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EDUC 294 Course Reflection

I am a freshman MA student in UP, and EDUC 294 is the first course I was able to take in my pursuit of being an EdTech major. Certainly enough, EDUC 294 proved to be a great way to start. Coming straight from earning my college degree, I can clearly see the difference in teaching approach as compared to college courses. In the capable hands of Professor Elenita Que, we were greatly nurtured on exploring new innovative ways towards the modern classroom while making effective use of collaborative learning.

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Before I started on this course, I was already using social networking in managing my classes. Thanks to EDUC 294, I was made aware of vast new ways to further maximize the use of technology in the classroom such as Quipper. I only found out about Quipper during my EDUC 294 course; and to say the least; me and my classes are now avid and regular users of this innovative platform.

All of us were greatly encouraged on making effective presentations. I myself became more adept in the use and exploration of new presentation materials such as Prezi. It was also through this course that I was encouraged to attend the International Conference on Teacher Education 2014 last August 21-23. Not only did I learn a ton from the speakers, but I was also able to meet and connect with many other educators from the country. Needless to say, my PLN (Personal Learning Network) got a whole lot bigger.

The use of educ190.edu20.org greatly eased the handling of the course where you never miss an update (which is a chore in classes where you rely on note taking) and most relevant resources are available online. The use of Mahara undoubtedly made me more proficient in handling and writing blog content. All in all, EDUC 294 was a great eye-opener for me and I could not have asked for more on the way it was handled.  And of course, the fact that there was always delicious food inside the class didn’t hurt  Laughing

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EDUC 294 Lesson Study

The journey of our EDUC 294 course has been both challenging and invaluably informative. And to conclude this journey, we were up for another fitting challenge; a lesson study that would allow us to put what we learned into practice.

In developing our lesson study, the first step was to agree on one specific subject to cover. This was not particularly easy considering that the individuals in our group came from different teaching practices (English, Mathematics, Physics, Computers). To start, we agreed on a Science topic to cover since we have two members (out of five) on this discipline and allow us to have greater support on the lesson study. Personally, I thought a Science topic really would be a great ground to cover to its already wide base of tech materials that we can use.

For the specifics of the study, we aimed to develop conceptual understanding of science concepts through computer mediated activities. As per Teacher Joni (a Physics educator), this would be a great issue too cover considering the difficulty of conducting science experiments in actual classroom settings. In actual classrooms, not only are experiment materials limited, but working on real equipment/materials may poses hazards to students. Working on actual experiments may also bring about non-ideal environments/factors that may hinder the results and understanding of the activities. And our group believed that with a computer aided simulations for these experiments, we may be able to present ideal and controlled activities with little to no hazard to the participants.

Sir Joni was kind enough to offer his class in Batangas State University Integrated School as the participants in our conducted study. His fourth-year class was a great choice since their classroom was already equipped with sufficient computer/equipment resources that we used. We finalized our specific lesson to be about specific heat so as to follow the schools lesson curriculum. To present the concept, we decided on a lecture on specific heat followed by an online simulation of the topic (http://employees.oneonta.edu/viningwj/sims/specific_heat_s.html).

Probably the main setback of conducting the study was the venue and time of the study itself. Since all of us were already practicing teaching on different areas of Luzon (me coming from Quezon Province), we were limited to conduct the study on Saturday; on which the school and the students kindly agreed to accommodate us.

As for the day of the lesson itself, the study was a breeze thanks to the masterful teaching skills of Sir Joni and the cooperation of the class itself. At the end of the study, we really felt that we were able to accomplish our goals and was able to impart the lesson (and method) that we wish to convey. If anything, we actually wished we had more time since we felt that the students were enjoying the simulation activities we prepared for them. And in this environment where the students acquire and enjoy learning, is what we believe what the modern classroom should be like.

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Issues and Trends on the Use of Computers in Education

 The evolution of technology these past decades have been staggeringly fast. The earliest form of the computer in the 1940’s used to fill the entirety of a building yet now we have a thousand more powerful ones in our very pockets. Fortunately, education itself is riding this technological evolution, and its benefits – and complications – are right on our desks.

