning, I have to be more disciplined, self-directed and independent enough to be more efficient and effective in handling my responsibilities.  Despite being a good time manager, the other showed that I need concrete improvement in self-management in handling my accountabilities in school. The realization and results of the test made me confirm to the commitment below.

My commitments to this course:

  1. Plan early, arrange priorities and do not procrastinate
  2. In a week, dedicate two whole days for school requirements
  3. Engage with classmates more often to gain information coming from different experiences and perspectives

EDS 111 Final Blog: “Strive to Better Ourselves, Not Others”

So near yet so far – this is how I can describe my situation, the trimestral period is almost over but not quite because of the final tasks that need to be done. There are still few forums that need reading and contemplation, assignments that need critical analysis, and final requirements that are audaciously playing tug-of-war with my work schedule and energy. But kidding aside, EDS 111 has been one of the subjects that created positive changes into my perspective as an educator in the corporate and industrial environment and though I wish UPOU has a BSBA program, I am still happy since many BES subjects have principles, approaches, and teaching styles that are very relevant and applicable in leading people and managing a system. Glancing back at my initial thoughts and ideas about effective teaching and the roles of our teacher in school and society, let me repost again my answers for reference:

Before: “Effective teaching happens when an educator and learner create an interactive and free-flowing channel of communication that leads to the attainment of learning goals and objectives.  Apart from this, one of the things effective teaching can do is the development of learner’s base value and correct principles in life – principles and beliefs that must be rooted to the learner not molded by a learning institution. For me I believe that teachers should have the following characteristics for him or her to be sufficiently effective in his or her noble endeavours:

  1. Passion to educate (I believe the most important)
  2. Patience
  3. Professionalism
  4. Respect towards cultural and racial diversity
  5. Open to new ideas and ability to do summative and formative assessment
  6. Possesses critical and creative thinking
  7. Ability to use different standards in decision making – moral standards, academic standards, political etc.
  8. Commitment to lifelong learning

Having mentioned the traits of an effective teacher, I believe that teacher’s role doesn’t only starts and ends in a classroom but it should be encompassing and multidimensional – the role of a teacher apart from endowing and developing knowledge is to serve as an integral guide and light between the student’s home, classroom and community. Outside the student’s home, the teacher should guide the student on becoming a productive and proactive unit in his or her community.”

After: After taking the TPI again, Apprenticeship is still my most dominant characteristics but the surprising part is, other perspectives have increased and somehow became closer to my dominant teaching perspectives. This can be a good indicator that I am gradually understanding all the gaps that need to be filled-in when teaching (multidimensional approach). For me these are the skills that a professional and effective teachers should have to create a well-managed classroom that optimizes and maximizes each and everyone’s potential and incorporate it with the teacher’s lesson plan and instructional materials to make the class student and learning-centered: Required Significant Teaching Skills and Characteristics:

  1. Instructional and Planning Skills This refers to the preparation, conceptualization, design and execution of instructional materials and other resources in accordance to the approved curriculum and the ability to provide assessment methodologies to gauge learning performance. Proper planning must be anchored not just to the lesson plan but to the learner’s demography, skills and abilities, and aligned to his or her personal and academic interest. Effective classroom    planning enables effective teaching through the maximization of student’s skills and resources’ potential.
  1. Classroom Management Skills The discipline and variety of skills that enables the teacher to create systematic, organized, and positive environment conducive for teaching and learning dynamics. Effective teaching entails   proper control and management over elements that affect teaching and learning engagements. Teachers should be able to manage learners (expectation, learning process, and behavior),   environment, resources, and learning opportunities.
  1. One Who Embraces and Celebrates Diversity Classroom population consists of students with different and contrasting beliefs and tradition, social background and ethnicity, skills and talents, and learning styles. Effective teaching    happens when the teacher has the ability to smoothly establish social linkages to different    learners in a single classroom so they feel welcomed, appreciated and accepted.
  1. Interpersonal Skills This comprise of the teacher’s set of innate skills (affective for instance) and social abilities that create positive relationship to the students that is nurturing, transformative, and developmental. Teacher has many roles in a classroom starting from being a facilitator, subject matter expert up to being the children’s second parent. Being said that, interpersonal or people skills play a big part in managing classrooms and ensuring that everyone learns effectively.

