You are on page 1of 6

AUTHOR GUIDELINES FOR EM-TECH RESEARCH PAPERS

Christopher Darwin Abigan, Kim Alison Caasi, Michael Aries Larosa, Carina Julie Mae Linao, and Timogthy John Salvador. EM-TECH S15 kimalison_caasi@yahoo.com.ph De La Salle University - Manila
ABSTRACT This research paper will be discussing the issue about “Lack of Technologies in Public Schools”. It also contains an in depth analysis on how technologies affect the teachers and students, especially in public schools. In addition, this paper aims to open the minds, especially of the teachers to technological advancements as they are effective tools for teaching. Their willingness to be radical regarding this idea is really essential as it is them who often oppose to changes. Lastly, realizing the condition of public schools in the Philippines can be a good start for the government to come up with better services and programs. 1. INTRODUCTION Currently the world is becoming high-tech, which means that books are becoming less relevant in the lives of the people. Books are being digitized for the convenience of the people who wish to acquire more knowledge in any given field. This would lead to a brighter future for education, for the internet is a web of knowledge and each information that can be accessed in the net can be used to produce unimaginable things. Through technology, we can confirm the information within the net, and find out the ideas of others regarding different kinds of issues. This would allow the world to collaborate as on in order to become a superior being and if we were to combine technology with education this will allow the students the progress faster than previous centuries. This would allow students to learn and unleash their potential in creating a better world for us to live in. 2. LACK OF TECHNOLOGIES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS 2.1. Conditions of public schools in the Philippines As the world evolves, changes are progressively happening and affecting the people’s environment as well as their norms and attitude. Technology has something to do with these changes which, people are currently and continuously experiencing. Filipino children enter public school at about age four, starting from Nursery up to Kindergarten. At about seven years of age, children enter a primary school (6 to 7 years). This is followed by secondary school (4 years), (Wikipedia, 2009). DepEd initiatives on the use of ICT in education were embedded in the DepEd Modernization Programme, begun in 1996, involving the introduction and use of modern technology to improve the teaching and learning process, educational management and support operations in the educational system. The General Appropriations Act (GAA) laid the grounds for the provision of IT equipment in public secondary schools, providing the necessary funds for the procurement of hardware and software, teacher training and courseware development, (UNESCO, Philippines, 1996). This act benefited six hundred sixty-one public secondary schools and more than seven thousand secondary school teachers and principals. Thus, since 1996, the government has granted many public schools to be equipped with high-tech materials and learning resources. The GAA has also been providing trainings to the public school teachers in order to aid them in using these new technologies such as computers. Currently, the Philippine government is aiming to provide physical infrastructures and technical support to most of the public schools. The government also aspires to develop competence among students and teachers by using ICT – based materials. The operational targets for these are expected to be reached by 2009 and these are the following:  5% of public secondary schools and 50% of public elementary schools shall have a computer lab equipped with basic multi-media equipment  All public science-oriented secondary schools shall be connected to the internet  All public schools shall have an electronic library system

 75% of the public school teachers will have been trained in basic computer skills and in the use of the internet and computer aided instruction (CAI)  All public schools shall be provided with appropriate educational technology equipment packages (UNESCO, Philippines, 2009). However, the challenge in achieving these goals is the thought of having money to implement all the plans regarding improvements on education, specifically on public schools’ situation. Public schools are government owned, meaning the funds for these schools come from the government as well. And with the current condition of the Philippine government, people are mostly doubtful that the government can afford and release funding for the projects and goals mentioned above. At present, the students in public schools have been left behind by their counterparts in the private schools. Based on preliminary report of Department of Education (DepEd), only 50% of the 4,336 high schools nationwide have computer laboratories. But most of them need to be repaired or upgraded because after these computers have been delivered to schools, they have not been properly maintained. A computer laboratory consists of a minimum of 10 computers (COMSTE, 2008). Also, there is an urgent need to fill up the shortage of public school buildings to accommodate the increasing number of enrollees in our public schools. To date, the national classroom - student ratio for elementary and secondary public schools is still far from the ideal ratio of 1:30, due largely to the free education program, which has not been met by a corresponding increase in the number of classrooms. As per DepEd records, the total nationwide classroom shortage is 41,197 - at current prices, the government will be in need of at least P16 Billion of additional funding to be able to crack the classroom shortage. Furthermore, it also reported that 20% of the country's classrooms have no proper ventilation, 27% have no lighting, 55% do not have electricity, and 25% have no ceilings. It also added that in 2005, 20% of elementary and secondary schools did not have science laboratories, (COMSTE, 2008). Today, the Oracle Education Foundation (OEF) and the Philippines Department of Education (DepEd) agreed to roll out OEF’s ThinkQuest technology program to 500 public elementary schools across the nation, reaching 50,000 students and teachers over the next two years. ThinkQuest is a protected, online learning platform that enables teachers to integrate learning projects into their classroom curriculum and students to develop critical 21st

