We Need EdTech Champions!

I had to cancel clinic last week to attend a symposium by the Interactive Learning Center (ILC) Diliman on EdTech and blended learning.

 

I couldn’t resist the introduction given in the invitation to attend this event.

Technology, in many ways, drives innovation.  It transforms how students think, and likewise, transforms how teachers teach.  And with the advancement of technology, it is only inevitable that teaching and learning are also (constantly) changing.  Twenty-first century learners have diverse learning styles, and thus present varying challenges for higher education.  So how do teachers face these challenges?

Even though I was from UP Manila, I went all the way to the Diliman campus to learn what teachers are doing there. How are they using the University Virtual Learning Environment (UVLe)? UVLe is the learning management system of ILC Diliman which I use to teach my graduate courses in health informatics.

I was surprised to learn that after UP Diliman, the largest number of faculty on UVLe come from UP Manila.

I shouldn’t be surprised really since with the help of my Dean, I was able to get many faculty from the UP College of Medicine to try using UVLe for their classes. But I just thought that there would be more from the main campus.

My proposal which the Dean supported was to deploy UVLe in stages.

PELS_UVLeforOSI2.001There seven learning units in medicine. The plan was to have the learning units progress through the levels gradually.

PELS_UVLeforOSI.001

I reported on our progress at the Philippine eLearning Society last December 2014. Aha, I should update this!

PELS_UVLeforOSI.002

PELS_UVLeforOSI.003

A paper looking at UVLe use was presented at the symposium. I hope I can get a copy of the full paper. Reviewing my tweets, I only recorded use of the UVLe mobile app.

 


Most of the faculty talking about their experiences using UVLe reported how alone they felt in trying out new teaching methods. For some of them, they were the lone faculty using UVLe in their unit! I understand exactly how that feels …

A few pearls from the speakers as recorded in my Twitter feed –

 


I can’t find the exact quote now but I’m reminded of this quote I read on Pinterest – If students do not learn from the way teachers teach, perhaps teachers should teach in the way the students learn.

 

As an example, he said that students in his class are not allowed to email him directly. All class-related communication must pass through UVLe only. This encourages students’ interaction on the learning management system.

Dr. Datuin on explaining their engineering course on UVLe, mentioned the Six Thinking Hats of De Bono and how each faculty member of their team represents one hat.

 

One professor shared how she flips her class using a Facebook page. She recounted how discussion was slow in the class forum on UVLe. And how quickly the students began conversing when she used Facebook instead.

 

Prof. Supranes reminded the audience not to be enamored with the technology itself.

 

 

ILC Diliman Director Lansangan ended the symposium with a plea to become EdTech champions. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Benito Pacheco assured the faculty of the university’s support.

 

I went home from the symposium with a renewed interest in EdTech. Watch this space for developments. 🙂

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