Tablets should replace Print-textbooks in the Philippine K-12 Classroom

by HARK HERALD C. SARMIENTO

Tablets, according to its proponents, are supported by most teachers, parents, and students as they are proven to be more efficient tools in the learning process than textbooks. The media has elated the public with the fact that tablets can hold hundreds of digital textbooks while remaining much lighter and cheaper than print textbooks (“Tablets vs. Textbooks,” 2013). However, there is much more to tablets than a mere light and nifty electronic book (e-book) reader (“Better reasons,” 2011). Tablets pave the way to a wider and unlimited source of learning which improve students’ cognitive capacity and increase their interactivity and creativity. As the use of tablets has been proven effective in facilitating and improving students’ learning, schools must take advantage of this advanced learning tool. Thus, the Philippine K-12 classrooms should switch from using print textbooks to utilizing interactive, digital textbooks and other educational applications on tablets.
The most obvious benefit of using tablets in schools is that it solves the problem of backpack-related injuries. Backpacks, which are bags loaded with varied books for school use carried by a strap on the back or shoulder, has developed spine problems to school children at such a young age (“Avoid bad back,” 2012). Thus, the use of tablets in the K-12 classroom solves the dilemma, as a tablet filled with 3,500 e-books weighs only around 1-2 pounds. The same number of physical books would weigh about two tons – four thousand (4000) times heavier than the weight of a tablet. But this is only the tip of the ice berg. There is more to tablets which makes it worth procuring.
In the continuous effort of the government to address the problems the education sector faces, it is aiming to eventually use tablet-based reading materials in place of traditional textbooks (Aquino III, 2012). Apparently, the government recognizes the efficiency of tablets in making learning in the classroom more engaging. Tablets can also solve the patent lack of books and resources in the Philippine education system.
This innovation in education gained support from publishing houses, organizations, and other firms around the country. Vibal Publishing House, Inc. for example, has partnered with Microsoft Corporation to run open source applications for secure, fast and flexible delivery of digital learning tools (“Vibal Publishing chooses Microsoft”, 2013). Vibal also introduced two low-cost tablet models which will be loaded with interactive Math and Science application modules as part of the initiatives of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to improve public education in those areas (Villavicencio, 2012). Lifeware Technology, another digital service provider, launched an Android-powered tablet for children aged 3 – 8 called as the Enlight KiddieTAB. The KiddieTAB is preloaded with 100 educational applications like language and literacy, math, art and music, and Filipino which children can learn with fun. (Magdirila 2013; Bernabe 2013).
The effective impact of learning from interactive applications and digital textbooks loaded on tablets is discussed in an article written by Janet Maragioglio (2012) entitled “IPads Boost Math Scores, Benefit Education.” The article explains the claim of publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that students who used iPad (one of the many tablet brands) in learning Algebra 1 scored extremely higher on all math class and standardized tests than those who used print textbooks. Thus, it is a proof that the use of tablets enhances education by engaging, motivating, and making students eager to learn.
However beneficial tablets may appear, there are others who are not convinced with its effectiveness. Pessimists claim that using tablets is more expensive than using print textbooks. Others even argue that tablets have too many distractions for classroom use. Finally, they claim that it is an additional task for the teacher to learn using these devices which is most of the times difficult for them to master (especially the old ones).
The opposition argues that “implementing tablets in K-12 schools requires purchasing hardware (the tablet) and software (the textbooks), setting up new wi-fi facility, and training teachers and administrators how to use the technology. Implementation costs for e-textbooks on iPad tablets are 552% higher than new print textbooks in an average high school (“Tablets vs. Textbooks,” 2013). This concern was raised with optimism by President Aquino (2012) when he said at the launching of K-12 educational program that the government is just waiting for the prices to go down; and as it is, they’re already close to target. It appears that tablets’ price is inversely proportional with the demand for it, thus increasing its favorability for classroom use.
The opposition argues that tablets have too many distractions for classroom use. Students may pay attention to applications (more commonly known as “apps”), e-mail, games, and websites instead of their teachers and the lessons being discussed in the class. (“Tablets vs. Textbooks,” 2013). Fortunately, in Buffalo, New York, it was found that the best solution was to implement device management software… (Sheridan 2013) By the use of software management, educators (teachers) can manage the programs that students use and access through the tablets – the educational applications installed at tablets provided by Vibal and Lifeware as it has been discussed earlier (Villavicencio 2012; Magdirila 2013; Bernabe 2013). Thus, proper management of the devices will ensure that the aim and purpose of providing them in schools will be maintained. In addition, in case errors are found in the materials, information can be easily corrected through internet servers (Aquino III, 2012).
PNoy (2012), as we call the Philippine president, is well aware of the situation teachers will face in this era we live in which we call the digital or information age. Teachers must be in possession of a wider range of knowledge to cope with the innovations the modern technology provides. As the government aims at providing today’s youth with better opportunities to acquire information and to learn, educators must be adept with these technologies and continuously update themselves with the latest trends. In response, the government will provide teachers the proper training aside from the personal studies they must undertake to fully grasp this leap on our education system. Thus, the success of the program relies on everybody’s hands and concern. Teachers must attract the interest and sustain attention of the students by carefully facilitating or utilizing interactive and engaging learning materials in the classroom – learning tools that are provided by the government and other institutions.
Looking at the current situation of education in the Philippines, one might argue that the Philippines is not yet ready for replacing textbooks with tablets due to the cost it may incur for the government. The readiness of teachers in using the innovative device is also in question. However, our stand is that it is the proper time now to start the changes in the Philippine classrooms. We have already taken the first step of changing the educational curriculum by introducing K-12. Soon, books should be provided for the students of K-12. Therefore it is the proper time to introduce the use of tablets in the classrooms which can foster and contain the new book editions for the K-12 classes which are more interactive and best facilitate learning.
The replacement of textbooks with tablets addresses not only the financial capability of the Philippines to purchase these digital devices for learning but also the readiness of the teachers in utilizing them. However, whether you’re a technologically adept teacher with all the latest devices or a stereotype who barely manages to keep up with a vintage mobile phone unit, technology has proven itself to be a force for change. Therefore teachers of this milieu must learn to adapt and be adept with the use of these innovations brought by the advanced technologies. As today’s classrooms undergo a technological makeover and computer programs become fundamental to the learning process, we foresee students of the Philippine K-12 program spend less time turning printed book pages and more time tapping tablet screens.

