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EDTECH: A TOUCH OF BETTER LEARNING IN THE PHILIPPINES by: Miss Ellen C. Macaraeg Principal II, Tenejero Elementary School City of Balanga

posted Jan 25, 2014, 4:34 PM by Edeliza Manalaysay

        “Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.” – Chinese Proverb

In the past, our mom and dad used to say that during their time in class, what they usually do is listen to what their teacher explain, copy some long lectures on the board and participate in class discussion. No high-tech gadgets are needed. No Ipad or tablets. No smartphones. Only traditional classroom with a teacher, surrounded by students while holding a stick and a chalk on his hand can be seen in the day-to-day scenario during those past times. However, this is already the 21st century and technological advancement is increasing faster than any bullet train or fastest machines that were invented.

As you can see, the younger generations today are in the so-called “Digital” era especially in the Philippines. Educational Technology is needed in our country. So, what is Education Technology anyway? What are the advantages of EdTech? We will find out: 

According to Wikipedia, Educational technology, sometimes termed EdTech, is the study and ethical practice of facilitating e-learning, which is the learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. 

The purpose of technology in education is to provide students with a broader, more specific, and magnified environment where they can learn. Technology gives students more ways to learn, and lets them pick among these ways according to their individual personalities, preferences, and needs. Technology also provides students with information that is easily accessible and extremely diverse and numerous such that the students are able to learn anything that they want at any given time. 

So what are the benefits of applying EdTech for the students? One, it can provide easy-to-access course materials like teachers posting the course material or important information on a course website, which means students can study at a time and location they prefer and can obtain the study material very quickly. It can increase the student’s motivation because computer-based instruction can give instant feedback to students and explain correct answers. Moreover, a computer is patient and non-judgmental, which can give the student motivation to continue learning. EdTech also make subjects like Math easier to learn. Many different types of educational software are designed and developed to help children or teenagers to learn specific subjects. Examples include pre-school software, computer simulators, and graphics software. Class websites, blogs and wikis become assets to the teachers as well as to the students. There are lots of benefits that give a thumbs-up to EdTech.

On the other side, EdTech can be present in most of the schools in the Philippines yet it just isn't equally available to all of them. The state of educational technology in the Philippines is very closely related to the state of the people of the Philippines itself - hierarchal and divided by different social structures and labels. The level of technology that people that are coming from different social structures are always somewhat different to extremely different, depending on the gap between these two hierarchies. Some may have almost complete facilities of technological aspects in learning and others are still lacking on some of the tools or concepts to be used in order to achieve the best performance of EdTech.

 

To sum it up, according to some researches,¬ with regards to our Asian neighbours especially in Singapore and Japan, the schools in the Philippines are less competitive and competent. The adequacy of computer in school varies directly with the student’s performance. Generally speaking, the ratio of computer per students in our schools is 1:10. Meaning, each computer is equivalent to 10 students who can use it. Still, there are suggestions like adding  more computer units, plus proper training to our teachers to be an effective way in coping with other schools. To maintain the existence of EdTech, the government supports the spread of EdTech in most of the schools in the Philippines.

Indeed, we should not neglect EdTech. With EdTech, Filipino students will be more educated as well as competitive and competent in their studies plus an expert in using gadgets as their tool for learning. 

“You must be the change you want to see in the world,” as what Mahatma Gandhi had said.

Soon, youngsters will thank their mom and dad that they were born in this era and experience the TOUCH of a better advancement of education and technology.


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