There is no doubt that technology has benefited the teaching profession tremendously. With the sheer volumeEdmodo of resources at reach and new ones being developed every day, we have certainly reached the tipping point where it is already impractical to cast them outside the classroom wall. This past year, I have officially started practicing my teaching profession at the Quezon Science High School. As a student before, I have been gladly using emails and the social media for communication with teachers and students alike. As a teacher now, I find that technology has outlived its purpose in education as merely a telecommunication tool but has become the best classroom management system I could wish for in the form of Edmodo. To those unfamiliar, Edmodo is an online collaboration space for students and teachers, literally an extension of the classroom into the virtual world. Edmodo boasts of 41million teachers and students using its benefits, and its only one of the many tools available for classroom management. With tools like these that blur the line between work and social media fun, it is not hard to see that platforms like these will be how the future of education will be.

My Speech Lab class in Quezon Science High School

With the skills and knowledge constantly growing and being catered to younger minds, it comes to no surprise that our methods and tools must follow this change as well. This is especially true when dealing with younger generations, whom of which I often find a challenge to handle in terms of motivation and attention; the latter of which some argue have been hindered by technology itself.Concord Consortium simulations

Strangely though, technology does not seem to have a problem connecting with kids today, with some labeling them the “digital generation” due to their adept attachment and skill in handling digital devices. This has been well documented by Todd Oppenheimer on his article The Computer Delusion where he observed that every single child will do more work for you and do better work with a computer. “Just because it’s on a monitor, kids pay more attention,” according to Oppenheimer. This is something I myself have proven in my English Speech class in Quezon Science School, in which we were fortunate enough to be given a speech laboratory equipped with audio components that can cater every student in class. Not to my surprise, the students definitely feel more engaged and excited when we use our audio equipment; further proven every time they ask me when is the next time we can use them again. This bond with technology is definitely something we can and we have been taking advantage of. Although still considered a ripe concept, the use of virtual games and simulation in education is something we must look forward to. True enough, organizations like the Concord Consortium gives us a glimpse of digital learning where concepts are brought to life in the form of engaging models and simulations.

There is definitely a ton of ways technology can further improve the educational methods. However, we must not shy away that as for any tool, there is always the back-edge that may bump us if we allow it. According to Clifford Stoll, the author of Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway, “we loved them (computers) because we didn’t have to think for an hour, teachers loved them because they didn’t have to teach, and parents loved them because it showed their schools were high-tech. But no learning happened.” New things can be intimidating, especially while we are trying to learn them. We sometimes get so hung up on the tools that we overlook what they were for in the first place. This is especially true on the advent of the information highway. The information out there is too great, too vast that it overwhelms us. To the extreme, we fear the birth of the “copy-paste” generation where we present one information after another without seeing/analyzing the connections.  I believe the most important and sometimes overlooked part of this evolution is that we educators ourselves must adapt accordingly in our roles, not get lost in the change as it happens. We must instill that schooling is not about information. It’s getting learners to think about  the information they have. These technological tools are amplifiers, not the source themselves.

What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology – Steve Jobs

 

References:

The Computer Delusion by Todd Oppenheimer. The Atlantic Monthly; July 1997; The Computer Delusion; Volume 280, No. 1; pages 45-62. http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/97jul/computer.htm

Technology in Education: Current Trends. Encyclopedia of Education. The Gale Group, Inc, 2002. Answers.com 13 Sep. 2014. http://www.answers.com/topic/technology-in-education-current-trends

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ICTED 2014

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with the parallel sessions presenters

I have been lucky and privileged to attend the 8th International Conference on Teacher Education (ICTED 2014) last August 21-23, 2014.

At first I was hesitant to ask my school director and mentor about it, then having thought of this event as a great opportunity to gain knowledge from speakers that I can share to my colleagues at Quezon Science High School and apply in my teaching, I gathered all the courage I got and asked Ma’am to let me attend the said conference. I used the power of positive thinking and I got a resounding, “YES!” from Ma’am.

As a way of giving back to the universe the favor it gave me, here’s what I got from the said event.