 

 

References:
ProCon.org. (2013, September 20). Tablets vs. Textbooks ProCon.org. Retrieved from http://tablets-textbooks.procon.org/
Aquino III, B. S. (2012, April 24). Speech of President Aquino at the launch of the K to 12 Basic Education Program (English translation).

The Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved from http://www.gov.ph/2012/04/24/speech-of-president-aquino-at-the-launch-of-the-k-to-12-basic-education-program-april-24-2012-english-translation/

Maragioglio, J. (2012, January 31) IPads Boost Math Scores, Benefit Education. Retrieved from http://www.mobiledia.com/news/126150.html

Better reasons for using tablets in Philippine schools. (2011, June 14). Once an Educator. Retrieved from http://teacherhoney.blogspot.com/2011/06/better-reasons-for-using-tablets-in.html

Avoid bad back, check backpack. (2012, May 29). The Philippine Star. Retrieved from http://www.philstar.com/health-and-family/811380/avoid-bad-back-check-backpack

Vibal Publishing chooses Microsoft’s Windows Azure for more efficient delivery of digital learning tools. (2013). Microsoft Philippines. Retrieved from http://www.microsoft.com/philippines/pressroom/Vibal-chooses-Microsofts-Windows-Azure.aspx

Villavicencio, P. (2012, May 9). Vibal outs low-cost education tablet, cloud servers for digital classrooms. InterAksyon. Retrieved from http://www.interaksyon.com/infotech/vibal-outs-low-cost-education-tablet-cloud-servers-for-digital-classrooms