century skills, including creativity, teamwork, and technology skills.

communication,

All in all, a lot of projects have been implemented about technology in education. However, people do not actually feel the presence of these improvements in public schools because evidently, developments in the field of teaching and learning in public schools are not seen. Also, other teachers are not guided in using these technologies if ever the government grants ICT equipements to these public schools. 2.2. Reasons why public schools need technologies The government implemented the formation of public education in the hope that everyone would be offered an equal opportunity to achieve the realization of his or her own dream and to pursue a life full of accomplishments and privilege. However, this strategy of the government still has its downsides and failures. It had failed to supply each child with the same chance to achieve his goal instead has only fostered segregation, discrimination, and mass inequality. It is a global reality that poverty causes people not to have the best education. Considering that there are still millions of Filipinos who can not even attend school due to poverty and geographical constraints, the Filipino children who are currently studying in public schools, however, are not given an acceptable quality of education. Only 1 in 5 children, ages 3-5, have access to day care or preschool services. (Save the Children, 2007) Different researches and studies showed that there are massive numbers of students inside a classroom. There is an approximately 80-100 students in each classroom having only one teacher and limited school supplies in the poorest public schools in our country. There are thousands of public schools in the Philippines with huge number of students compared to the number of books and reference materials in an ordinary public school, technology has been proposed as to attend to the problem of education. In fact, there has been a proposal of cyber education In order for us to know the reasons why technology is a need in schools especially in aiding the learning process in public schools, we must first take a glimpse of the benefits of technology specifically multimedia in education. Multimedia tools, applied with awareness of the realities of organizational culture, structures and finances, have been shown to enhance the performance of learning systems(Mishra, 2005, p. 1). “While the term “multimedia” has not always been associated with computers, there is no doubt that it is the merging of increasing powerful computer-based authoring tools with Internet connectivity that is responsible for the growing interest in and use of

multimedia instruction, in both distance and face-to-face environments…Also, the term “multimedia” refers to the provision of various audio and video elements in teaching and training materials. Usually, the delivery of the media is by computer, and increasingly, it involves the Internet in some way, but the storage and delivery devices, as noted above, are secondary to the forms of the stimuli that reach the user(Mishra, 2005, p.2-3)” Specific Media Characteristics For some time, media have been used with more traditional delivery methods (lectures, tutorials) to support essential teaching objectives, such as the following(Wright, 1998):  Clarifying and illustrating complex subjects  Adapting to individual learning styles  Improving retention and aiding recall  Reaching nonverbal learners According to Mayer,2001, “Instead of asking which medium makes the best deliveries, we might ask which instructional techniques help guide the learner’s cognitive processing of the presented material”(Mishra,2005,p.4) The varying characteristics of different presentation media and modes, and their implications for learning, have direct implications for the design of multimedia strategies and materials. Sound can supplement visual information and can be used to attract attention, arouse and hold interest, provide cues and feedback, aid memory, and provide some types of subject matter(heart or machinery sounds, voice clips). Music can be used to augment feedback, grab attention or alert users. Graphics and color can be used for various purposes, from simple decoration to higher-level interpretation and transformation (helping the observer to form valid mental images). Animation can sometimes shorten learning times by illustrating changes in the operation or state of things. Video (motion or sequence of still graphics) can be used to show action and processes to illustrate events that users cannot see directly or clearly in real time. Hypermedia is the linking of multimedia documents, while hypertext is the linking of words or phrases to other words or phrases in the same or another document. (Mishra, 2005) Properly designed, a technology-based learning environment provides students with more options than are typically available in traditional learning situations, in content, pace, preparation, and review of prerequisites, and for activities such as collaboration, consultation, and testing/evaluation. Among the benefits of technology delivery are the potential for less required training time;