Because of the theories, principles, and approaches that this course has given me, I believe that I can be a better educator who truly understands and can establish deep connection to my colleagues, teammates and staff. The corporate world is pretty like the classroom – you nurture and enrich people’s skills and talents for them to be more effective in their personal and professional life, and create and improve the system to make the environment more conducive for effective learning guided by the strong belief in lifelong learning. This course paved way for me to become more professional and pushed me to strive for more by learning valuable things that will mold my character and sharpen my pedagogical strengths (things I believe are valuable and will help me in present and future). But I know, there are still many things that I need to learn and thanks to this course, I am a lot better than who I am last year.

EDS 180 Final Blog: My Final Thoughts about Multigrade Class

When I was first asked what my idea of multigrade education was, my response was “I believe that multigrade education is about the different approaches and dynamics in pedagogy and learning methodology of learners in different levels.” Yes the answer has the point but not quite, it didn’t bring out the essence and distinction of multigrade class over monograde class, but again that was just my rough idea before the onset of this course.

Now, after almost finishing the rest of the course, I can now define multigrade class as a classroom wherein students with varying and contrasting demography (age, residences, date of birth, etc.), talents and abilities, and academic level are combined together in one section and learning altogether under one curriculum. The factors and reasons that lead to the creation of multigrade class are indicated below but are not limited to the following;

  1. Scarcity of learning materials and resources such as classroom and textbooks
  2. Lack of qualified and trained teachers
  3. Deficiency in the numbers of classroom or classroom is very far from learners’ home
  4. Community involvement and choice to promote collaborative and integrative learning
  5. Pedagogic reason or a reform in the education system
  6. Economically or politically driven

Since there is an apparent diversity in the learners, the role of the teacher is being challenged and he or she must be flexible and able to perform different classroom functions;

  1. As Teacher:
    This is the core duties of a classroom educator; to teach students by imparting society and life relevant knowledge, to develop skills and inculcate positive values, promote appropriate attitude and behaviour and encourage holistic growth in home and in classroom (cognitive and affective).
  1. Facilitator:
    The teacher should be able to provide the most appropriate teaching style either one-on-one or via group to ensure optimal learning of the majority. The teacher as facilitator should be able to observe and analyze the diversity of his or her class and use their interests to keep everyone motivated and cooperative to each and everyone.
  1. Planner:
    Knowing what drives them and what pushes the students, the teacher as a planner should use his or her knowledge to create learning materials and lesson plans that spark everyone’s thinking thereby making them involved and feel welcomed.
  1. Evaluator:
    To truly gauge and measure the teacher’s success and the student’s growth, the teacher as evaluator should conduct regular formative and summative methodologies to determine if the class is going in the right direction. The results should be able to inform the teacher what particular area of competence or area of development should be given more priority and focus. The teacher can do self-assessment (can also apply to himself or herself), peer-assessment, regular assessment, periodic, and final assessment.
  1. Link between home, school, and community
    For me, this is one of the best roles a teacher can portray in the class. The home and school are the initial places where a child will learn and develop his or her values, behaviour and attitude, hence, it is important that appropriate intervention are being applied to ensure the sound and positive growth and development of the child. In line with this, learning the “good things” in school aren’t enough, to be a true active member of the society, one must contribute to its progress by being part of the solution. The teacher should encourage his or her students to share and practice the knowledge that they have to other so they can make a difference.

Multigrade class along with other forms of education (including non-formal education and alternative learning systems) are actually providing access and opportunity to those people who wish to finish their educational journey either for personal or professional growth. I also learned that difference in age and maturity is actually not a problem all the time, in some of the studies that I read before, most of the students establish close relationship with their peers despite disparity in age, in here, e can say that that differences actually add spice and different angle in the class making it more interesting and exciting. Third, teacher should undergo trainings before they can run a multigrade class since multigrade class has multidimensional needs compared from monograde – teacher should undergo cultural and diversity training, one-on-one and group level coaching, and multigrade instructional planning and designing to name a few. Furthermore, to make the students proactive in their community, the teacher should make his or her classroom as a “professional learning community” where everyone are being given with fair opportunity to express themselves in their own way so everyone will learn from one another. Last, I can see multigrade class as one of the Philippine’s promising solutions against the problems (some were mentioned above) of our education system because of its cost-effectiveness, viability, and flexibility.