Magdirila, P. (2013, August 29). KiddieTAB, the 8-inch tablet tailor-made for children’s education. TECH IN ASIA. Retrieved from http://www.techinasia.com/kiddietab-8inch-tablet-tailormade-childrens-education/

Bernabe, Kirstin. (2013, August 19). A tablet designed for kids and step-ladder learning. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/469319/a-tablet-designed-for-kids-and-step-ladder-learning
Sheridan, K. (2013, July 11). Textbooks To Tablets: The Progression Of Classroom Technology. Information Week Education. Retrieved from http://www.informationweek.com/education/mobility/textbooks-to-tablets-the-progression-of/2401579111

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BOYCHOIR: Essential Questions

For: Grades 9 & 10
1. Is it possible to immortalize yourself? How? Use the film as reference to your answer.
2. Who are the static and dynamic characters in the film? Prove your answer by providing evidences from the film.
3. Explain the line “I have no hope in any other than you.” How do you relate this message in the film?

For: Grade 10 only
4. What is utilitarianism? How is it applicable/presented in the film? Cite instances in the film to support your answer.

Pointers to Review: GAMOT SA NAKAKALIMOT!

Multiple Choice.

  • A Clever Judge
  • The Final Exam

Multiple Choice.

  • Identify the character trait, emotional reaction, kind of person, or motive suggested in the lines. (More on analysis).

Identification.

  • Elements and features of drama.

Application.

  • Punctuations

Matching Type.

  • Vocabulary (The Olives)

Classification.

  • Nouns and Pronouns

Synthesizing.

  • Theories on the Origin of Drama.

“Inspire others. Touch lives. Make a legacy (Sarmiento, 2015).” Carpe diem!

Division Seminar Workshop, inilunsad: 200 SPA, lumahok

This straight news I wrote (output in Filipino) for the recently culminated Division Seminar Workshop for School Paper Advisers won first place.

School Paper Advisers

BALANGA CITY, Bataan – Humigit kumulang sa dalawang daang School Paper Advisers (SPA) mula sa elementarya at sekondarya ang lumahok sa inilunsad na Division Seminar-Workshop for School Paper Advisers na ginanap sa Crown Royale Hotel, Agosto 19.

Layunin ng nasabing gawain na bigyan ng karagdagang kaalaman ang mga school paper advisers tungkol sa iba’t ibang kategorya ng Campus Journalism.

Tinalakay ni G. Emmanuel Zacharias sa unang araw ng seminar-workshop ang School Paper Management. Binigyang diin naman ni G. Ben P. Medina ang News Writing at Editorial Writing. Bago matapos ang kanyang panayam, ipinakita niya ang pagkakahalintulad at pagkakaiba ng News Writing, Feature Writing, at Editorial Writing. Ipinaliwanag naman ni Bb. Annabelle Ambrocio ang wastong gamit ng mga simbolo sa Copyreading at ang mabisang paggawa ng Headline.

Sa ikalawang araw ng seminar-workshop, ipinakita ni G. Edgar Valencia ang mga dapat isaalang-alang sa pagkuha ng larawan sa Photojournalism. Ipinaliwanag din niya ang mga teknikal na aspeto ng kamera. Ipinakita naman ni Dr. Andres Matawaran ang mga salik na nakapaloob sa Feature Writing at Science Feature. Sinabi niya na “ang Science Feature ay isang Feature article na may mas maraming impormasyon.” Binigyang-pansin naman ni G. Joel Castro sa kanyang panayam ukol sa Cartooning kung paano ituro sa mga bata ang tamang pagbuo ng konsepto.

Ibinahagi ni G. Ronaldo Punla sa huling araw ang mga Sports-lingo na ginagamit sa Sports Writing. Sinabi niya na dapat ipakita ng isang Sports Writer ang mga “action” sa sports upang makuha ang interes ng mambabasa. Isa rin sa mga resource speaker si G. Mark Sherwin Balor na nagpanayam ukol sa Collaborative Writing.