***Being OC, I almost copied all the content of each slides. 🙂

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gained a new friend because of ICTED

SYNTHESIS OF THE ICTED 2014                  (based on Dr. Fras Abaya’s Synthesis on the last day of ICTED)

 

  • Global and Local Nexus in addressing diversity in education in various contexts
  • Gaps between policy and practice in the field of education
  • Foregrounding of human rights-based approach to education for all along with attention to the issue of social justice
  • Multiple and contested understanding of inclusive education
  • Multiple constructions of the concept of disability
  • Deliberations on policy research and university-based research
  • Pre-service teacher education and in-service teachers and school administrator’s competencies as objects of intervention
  • Emerging discussion on human agency vis-à-vis structures
  • Deepening recognition of teacher and student prior/funds of knowledge
  • Alternative education systems
  • Innovations in teaching-learning technologies
  • Deconstructing textbooks
  • Parental and community involvement in education
  • Linguistic diversity as resource rather than impediment
  • Politics in language policy formulation
  • Issue of national identity
  • Celebrating “best practices”
  • And, research methodologies beyond positivist epistemology.

 

I hope you can also attend the next ICTED on 2016 and present your paper there. See you soon!

 

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UPD College of Education MATE

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Hello everyone!

It’s been a while since I have posted a blog entry. I have been busy lately because of work. I thank God for giving me such a blessing of being hired as a public school teacher in Quezon Science High School. I am also grateful to pass the University of the Philippines – College of Education Master’s Admission Test in Education or UPD MATE.

I promised my friends that if I passed the MATE, I will be posting tips to help others pass the test as well.

I will not keep everyone waiting so here’s the overview of the Test’s Contents. The test is divided into two parts: Multiple Choice and Essay part.

PART 1: Multiple Choice

 Language (25 items)

– Identifying error, reading comprehension, and sentence completion

*** I recommend you practice Speed Reading because you only have 18 minutes to answer this part.

Math (40 items)

– reasoning, word problems, fractions, measures of central tendency and variability (Statistics)

*** You are NOT allowed to use calculator or gadgets, so please practice your basic math skills. You only have 30 minutes to answer this part.

Abstract Reasoning (25-30 items)

– odd one out, next item in the series, missing item in a diagram

*** I suggest you practice answering abstract reasoning tests which are available online. This only takes 18 minutes.

Educational Thought and Practice (25 items)

– concepts and principles in educational psychology, measurement and evaluation, and principles and methods of teaching

*** If you just recently took the LET, you’ll have greater chance of answering this part with ease. My training in Mindgym helped me a lot in honing my test-taking skills. You have 20 minutes to answer this.

Critical Thinking (15-20 items)

– there are two logical statements in each item; choose their implications from the choices

*** Choose the BEST answer! Use the process of elimination on this part. There are confusing questions that really test your critical thinking skills. Although this may force you to read the question and choices twice, I recommend you answer the questions as fast as you can because you are given only 15 minutes to answer this part.

Teacher Qualities (10 items)

– teaching scenarios

*** This part deals with classroom management and problems encountered in school like administration, code of ethics conflicts, etc. LET items may be present in this part. You have 8 minutes to answer this part.

NOTE: The number of items and the time I have mentioned are just approximation. It has been months since I took the MATE and I am writing this by mere recall. The total number of items for Multiple Choice is 210.

PART 2 – Essay

To tell you honestly, I am quite confident on my answers in the multiple choice part maybe because I have recently taken the LET (Licensure Examination for Teachers) and I am quite familiar with how UP create test questions (UPCAT-like). However, I was a little hesitant on the essay part because we are only given 30 minutes to write the essay.

The question I got last March 21, 2014 was:

Are you in favor of the shift in the academic calendar of some of the universities in the Philippines, from June to August? Defend your answer in not more than 500 words.

*I would suggest you read news articles of national education concerns in order to keep abreast on what is happening around you. If you haven’t, at least be well versed in written English and be mindful of grammar and structure. I think the ones who check the essay part will check it objectively so he/she may not be looking at your flow of reasoning but will be checking the way you construct your sentences in an understandable manner. Also, you are like me who can’t write without erasures, I recommend you use Pilot Friction Pen in writing the essay part. I save me once, you can be saved as well. 🙂

If you have other questions, feel free to post your comments. I hope to see you in UP Diliman soon. God bless!

With regard to UPD MATE application process and requirements, you can visit their website at: UPCEd