EDS 111 Blog #8: “Professional Growth Through Beyond-the-Class Teaching”

The way I look at and regard teaching as a profession is more than just a statement of nobility and respect. Despite the mental demand and emotional requirements of this career, teachers are still facing the day with smile that is invulnerable against the challenges of teaching and passion that is tempered by invaluable years of teaching.

An effective and professional teacher is someone who is not just capable of sharing knowledge to his or her learners and strengthening the student’s moral values – instead, someone who goes beyond the concrete walls of his or her institution, someone whose vision is not just bound on the pillars of teaching but has a heart to make our society a better place.

Michael V. Lardizabal, MPA, is one of the teachers that I have met when I moved here in Quezon City last 2013. Mr. Lardizabal is 34 years old and has lived in San Jose, Bulacan for 7 years, married to Maryvie Lardizabal who is working in our office as our department’s Sales Assistant. He got his degree in Mass Communication in Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU), achieved his Master’s degree in Public Administration in the University of Caloocan City (UCC) and presently taking Doctor of Public Administration in the same school. Presently, “Mike”, as he wants to be addressed, is teaching at OLFU and UCC as Assistant Professor, teaching English and Literature for 10 years already.

Mike comes from a family of educators, his parents are both teachers in college and his brother is teaching in a private high school. He actually did not have any intention of teaching, because before, he found teaching as a boring and tedious career with minimal pay. But that notion changed when he accompanied his mother at the school her mother was teaching at. He was only in his college days, his heart pounded with awe and he was mesmerized as he saw how her mother taught passionately. That fateful moment changed his perspective and created a surge of excitement and interests within him. Then, with his parents support, he decided that he will be a teacher someday. Hence, the realization of his dream is now at the palm of his hands, and he is doing more than just teaching – that made choose him as one of the most outstanding teachers in their community.

In the years that he has been teaching, Mike says that having good relationship with colleagues is one of the biggest factors that made him stay. Of course, he also mentioned that the school, besides being a working environment of educators and leaders, should also be able to provide professional growth and support him financially.

I felt nostalgic when Mike shared his memorable experience. A few years back, he was chosen to be a coach for a group of students who have competed in an inter-city quiz bee competition. I could imagine his delight and happiness when his students won in the said event. I have been a contestant many times over for different school competitions when I was in high school so I could definitely relate to what Mike says when he said “ecstatic”.

Mike was selected as an adviser for a student organization in the school – English Society which aims to make the students proficient both in written and oral English. It was a progenitor of sorts because this was the first time the school has initiated the creation of such a student-based and academically –inclined organization. As an adviser, it was part of his task to take care of the funds, temporarily albeit, of the said group. One of his colleagues though robbed him of the funds, probably because of jealousy and also to create mischief and confusion. He brought the case to court. The plaintiff retorted with a slander case. Mike won his case – the teacher and was terminated from the school. The slander case was dismissed.

Further deep in our interview, Mike shared with me some of his experiences that have enriched my understanding of the issues our educational system is facing right now. He believes that there is a need to provide more training to teachers as well as personal growth and developmental programs. He says that the government should spend more money to teacher welfare on a holistic sense since their role as character builder and intellect media is very important in nation building. In a general sense, he thinks that the current K to 12 program would be favourable to our students and the country in the long run since it will prepare the students in the growing demands of the higher education and of the real world. He categorically stated his approval of the use of mother tongue as a language of learning and instruction. He says this can be reflected through student participation in class – when a student becomes at ease with the mode of instruction, they participate more and therefore, learn more. When asked if there is any urgent need for any post secondary and graduate studies specialization in the higher education institutions in the country, Mike says that what we have now is fine, we just need to enhance the curriculum.