greater mastery and better transfer of skills; more consistency in delivery of content(a particularly important outcome of skill training); and greater student persistence, completion, satisfaction, collaboration, and selfdirection(Mishra, 2005). Advantages of the Internet for teaching, under ideal conditions, include the following (Heinich, Molenda, Russell, & Smaldino, 1996, p.263):    Engrossing: The opportunity for deep involvement, capturing and holding learner interest. Multisensory: The incorporation of sounds and images along with text, Connections: Learners can connect ideas from different media sources, for example, connecting the sound of a musical instrument with its illustration. Individualized: Web structure allows users to navigate through the information according to their interests and to build their own unique mental structures based on exploration. Collaborative creation: Software allows teachers and learners to create their own hypermedia materials;project-based learning provides opportunities for authentic collaboration(Mishra, 2005).

With the intention of establishing the relevance of technology in public education, the role of technology specifically multimedia in education has been discussed. There has been a large digital divide between private and public schools in terms of the facilities and equipment, research materials, books, and others. Thus, the quality of education in public schools is affected. With vast innovations in technology, public schools will be able to catch up. According to Stephen Downes, “Proponents of publicschool education will have to embrace not only new technologies that support learning and new pedagogies that leverage those technologies, but also new forms of organization suggested by those technologies and pedagogies. Where in the past we have relied on standardization as our guarantor of quality and access, we will in the future be looking toward more flexible measuresmeasures rooted in the needs expressed and pursued by an increasingly diverse population. We will be able, in ways we haven't previously, to enable each person to pursue his or her own educational objectives in his or her own way. And as the economic imperatives that demand a standardized curriculum fade, the educational, social, and economic benefits of diversity not only will become clearer, they will become imperative(Options and Opportunities, 2008).”

Also, as mentioned above, multimedia enhances the learning of the students which is needed in public schools. ICT for Education or ICT4E has a growing relevance to the society and public schools are the main concern in uplifting education with the help of information and communications technology. Through the integration of ICT and instructional support, public school teachers will be able to impart knowledge to the students. The country should invest in ICT training for public school teachers to incorporate it in the learning paradigm. It will help the public school students to survive in this highly competitive world. 2.3. Lack of computer literacy of teachers Why is not computer usage increasing in the classrooms at a more expeditious rate? Is it merely because of the cost of integrating computers in all schools? Or is it because of the lack of computer literacy of the service teachers? Both actually affects the usage rate of computers in classrooms, however, the latter reason takes a bigger part in it. To allow the computers to be used for teaching, teachers who are expected to utilize that first need to buy the idea that technology has additional valuable contribution in the classroom. However, this is quite difficult to achieve as most of the teachers, especially the senior ones, are locked to the past and they do not want to look what’s ahead of them. They are still more into the yesterday’s methods than tomorrow’s, due mainly to their fear of changing their ways—the words “I am afraid…” are always heard from them. With this, the need to collaborate, problem solve, hypothesize, practice, reform, fail, and succeed arises. But before that, they must learn how to escape from their old zone such as outdated curricula, standards that are not supported, and pedagogy that is more applicable in the 19th century than in the 21st century (UNC Horizon, 2006). Another factor of computer illiteracy of teachers today is their educational background. Schools of education do not have the necessary preparations in making their students (pre-service teachers) computer literate. The do not integrate computers in their curriculum because even the school management still wants to offer training in traditional classrooms. This should not be the case—students taking up courses on education should be make known to computerbased environment during their education—learning how to use telementoring utilizing the internet like emails, creating webpages, web-based learning management systems, etc. (UNC, 2006). Truly, it is not impossible that there are still teachers who know how to use computers to make their teaching more efficient and more effective, however they are few (and of course, younger educators are more up-to-date to the

