Filipino science teachers urged to use digital tools to enhance virtual learning

October 18, 2021 - 5:47 PM
Illustration by Hatice Erol from Pixabay

Equipping Filipino teachers with knowledge on digital resources would help them build more effective science classrooms and curriculums.

This was the message during the “The School Influencer Workshop” organized by Education New Zealand (ENZ) in partnership with Teach for the Philippines last October 2.

Sriparna Saha, a PhD candidate in GeoEducation at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, introduced to teachers digital tools such as virtual field trips, online platforms, and digital storytelling that can be used during science lessons.

“It was an incredible opportunity to design and conduct the workshop for the teachers in the Philippines. We managed to bounce off ideas on the various ways to integrate information and communication technologies into different classrooms,” Saha said.

“The main objectives of our lessons are not only to make learning enjoyable and meaningful for them but also to satisfy their thirst for knowledge to the best of our abilities,” she added.

Saha said she is currently using digital storytelling to teach about Caldera volcanoes as part of her PhD.

“The topic of volcanoes as a learning subject is an interesting one, particularly for both New Zealand and the Philippines,” she added.

Curt Marvin, one of the 50 attendees of the virtual workshop, emphasized the need for “cultural appropriation” and “contextualization” when discussing scientific concepts.

“It taught us the value of creative strategies [t]o promote the veracity of science while ensuring we connect with our learners. Through interactive tools such as online field trips and interviews with locals, I found that integrating technology and storytelling in the lesson flow makes it significantly relatable for students,” Cruz, also a learning support staff at International School Manila said.

Since 2017, ENZ’s series of workshops strengthen their goal of “achieving knowledge diplomacy and sharing the expertise, courses, and skills that New Zealand has to offer international communities.”

“The workshop [h]as made it possible for Philippines’ educators to learn how we teach in New Zealand and apply them in their local and current context of education, where digital tools are beginning to play a bigger role in teaching,” ENZ regional director in Asia Ben Burrowes said.

“We hope to continue organizing more workshops together like these with our experts in New Zealand and partners in the Philippines,” he added. —Ma. Alena O. Castillo

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