But, what made Mike stand out is the fact that he is providing free English proficiency trainings in his community every week that run 3 hours every Weekends whenever he doesn’t have any prior commitments in his work. Also, his family is active in social outreach programs and they are also volunteers in Red Cross. Recently, Mike holds classes for the street children every year whenever he is staying in Cebu for vacation that usually runs a month. As we can see, being a teacher isn’t all about teaching inside the classroom, it’s about extending the learning opportunities of the learners and providing care and extra-service with or without compensation. Now this is professional growth through beyond-the-class teaching.

EDS 111 Blog #7: “My Mirror or Theirs?”

I can still remember way back in high school how strong (but not fatal in my account) peer pressure and merit expectation were. People, most of the time, expect and presume that I will always stand on stages with a plaque clasped on my hands or a medal hanging gracefully around my neck. I never been the grand top of our class or being the valedictorian most people wish for (honestly, I’m not one of those overly-competitive achievers that will climb the highest mountain and dive into the deepest trench to get an A+, a good grade and a genuine learning are fair enough for me). Whenever there are inter-school competitions that involve Science and English, I am one of those people that they are confidently claiming to be the winner. Our school population is rather small compared to other more known high schools (by the way, West Field Science School is where I spent my 1st to 2nd year), the good part of my story is that people will look at you as a smart person and the not-so-good part is the rest will think that all I ever do is to study, study, and study. I was surprised one time when I overheard in our canteen that some people got an impression that all my family members are valedictorian, I don’t play, and I’m very snob! Well, to clear things out, we are not a family of overly-competitive achievers, during weekends I play my Playstation minimum of 4 hours, and last I’m not a snob I guess my people skills aren’t develop yet.

Because of those fleeting clouds of impressions, merit expectations and our pre-conceived roles in our school, people tend to generalize us and they have created our own image and concepts of our individuality based from what they know and from their perspective in surface level. There was this instance when I secretly brought my gameboy in the classroom to play during break and lunch, one of my classmates told me that I should study and read books instead of playing a gameboy, “As an honor student, you should prioritize studying instead of killing your time.” And it was followed by, “Wow, I didn’t know that you are playing *name of game*, I thought all you ever do is read books and study haha.”

Well, this “Looking-glass-self theory” (conceptualized by Charles H. Cooley in 1902) created layers of positive and somehow negative effects to me. In the positive side, I was by some means obliged to stick on to their ideal version of me which in turn compelled me to study hard and minimize my play time. However, this isn’t making me happy in the long run and this isn’t me basically. Its apparent downside is the confusion that hazes ones identity and self-concept – these clouds directly affect our preferences and choices, decisions, and individuality. Yes it feels great when people look at you with respect and some sort of admiration but during a moment of solitude, a question starts lingering in my head, “Am I fulfilling their expectations for the good interest of my wellbeing or for the majority to accept ‘me’?”

As I grow old and up in my academic journey, I gradually realize that developing and embracing your traits, skills, and other elements of your identity is one of those crucial phases where people around you affect and influence them directly and indirectly. It is up to us whether we let their perspectives about our identity sink into our core and use that to build or destroy our inner self – we can actually use that as a leverage to improve ourselves, check for inconsistencies or live in an artificial world created by people around us wherein we are the marionette – which moves accordingly and submissively to the dextrous and skilful pull of strings attached to us.

EDS 111 Blog #6: Importance of Creativity in School

Recognizing and encouraging the potential and power of creativity in a classroom is equal to acknowledging the learner’s own learning styles and expression of his or her ideas. Curiosity is actually one of the triggers that ignites the child to explore and discover the things around him or her, and guided explorations usually result to the unfolding of new ideas which brings forth new set of information. This information can also be fused with the child’s current set of knowledge and skills so a better and more complex form of idea will be created. Creativity, fuelled with our encouragement and guidance together with child’s motivation, make classroom dynamics more interesting, exciting and interactive.