latest technologies in their field). Moreover, even if these teachers are computer literate to a certain extent, it is likely to happen that they can not put the knowledge to use in relation to the preparation of lessons and grades mainly because the schools are not equipped. Therefore, these are the things that need to be known in order to find a more defined cause of teachers’ lack of computer literacy (Reynaldo Mones, personal communication, March 11, 2009):      How many are literate and to what extent? How many are literate and are able to apply this knowledge? How many are literate but could not apply the skills? What is the extent of computerization in the public school system? What is the extent of related IT infrastructure like the availability of LCD prjectors, etc.? And the list goes on…

Individuals (both teachers and students) who are computer literate have greater benefits than others who lack that knowledge as most institutions today hire people that have good background on technologies. Thus, government needs to invest much to promote it to students and teachers (Satharasinghe, n.d.). In our country’s setting, it is hardly seen if there are really developments regarding this issue. Without us realizing it, there are actually planned projects by Department of Education about the integration of ICT in the Philippine’s educational system. The goal of the plan (Philippine Education Technology Master Plan) is stated as “to deliver quality education that is accessible to all through the use of IT and other innovative technologies” (UNESCO, 2009). Department of Education (DepEd) is also into the professional development of teachers, both in private and public schools. Usually, public schools send a few teachers to computer literacy training, who would then pass on the training of peer teachers. Private schools usually hire ICT service providers to give training to their teachers. The DepEd especially give training to teachers that teach Technology and Home Economics (THE) and since 1997, they strengthen establishment of ICT training to teachers of English, Science, Mathematics and THE (UNESCO, 2009). Actually, there are some private sectors that give training for teachers. Intel and Microsoft have a current program called Intel Teach to the Future program which targets to teach 1,000 teachers on the condition that each teacher would train 20 others (UNESCO, 2009).

2.4. The Philippines’ Cyber Education Project Recently, the Philippine’s Department of Education (DepEd) announced its new promising proposal called the CYBER EDUCATION PROJECT (CEP) which aimed at “providing an efficient and cost-effective solution to the need to deliver educational services to public elementary and secondary schools throughout the whole archipelago” (Cadias, n.d.). Cyber Education is defined as a brand new form of education in which instructional and management activities are carried out mainly based on E-Learning technologies. It includes concepts like “online education”, “E-Learning”, “virtual education”, “digital education”, “multi-media learning” and among others. The Philippines’ Cyber Education Project is accurately described as a Satellitebased Distance Learning Program (Cadias, n.d.). It was learned that the Satellite-based education in the Philippines was conceptualized during the time of President Fidel V. Ramos. The idea was to use the country’s Agila satellite system, which was launched into orbit in 1997, as the tool. However, it didn’t push through. Now, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s government is trying hard in realizing this development amidst the strong and challenging political and economic concerns. The Satellite-based Distance Learning Program links the schools to a nationwide network that provides 12 video channels, wireless wide area networking, local area networking and wireless Internet connectivity. Through the Cyber Ed Project, the Department of Education (DepEd) expects substantial improvement in student performance. At the same time, its network will provide cost-effective teacher training to close to half a million public school teachers, enabling them to upgrade their capabilities using virtual teacher training modules (Cadias, n.d.). DepEd’s P26.48-billion Cyber Education Project is seen as a major solution to the myriad education problems. It is claimed to totally enhance the traditional concept of classroom teaching because teachers and pupils can interactively view and respond to teachers in the live feeds and computer-enhanced delivery of lessons. According to the NEDA, of the total cost of P26.48 billion, 86 percent or P22.77 billion of which will be financed through a loan from China and the remaining 14 percent or P3.71 billion will be funded by the Philippine government (Cadias, n.d.). DepEd explained that under this project, a total of 37,794 schools or 90% of all public schools nationwide will be connected in the next three years. These schools will receive live broadcasts featuring lectures and presentations from master teachers as well as course wares on demand and other valuable resource materials. Furthermore, the Cyber Ed Project is based on China's E-Education Project which

