By: Geraldin L. Taroballes, Jalandoni Memorial NHS
With the current policy of no face-to-face classes in the Philippine Basic Education, teachers, parents, and learners start to rely on technology as the answer on the methods of transfer of learning. Teachers in different schools are mostly millennials (Gen Y, Gen X, Gen Z) while others are baby boomers (56-76 years old). This shows that each Generation has its own experience in terms of the technological use.
Here are my personal thoughts on technology in education.
Teachers need to be capacitated with the new platforms of education. John Dewey says,“If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” Most teachers are technologically literate. However, some are in need to be honed in the use of tools for teaching. It is good that there are educators who still thrive to learn on how to use technology. The sad news is: other teachers refuse to relearn which truly rob the children of tomorrow. They need to step up in terms of learning these technologies.
Teachers should never stop learning. Professional growth after the pre-service training must be continuous. There are those who pursue post-graduate education, while there are those who are content with their college degree. Learning is not only limited to formal studies. This could be done through short-term courses or by reading books about current strategies in teaching. The use of ICT is a need in today’s generation. One of the K to 12 skills is technological literacy. How can a teacher share this literacy if he refuses to learn? Age should not be a deterrent. It is of no excuse. There are real-life individuals who are senior citizens yet more adept at technology than those who are in their 40s or 50s. Mark Twain says, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
Technology is not enough for the success in the teaching-learning process. According to Keith Krueger, “It is important to remember that educational software, like textbooks, is only one tool in the learning process. Neither can be a substitute for well-trained teachers, leadership, and parental involvement”. I find it funny when parents get emotional (angry even) when they think of the proposal that DepEd will shift to online learning (for the moment during the pandemic). Some clamor that the burden of teaching will be passed on to them. I am both a teacher and a parent. As a parent, one of my responsibilities is to monitor and teach my children. It is not a responsibility solely of a teacher. Success in the learning of a child should have the involvement of the parents, the leadership of the administrators, and the dedication and capacity of teachers.
Technology can NEVER replace good and committed teachers. Bill Gates said, “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” The great news is that proper technology in the hands of a good and committed teacher would be transformational. The teacher is still the most important in terms of the way learning is transferred.
The battle against COVID-19 still has not been won. Educating the youth should not stop and the Department of Education is racking its brains on how to produce life-long learners despite the pandemic. The use of technology is a great tool in the teaching-learning process. It “just” needs a well-equipped and motivated teacher.
by Geraldin L. Taroballes, JMNHS
Uncertainty, joblessness, panic, anxiety, hunger, discomfort, and depression. These are the words that one can immediately think about if we talk about the pandemic- the COVID 19. Many things have changed from the widespread of this disease. There is now limitation in mobility such as having a smaller number of public vehicles that cater large number of commuters. People need to walk for hours just to go to work as mass public transport was suspended. Job security is under attack specially those working in entertainment and recreation industries, food and hotel industries as well as those who are involved in the construction sectors. People who used to earn daily need to depend on the government for monetary assistance and the list goes on and on.
With the incoming school year, teachers, parents, and learners need to face the reality that almost nothing is going back to normal unless a vaccine will be developed and utilized. However, education is a basic human right and despite the pandemic, no one must be left behind. With many Filipinos who are below the poverty line and who were badly afflicted by this phenomenon, will they be able to avail quality education?
This article wishes to share some thoughts on how teachers, parents, and learners can positively deal with the pandemic.
For the Parents
Be open with new opportunities. It is sad to say that the pandemic has affected almost all kinds of trade. Workers involved in land, air and sea transportation, food and tourism industry and the like are all affected by the pandemic. The once secure source of income has dried up with no other available means as source of living. This is the time that the affected parents can be more innovative in finding other ways to earn a living. They might resort to online selling, selling goods or selling barbecue in stalls and the like.
Learn how to “teach”. Parents have become busy with finding food for the hungry stomachs of their children. Sometimes, they have forgotten about other responsibility such as monitoring their children’s academic status. It is the high time to learn how to “teach” their own children as the Department of Education is going full blown to online and modular modes of delivery.
For the Learners
Be more responsible. Learners usually joke around and say that they like going to school because they get to have their “baon.” With this pandemic, learners may level up and be more responsible when it comes to learning as they need to read through the whole text without the usual guidance of a teacher in a face-to-face scenario. They can independently follow schedules regularly and not make an excuse that their schoolwork can be done haphazardly because of the absence of a teacher.
For the Teachers
Be flexible. Old dogs are hard to teach, they say. However, this does not exempt Generation Z and the millennial teachers as they could also become stubborn when it comes to accepting new things from the Department of Education. They should have an open mindset when it comes to change.
Learn continuously. The online mode of delivery is not usual in the Philippine setting. Thus, there are numerous technical things that need to be learned especially if we deal with distance and/or online teaching and learning. With less than two months before the opening of class, teachers can spend their time wisely and productively in learning the craft.
For the Teachers, Parents, and Learners
Pray. There is nothing more powerful than prayer. God is in control and He knows what is best for everyone. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” Jeremiah 29:11
The challenges brought about by the pandemic is different to each person and each family. Some are blessed to be at the comfort of their homes watching Netflix while other families struggle to even feed themselves a decent meal because of the loss of income. No one is exempted from the ill effects of COVID-19. Let us just hope and pray and work together as one Filipino nation in winning the war against the invisible enemy.
LALICE JOY J. ARQUINTILLO
Head Teacher III, Filipino
Jalandoni Memorial National High School
They say time, money and energy cannot be enjoyed by an individual at the same time. A young person can have both energy and time but not money. A young adult can have both energy and money but not time. An elderly person can have both time and money but not energy.
With the passage of House Bill Number 5509 on its third and final reading in the House Representatives, the lowering of the Optional Retirement Age from 60 to 56 of government workers is timely especially for teachers. Here are the top reasons why this bill should approve by the House of Senate as well.
One of the skills being honed by the K to 12 curriculum is to produce technologically literate learners. A teacher near his or her retirement age might not be skilled in the digital aspects. Thus, difficult for an old dog to learn new tricks. It is possible that despite the requirements needed by teachers in this digital era, teachers no longer have the drive to learn new skills.
Teaching is a great and noble profession that is done out of pure service and not merely monetary rewards. With these points, it is a pressing issue that the retirement age be lowered from 60-56. With their early retirement, teacher can still have time, money, and energy.