Developing an Educational Technology Implementation Plan (DETIP 2015) was organized by Ateneo de Manila University in partnership with Google last May 25-29, 2015. Below is the rationale of the five-day workshop:
We invite applications for this intensive fice-day workshop, where participants will be exposed to a process for integrating technology into educational settings to enhance learning and teaching outcomes. When introduced appropriately in lower-income countries, technology-enhanced learning has delivered superior learning benefits that outperformed other interventions such as smaller classes or teacher performance incentives alone. However, more often than not, the use of technology in education is perceived as “a solution in search of a problem.” As such, in this workshop, we focus on the knowledge, skills and tools that educational leaders need in order to analyze the educational problems that they face, at a fine-grained level that allows the nature and magnitude of their problems to be identified. This gap analysis in turn informs educational leaders in taking a scientific approach to designing technology-enhanced learning environments that aim to improve educational outcomes. By the end of the workshop, participants will have the foundational knowledge to sketch an initial plan for implementing technology in their respective classrooms, departments, schools, universities and educational programs.
Participants are expected to do some preparation before the workshop starts, including background reading. They will receive mentoring by email to identify a few topics of interest, out of which they will pick one to focus on during the workshop. Throughout the workshop, participants will receive hands-on training, feedback and support to 1) develop tools they can use to identify key learning needs and goals, and to 2) identify barriers to achieving these learning goals in their local contexts. They will practice what they learn through hands-on exercises, group presentations and school visits. On the last day, participants will present their work to other participants and possibly high-level visitors.
The five-day workshop started with a welcome talk from the Head of the ADMU Information Systems Department, Dr. Ma. Mercedes Rodrigo. This was followed by a situational analysis of the learning gaps in the Philippines by Ms. Clarisse Ligunas of the Department of Education. I am impressed by the presentation of Clarisse as she gave a central office perspective of schools in the Philippines. In addition, it is good to see young and energetic DepEd officials in the central office. Her experience as a public school teacher in Samar contributed a lot to her proposed changes in the management level of DepEd.
The main speaker of the workshop was Dr. Matthew Kam of Google and based in New York, USA. Dr. Kam was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and University of California, Berkeley before he was employed at Google as a User Experience Researcher. With his background in human-computer interaction, Dr. Kam specializes in the use of ICT for education specifically in low-income countries. His ten-year experience of an educational technology implementation plan in India was both inspiring and informative. The workshop emphasizes on the importance of contextual analysis.
Jun Karren Caparoso, Charity Mulig and I attended as a team for this workshop. We represented the College of Education ICT Team. The ICT team have been involved in providing ICT-integration trainings to both public and private school teachers in Iligan City and its neighboring cities since 2004. Over the years, the college has established linkages with WorldLinks Philippines, UNESCO Bangkok Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, Google Apps for Education, UP NISMED and Intel Education.
Prior to the workshop, the three of us were asked to create an educational technology plan. The team wanted to incorporate whatever knowledge and strategy we learned from the training to:
– Develop a tool that can identify factors/variables that may predict the success of implementation of training participants
– Devise a mechanism to identify the appropriate participants for future teacher training programs/courses
– Assess the training recipients’ current level of ICT integration
During the workshop, all the activities were conducted through the teams and so we had minimal interactions with the other schools. On the first day, the problem analysis was done by defining a specific subskill or content area to address. We searched for validated instrument to assess this subskill or knowledge. The team had to identify a concrete problem and answered the question: why is this a problem?
On the second day, Dr. Kam talked about contextual analysis in low-resource educational settings. In the afternoon, we performed contextual analysis of our own classrooms, departments or institutions. Before we went home, the groups presented their findings from the contextual analysis.
On the third day, Cyra Quinquito of Kollab gave a talk on Google Play for Education. She talked about the educational content of Google Play and how this can be used in the classroom. Dr. Kam talked about how to develop an educational content strategy. Then, we were asked to search online for Google for Education and other content repositories for apps, content, etc. relevant to the educational goals that we have identified on Day 1.
On the fourth day, Dr. Kam talked about how to develop an educational technology implementation plan. He talked about his experience in India wherein he used non-data powered mobile phone games as English language learning tools for children in depressed areas. Some findings were heart-wrenching as Indians still practice the caste system. However, it was also very heartwarming as the technology really transformed the learning process of the students.
On the fifth day, it was more of a wrapping-up event as we presented our educational technology implementation plans through a 1-minute presentation. Then, the participants can move around and chat with other participants regarding similar plans.
All in all, it was a great opportunity to collaborate with other educators and to learn from experts. In this workshop, we were able to identify researchable areas on ICT4E, gain insight on how to develop research instruments and learn best practices as well as experiences from fellow practitioners.