Outstanding mentors show how to teach new technologyBy Stephen Norries A. Padilla
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Three outstanding teachers with a pioneering approach to education that inspired students to study and learn with the aid of modern technology were honored recently by Microsoft Philippines.
During its 7th Innovative Teachers Leadership Awards (ITLA), Microsoft Philippines cited Shateen Serana of Tuan Datu Hadji Abdullah Nuño Memorial High School in Zamboanga City, Edalyn Olis of Lala National High School in Lanao del Norte and Estelito Mendoza of Baguio City National High School in Baguio City.
Chosen from 10 finalists, the winners each received a laptop from Acer and a plaque. They will represent the Philippines in the regional meet in the last week of March in Auckland, New Zealand.
Serana’s project, “Mangrove Planting,” won in the Innovation in Challenging Context category. Olis’ “E-Dokyo ITo” topped the Best in Collaboration category, while Mendoza’s “Learning beyond the Classroom and Making a Difference” won in the Extending Beyond Classroom category.
Serana said it was difficult to implement mangrove planting in her school where majority of the students were poor.
Her initial plan was to simply let her graduating students experience using the Internet. She solicited funds from different stakeholders in the fishing community, where her school was located, to pay for Internet time.
But since the school was near the sea, they decided to plant mangroves, too, thus helping preserve the environment.
Olis’ E-Dokyo ITo, short for environmental documentary and information technology, allowed fourth year high school students to immerse themselves in the barangay (village) to look for and discuss existing problems. The students were also tasked to help villagers address their problems.
The entire process of searching out and solving community problems was turned into a documentary. Students presented their work to the class for more discussions and sharing of experiences.
Mendoza’s project, which was somewhat similar to Olis’, let students choose any social problem. Students dealt with issues ranging from poverty to making people smile more often.
After selecting a problem, the students had to come up with a plan “to make a difference,” then implement it.
In one case, Mendoza said his students helped a cancer patient through Facebook. The students created a fan page for the patient to help raise awareness of his problem and generate much needed funds.
Many people offered their help, surprising not only the students and the patient but even Mendoza himself.
The 10 finalists were chosen by Microsoft from submissions coursed through the Department of Education (DepEd). Teachers across the country submitted project abstract posters and other documents online.
The top 10 finalists were interviewed by a panel of seven judges.
Other ITLA finalists were:
Cherry May Foronda, Don Manuel A. Javellana Memorial National High School (Panabo City, Davao del Norte); Erliza Matacot, Dasmariñas East National High School (Cavite); Ernani Fernandez Jr., Palo National High School (Leyte); Janet Barredo, Information and Communication Technology School (City of San Fernando, Pampanga); Lolita Rivera, Siaton National High School (Negros Oriental); Lorelee Asignacion, Bata National High School (Bacolod City, Negros Occidental), and Pilita Elumir, Jose Marie Locsin Memorial High School (Negros Oriental).
ITLA is the highlight of Microsoft Partners in Learning’s (MPL) annual innovative education forum. The event is geared toward the improvement of Filipino students’ learning experience by integrating technology in their curriculum and introducing methods that support it.
MPL is a global initiative for education that empowers different schools, students and educators by providing them access to technology and by equipping them with proper training and tools that enable them to utilize effectively information technology in the learning process and improvement of student performance.
In the Philippines, it is being undertaken in cooperation with the DepEd.
“With our Partners in Learning program, we are giving people the chance to become globally competitive when it comes to utilizing technology in the learning process,” said John Bassey, managing director of Microsoft Philippines.
“Microsoft aims to help improve education through the use of technology, customized training and strong partnerships in a way that unlocks the potential of students, educators and schools,” he added.
During the event, Microsoft also introduced the Vibal Group of Companies (VGC) as one of its official partners in improving Filipino students’ learning experience.
Esther Vibal, VGC chairperson, said they had “big hopes and expectations from this partnership.”
Ruth Legaspi-Fuentes, DepEd special programs and research head, briefly outlined how the government was continuously developing the students’ learning process.