ICT education should bridge tech gaps between teacher, student – DepEd
MANILA, Phillippines – With the emerging trend in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education, the Department of Education (DepEd) is addressing technology gaps among teachers and students.
DepEd's Bureau of Curriculum Development Director Jocelyn DR. Andaya said in a speech during the Education Summit last December 5, that closing the technological gaps in ICT is the first step to enhancing the quality of education in the Philippines.
"For the framework to work, a transformational and enabling environment must be in place. While the learners are digital natives, most of the teachers today are digital immigrants," she said.
Students are all digital natives – fluent "speakers" of the digital language of computers, video games, and the internet, while teachers are digital immigrants who were not born into the digital world but have adopted many aspects of the new technology. Both terms were coined by Marc Prensky in 2001.
It is within this context that DepEd has been working in terms of closing the technological gaps in ICT. Andaya also said that teachers should adapt to technological advances in education to allow maximum learning with the use of modern gadgets.
In the consultative workshop during the Education Summit, school heads from all over the country raised their concerns regarding ICT integration.
According to them, school heads must have enough capacity and appreciation of the benefits of ICT through proper resource management. They also stressed the importance of strategic external partnerships from private sectors.
To address this, they suggested that a regular training program for teachers be developed and periodic ICT fora be held where teachers across all levels can exchange ideas to advance the quality of ICT education in the country.
To kickstart the integration of the ICT program, DepEd initiated the Learners’ Information System (LIS) that shows real-time registration of learners enrolled in public schools.
LIS is a tool to manage information and seeks to promote transparency, informed decision making, and empowerment at different levels of the organization. (READ: The Philippines needs an ICT revolution, now)
Since its installation, LIS has allowed DepEd to generate total public school enrollment based on the actual registration of learners.
Inclusive ICT education
Andaya also stressed the role of information technology in harnessing the abilities of students under the Special Education (SPED) Program.
"For SPED, ICT can also support learners with special needs through the help of adaptive and assistive devices and technology. These tools are used to assist the learners with disabilities to maintain and improve their function capabilities, thus able to meet the same competencies," Andaya said. (READ: Education and the Internet for a sustainable PH)
To fully realize this, Andaya said that teachers should understand that ICT is both a platform and tool for delivering instructions.
"ICT integration in digital literacy focuses on learning about ICT itself, how the technology works, and how it is used in addressing the need for inclusive education," she added. (READ: Education and the Internet for a sustainable PH)
Andaya emphasized that to bridge the technological divide among educators and students, the challenge is to develop teachers who do not just teach, but also innovate. Part of the challenge is making advancement not via competition, but collaboration.
"As educators, our job is not to prepare kids for something. Rather, our job is to help kids learn to prepare themselves for anything," Andaya said. – Rappler.com