As teachers (whether in the industrial/corporate or academe setting) it is important that we use learning materials and employ teaching techniques that spark their creativity: Below are some of the tips based on my experience as head of my department and other tips that I’ve found on desk research:

  1. When asking for comments, suggestions and ideas, always practice “Green Light Thinking” – in Dale Carnegie, Green Light Thinking refers to the process of spontaneous and fluid method of thinking wherein all ideas are considered to be neutral, not absolutely correct or wrong since this thinking includes the own belief, perspective and experience of the one who is giving the suggestion and ideas, Once we gather all the information, we can now employ “Red Light Thinking” where we can now filter all the ideas and obtain all relevant, sound and viable ideas that are helpful to the main topic or problem.
  2. Provide lessons, activities and exercises that will require collaboration, physical, emotional and mental participation. For instance, all groups will draw on a cartolina the answer to the teacher’s question instead of just reciting it in front of class. Some may do drama, or spoof a commercial to express the idea or answer of their team.
  3. Lay options – creativity will be further enriched if the children have many options to play and learn with. Let them use what they’ve learned and their imagination to construct and express their ideas in their own way. It will be interesting to see how every student will use what they have to create connection between their idea and to the materials presented.

As teachers or managers of our own classroom, we have to remember to put room for creativity in our lessons by adding elements of flexibility, individual autonomy and self-expression. We also need to be creative more than anyone; thinking creatively means looking at things from our learners’ perspective, respecting viewpoints diversity, and classroom dynamics shouldn’t be restricted by rules, customs, or norms.

Halo-Halo Anyone?

Summer is here – the scorching sun melting down your body like a candle burning in the entire day, the humid air drying everything from including the moisture locked in our hair’s end tips, and the heat that make us run to the nearest store selling this infamous Filipino dessert that fortunately tumbles down the magnanimous dominance of summer over us, even temporarily. Imagine that mixture of colorful fruits and syrupy vegetables gently rolling in and filling that tall parfait glass, crowned with white and smooth ice shavings, showered with silky splash of evaporated milk and finished with a spoonful of ube halaya and leche flan that screams “hallelujah” as it sends you in cloud nine as the mixture of all these swirls in your mouth. All rise to the halo-halo.

Everyone that I know likes halo-halo, well who doesn’t? If you will look closely onto one, whether from your favourite “merienda” stall by that dusty road or from those posh restaurants that sell overpriced halo-halo because of their brand and out-of-the-world ingenuity (including ingredients outsourced from the cave of wonders) a glass of halo-halo is still composed of delectable ingredients all possessing differences and variation in colors, texture, shapes and taste. It is actually the mixture and diversity of the ingredients that make halo-halo probably the king of desserts whether it is summer or rainy.

Just like in a classroom, the students are the stars – they are the most important elements in a classroom ecosystem, without them there are no teachers that will do the teaching, facilitating and guiding. What makes a typical classroom interesting is the students’ diversity – the differences and mixtures of race and ethnicity, talents and skills, social beliefs and principles, age, gender, and learning styles converging in one learning hall. Sometimes it’s the differences that make life difficult but on the other hand, it is the differences that make life more exciting, more interesting, and more vibrant (Who wants a halo-halo with only one ingredient?).

Addressing and celebrating diversity in a classroom is about providing differentiated approaches to different students and employing neutral instructional materials and lessons without bias, prejudice, and personal subjectivity. To be an effective teacher, the same should be able to create connection to his and her students the students to their peers in the class.  You know that a teacher embraces diversity when he or she has the ability to smoothly establish social and cultural linkages to different learners in a single classroom so they feel welcomed, appreciated and accepted. Teachers use learner’s own experience and background to widen their perspectives to the bigger picture outside the classroom which results to the students developing deep understanding about their academic lessons. Each student must complement each other by embracing and accepting everyone’s differences through respect and openness, this creates a heterogeneous environment with one goal and walking in one direction.

To go beyond superficial level, teachers must first observe, analyze and understand learners’ distinct characteristics before creating a lesson plan and preparing his or her instructional materials. The learning tools should go well with everyone and it shouldn’t be selective in nature to avoid unnecessary frictions and misinterpretations inside the classroom.

“If our goal is to reach all students and have as many students as possible achieve at high levels, then we need to understand where they’re coming from, how their families are rearing them, and the kinds of values and approaches to learning and using language that families are using so that at least we understand what kids are coming to school with,” by Elise Trumbull, coauthor of the new ASCD book Managing Diverse Classrooms: How to Build on Students’ Cultural Strengths (2008).