covers some 500,000 schools and universities. DepEd’s official website revealed that the Cyber Ed Project is in accordance with the ICT-based education agenda included in the economic cooperation agreement signed by the Philippines and China in June 2006 and it is undertaken with assistance from Tsinghua University, China's premier technology university (Cadias, n.d.). 3. CONCLUSION First of the condition of the public schools in the Philippines are not as effective as they should be. The condition of the classrooms are below standards which forces students to be in extreme conditions. Some of the classrooms actually require renovation because there are rooms where there are no proper lighting, or no ceilings, or no electricity, this shows that the students are at risk. Due to the increase in demand for education, people are starting to realize that their children should be sent to school even if the schools is considered a public schools but the schools cannot accommodate all these students because they do not have enough facilities for the students. Schools do not have sufficient equipment for computer laboratories, science laboratories, and other school facilities that should be available for students to use. The technologies within the schools may be implemented but the government should know the limitations of the schools, the government should understand what they should prioritize. It may be good that the government has implemented policies for the public schools to have technology but the government should prioritize the students’ The reasons why public school need technologies is because there are a large number of students but there are not enough reference materials or books for them. Another reason is that the traditional method of teaching can be delivered by multimedia tools and through the tools the students will be more fixated on the lecture due illustrative representation of the topics. This would basically increase the participation of students and the possible learning that they might obtain from the lecture. The students will also have options on obtaining the lecture using the multimedia which would allow the student to review the session once more. Student will also have the initiative to learn more through the internet only if they are given a chance to use the technology. The computers in the schools are not being utilize because of another factor and this factor is the lack of computer literacy of teachers. Without knowing the fundamentals of a computer the teachers will not be able to present effectively if they were to use the computer. There are times that the teachers are willing to learn but it will only be additional cost which is why some of the computers are not being used. The schools should provide computer

literacy training for the teachers in order for the schools function more effectively. The Philippines’ Cyber Education Project would have given the students an opportunity to learn from topnotch professors all over the world, if only the project was successful. The public schools would be featuring the lectures of the best professors and the students will be able to learn more effectively, they will also be given the same level of education as other schools if the said project was accomplished. Lastly, if the government was consistent in what they were doing, the public schools right now might be giving top-quality education. Technology can help students learn more effectively but if the teachers themselves do not know how to use the technology then it would be a waste. The government should also prioritize on giving a better learning environment for the students. REFERENCES [1] Cadias, A.M. (n.d.). The Philippines’ Cyber Education Project: Pros and Cons. Retrieved on March 11, 2009 from http://www.ajarn.com/Filipino/articles/cyberproject.htm. [2] Carolina: University of North Carolina (2006). Teachers, Schools of Education, and Computer Literacy. Retrieved on March 11, 2009 from http://horizon.unc.edu/TS/editor/312.html. [3] COMSTE (2008). Angara Bats for a Sustainable Modernization Plan for RP Schools. Retrieved on March 10, 2009 from the World Wide Web: http://comste.gov.ph/content.asp?code=202. [4] Options and Opportunities(2008).Stephen;s Web. Retrieved on March 10, 2009 from http://www.downes.ca/post/44259. [5] Oracle (2009). Oracle Information Release. Retrieved on March 9, 2009 from the World Wide Web: http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/017630_EN. [6] Mishra, S. & Sharma, R(2005).Interactive Multimedia in Education and Training.USA: Idea Group Publishing. [7] Satharasinghe, A. (n.d.). Computer Literacy for Teachers. Sri Lanka Department of Consensus and Statistics. [8] Save the Children(2007).The Philippines – Save the Children. Retrieved on March 10, 2009 from http://www.savethechildren.org/countries/asia/thephilippines.html.

[9] UNESCO (2009). ICT: The Philippines. Retrieved on March 9, 2009 from the World Wide Web: http://cms.unescobkk.org/index.php?id=1394. [10] United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2009). ICT in Education: The Philippines. Retrieved on March 11, 2009 from http://cms.unescobkk.org/index.php?id=1165.