Foundational change at the academic level
For students who have been exposed to the wonders of technology from the time of infancy, it’s critical to ensure that educators themselves are prepared to leverage how technology will impact their engagement with students.
“Today’s youth are the digital natives of our day,” says Glenny Laping, an English and Values teacher from the public high school of Punta Engaño, in Cebu.
Mary Anthony Sierras, instructional technology specialist from Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan, agrees that today’s generation of kids who were born and raised in technology are different from the youth of generations past. Technology is so embedded in their lives that “If you take away technology from kids, it’s like ripping out one of their senses,” Sierras observes.
Laping who is 30 years old – himself a millennial and a ‘digital native’ – agrees with this notion. He observes that it is this very nature of today’s student that is shaping the kind of teacher that the academe should be producing and developing.
Sierras and Laping are Microsoft Ambassadors, which means both teachers advocate using technology in their teaching methods.
Teachers are also realizing that technology in teaching is not just limited to Computer Science subjects or IT departments. As an English teacher and a guidance counselor at his school, Laping has decided to promote the proper use of technology in his community.
“(Many) students are exposed to technology but are not using it productively,” says Laping. “Some of them drop out or cut class because of improper use – like through games or entertainment. We are attracting them to go back to school through the proper use of technology.”
Laping says that today’s educators are not fully aware of how to correctly use the tools they have in teaching. “They think PowerPoint is just a glorified Manila paper or flashing something on the screen but there is more to it than that. You can conduct online quizzes. You can do distance learning. You can record your lecture so that you can send this to a student who needs more coaching,” he says. “We teach them to maximize Excel. With the right formula, what would take you three days to finish when you compute the grades with a calculator – in 15 minutes you’re done. You have more time for yourself and your family, or more time to engage with your students.”
According to Clarissa Segismundo, Education Programs Lead of Microsoft Philippines, the use of technology in shaping young minds as a means towards nation building is an advocacy that the tech giant has been passionate about.
In the Philippines, Microsoft and the Department of Education (DepEd) are working together to provide all 47,000 public schools access to technology that can enhance learning in the classroom, one of which is Microsoft Office 365, a tool that allows teachers and students to collaborate, share school work and be more productive anytime, anywhere.
“We are preparing the students to be more employable for the future of the Philippines. By empowering our educators, they are able to impart skills like computational, critical and analytical thinking to their students which are needed in the 21st century workplace. This is supported by Microsoft’s effort to include the school principals and administrators in the ICT training programs; educational institutions need to know how make the right investments in the right technologies, and the ability to continuously maintain and upgrade their systems when necessary,” explains Segismundo
How well the future citizens of our country will benefit from is something many hope will be seen and felt very soon.
“Technology is a tool and not a replacement. With its proper use, it can help good teachers become even better,” Segismundo closes.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Microsoft Philippines, the local subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, has been constantly bringing innovation and making its technology available to Filipino businesses and individuals since 1995. As a committed and trusted partner in nation-building, Microsoft Philippines has made it its mission to fuel growth and healthy communities, as well as transform locally-based businesses and empower them to compete in the global economy.
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