My question is, would you like a tall glass of halo-halo filled delightfully with assorted ingredients which have different flavours, textures and tastes that taste great altogether or a glass of orange juice which is well…orange?

Reference:

Sloan, Willona N. February 2008. ASCD. Celebrating Students’ Diverse Strengths. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/education-update/feb08/vol50/num02/Celebrating-Students’-Diverse-Strengths.aspx on March 11, 2015

EDS 180 Blog #4: “My Most Recent Multigrade Class Experience”

There are many restrictions that hinder children and adult learners in attending formal school and mainstream education, reasons may include physical disabilities, geographical boundaries, limitation in finances and resources, and other intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect their educational journey. However, because of the advent of non-formal education (including the Alternative Learning System), people are now being given with wider and viable access towards education. Pangarap Foundation Inc. is one of those medium and enabling entities that provide entry to the people who have the dedication, interest and goal of pursuing quality learning despite the challenges within their lives. This is where Alternatives Learning System (ALS) of non-formal education will come in as a hero and lifesaver to make quality learning possible despite the mentioned challenges possible.

Coombs and Ahmed (1974:8) defined nonformal education as “any organized, systematic, educational activity carried on outside the framework of the formal system to provide selected types of learning to particular subgroups in the population. ALS/nonformal education usually happens outside the walls of a classroom taking place in barangays halls, community learning centers, within school premise or even at home and being managed by learning facilitators, teachers etc.

It was February 28, 2015 when I first experience hands-on and personal volunteering anchored on community outreach and literacy service. In the morning, I was in our site in Quezon City since my department (Sales & Strategic Marketing) launched a residential building and our multi-storey clubhouse together with our clients and city officials. When the sun set high in the middle of sky and after having a very quick lunch, I excused myself (discreetly “escaped” from the event) and drove from Quezon City to Pangarap Foundation’s Community Development Center in Paliparan Site III, Dasmarinas Cavite. I somehow got lost along the way and eventually reached my destination after 3 hours, My exhaustion was easily pulled off and replaced by happiness, excitement and little tenseness when I finally saw the Pangarap Foundation sign heading on their 4-storey building.

I met Ms. Cherry Samson, who is the CDC Coordinator and Education Program Staff of the foundation, and introduced myself, my work, my volunteering intention as a student from UP Open University. I told her that apart from being an academic requirement, I mentioned to her that my last community outreach activity was around in year 2010 and being able to help actually gives me an unexplainable sense of satisfaction and joy. While seated in their library, Ms. Samson, who always wears a warm smile, explained to me the brief background of the foundation, she told me that Panagarap Foundation is an NGO that is organized in Pasay City and Dasmarinas City to provide social, livelihood, spiritual and educational assistance to the children.

After our conversation, I told her that apart from gaining important insight and information about the foundation and its mission, vision, and its current operations, I asked for her permission to actually be part of the foundation’s program by doing a simple and personal literacy service to the present children in their center on that day. Ms. Samson told me that a group of students in the early afternoon did a reading session to the students so I asked if I could also do the same and start an afternoon reading session. Upon immediate approval, she and her assistants gathered 15 students (ages 11 to 15) in their library (4th floor of the building) and arranged rows of chairs and a table in front where I can sit and read a book for everyone. Once everyone had settled, I introduced myself and I asked the students to stand and introduce themselves one-by-one starting with their nickname, age, their hobbies or interests, and their dream job or career in the future (ice breaker) – 15 participants are all scholars (elementary and high school) of the foundation wherein they receive allowance and their tuition fee are being shouldered by the foundation. I read the story “Ibong Adarna” (summarized version for early elementary students) and ended the reading session with a Quizbee-themed recitation to check if they are listening the whole time (more than half of the students haven’t encountered Ibong Adarna yet).  We ended the session by eating snacks altogether capped with light conversation about our daily lives.

My stay in the development center of the foundation lasted for about 2 hours, the session is more on sharing memories in school and talking about themselves than the actual reading and recitation activity. I believe that this kind of approach will make them more involved by making the classroom “student-centered” then “learning-centered” will follow. The short yet positive experience in multigrade classroom interaction taught me to value and appreciate the blessings that I have (tangible and intangible) and make the most out of it by sharing it to others even in the simplest way, and always be part of the society’s solution to its problem.

Reference:
Rogers, Alan. Infed Org. Looking again at non-formal and informal education towards a new paradigm. Retrieved from http://infed.org/mobi/looking-again-at-non-formal-and-informal-education-towards-a-new-paradigm/ on March 9, 2015

EDS 111 Blog #4: Opening and Widening Academic Access through Internet

Without a doubt, technology keeps shaping and changing how we learn and teach as we progress through time. Now, we are no longer confined by the limitations of conventional and traditional education thanks to the power of internet. Internet is able to open doors of opportunities and widens access towards quality education, overcoming physical boundaries, cultural transitions, and differences in space and time. With education harnessing the potential of internet, many people are now enjoying a new mode of teaching and learning that is not limiting and discriminating but personally and professionally empowering.

Internet has significantly and exponentially created (and still creating) an age where almost everything can be accessed, processed, and utilized digitally through the online web. I am always imagining life wherein most transactions and actions be done digitally, within the circle of our comfort zone.

Internet is probably one of the best partners education could ever have in this fast-paced environment where technology is almost everywhere. Below are some of the major breakthroughs of the internet to education:

  1. It created a new platform and system of learning and teaching, hence the advent of ODEL universities. The scarcity of classrooms and other facilities that are vital and essential in teaching can now be disregard because of the existence of virtual classrooms and other forms of platforms.
  2. Learning institutions can now take advantage of digital resources and materials like textbooks and other media. These materials can be use over and over again without affecting its quality unlike hardbound textbooks which deteriorates over time.
  3. Internet diversifies and expands the information access of everyone, making global information widely available in few clicks and types. Though teacher, in cooperation with parents, should guide and monitor the internet activities of the students to ensure that the internet will be utilized for good and not the other way around.
  4. Internet serves as a channel of off-the-school collaboration for learners, teachers and parents wherein issues and queries pertaining to academics, child’s performance and other child-related topics can be discussed.
  5. Lower cost compared to the compounded cost of textbooks and other learning materials (not universally applicable).

EDS 180 Blog#3: Education for the Modern Times

As education continues to progress and widens its scope to all types of learners, the method of teaching also expands to possibly fill-in all the gaps that yesterday type of education cannot do. Some of the passive components of conventional and traditional mode of teaching are no longer effective in equipping the students in the challenges and issues rising from the modern time we are living in. Memorization, recitation, identification and similar activities are not enough to train learners in executing tasks that require sound judgement skills, self-management, problem solving, research and validation, utilizing and maximizing technology, and information synthesizing.

According to George Lucas Educational Foundation, 21st century skills that are needed by the present generation of learners are the following:

  1. Personal and social responsibility
  2. Planning, critical thinking, reasoning, and creativity
  3. Strong communication skills, both for interpersonal and presentation needs
  4. Cross-cultural understanding
  5. Visualizing and decision making
  6. Knowing how and when to use technology and choosing the most appropriate tool for the task

And this is where Project-based learning or PBL will come in. PBL supports the students in developing skills in a society where communication, knowledge and ability to maximize technology and resources are highly regarded and appreciated. Learning that are founded with theories and fused with actual application for the learners to achieve a heightened level of learning traditional teaching can’t provide.

Here are the benefits of PBL or authentic learning (learning based on experience and actual application of the theories, principles and terms) to the students according to Project Foundry:

  1. Students have greater control over what and how they will learn
  2. Develop sense of educational ownership through discipline and self-management
  3. They can acquire complex and real-world skills needed to progress in the modern world
  4. Establish regular dialogue with teachers instead of just being an audience
  5. Hands-on learning
  6. Students are able to utilize different media and technology for exploration and value-add learning

References:

Edutopia. 2007. Why is Project-Based Learning Important. Retrieved at http://www.edutopia.org/project-based-learning-guide-importance on February 3, 2015

Project Foundry. PBL: The Better Way to Learn. Retrieved at http://projectfoundry.org/project-based-learning-explained/why-project-based-learning.html on February 3, 2015