Matapos ang lahat ng panayam sa ikatlong araw ay magkakaroon ng election ng Bataan Association of Elementary and Secondary School Paper Advisers (BAESSPA) Officers sa ganap na 3:30 – 5:00 ng hapon.

Ang punong-abala para sa tatlong-araw na Division Seminar-Workshop ay si Gng. Mila D. Calma, Education Program Supervisor ng Filipino.

Letter to a Daughter (by Arthur Gordon)

When I was preparing for my final demonstration teaching in college, I remembered a literary piece told to us by our teacher. It was letter of a father to his daughter who is planning to get married.

I decided to look for it over the internet but in vain. So I grabbed the book from our library and made the copy available online for future students’ benefit. I hope this copy gives you more convenience and a lot of comfort – so that my manual re-typing of the text from the book would be worth it.

The relationship the father and daughter was evident in the text as well as the father’s unprejudiced response. So here it is, “Letter to a Daughter” written by Arthur Gordon.

Letter To A Daughter

By Arthur Gordon

Dear Kit,

Your letter arrived this morning, and I wasn’t too surprised by it. Ever since you went back to boarding school I’ve had the feeling that you might tell your mother and me that you and Bob want to be married this summer, after graduation. And now you’ve said it.

You ask how I feel about it. Well, not as instantly and automatically negative as you probably expect. I’m pleased that you want my approval, or at least my opinion. Let’s take a long cool look at the pluses and minuses of teen-age marriages.

The biggest plus is that marriage is the best solution to that most ancient and urgent of problems: sex. Nobody should underestimate this, because sex without fear or guilt is about 10,000 times better than sex that is hung up on broken taboos and lacerated consciences. In our society marriage tends to be postponed, for economic or educational reasons, far beyond the time when it makes good biological sense.

A second great advantage in young marriages is flexibility. Your personalities are lithe. You and Bob can adapt to each other, to new environments, new problems. Your ideas aren’t fixed, your attitudes aren’t rigid. Also, you have optimism that assumes things are going to work out, or that even if they don’t, errors can be corrected, losses regained. This kind of exuberance often disappears as people grow up.

Another cheerful fact is that when you marry young, you are more likely to develop similar tastes – in friends, in entertainment, in political candidates. These similarities are the ball bearings in the mechanism of any marriage: the more of them, the better. As one grows older and more fixed in his ways, it is harder to find people whose tastes are similar. Another plus is that being young, you have tremendous physical energy, great vitality and good health.

Finally, you have a superabundance of romantic love. Cynics are always pointing out that isn’t enough, in the long run, to make a marriage go. Maybe they are right. But certainly nothing on earth is so exciting and mysterious and rewarding as this first almost unbearable sweet desire to escape from the prison of self and become part of another person. Whether the glow lasts or not, having it is something to be proud of and grateful for always.

When young lovers look up at the full moon in the night sky they don’t stop to think that it has a dark side. But it has. The presiding judge of a domestic-relations court in California listed five factors most likely to bring such marriages crashing down: 1. Money troubles; 2. immaturity; 3. cultural gap; 4. interfering in-laws; 5. pre-marital pregnancy.

Money troubles, the judge said, are the most frequent single cause of teen-age marriage failure. Often, teen-age husbands are jobless; those who work earn so little; this leaves no margin for error; no money for fun, for illness, or for a baby. Usually it means living with in-laws. It all adds up to trouble. Even if Bob gets a subsidy from his parents, it will mean that he is not really the head of the household – he will still be dependent. He might try borrowing from his Dad but debt is not a good springboard for marriage.

The second great hazard according to this judge is immaturity. This means self-centeredness, inability to compromise or see other points of view, or to rise above hurt feelings or postpone immediate pleasures in favor of future benefits, or to do unpleasant chores when they need to be done instead of putting them off. Trying to be mature is of course a lifetime job. “Love” someone said, “is the accurate estimate and fulfillment of another’s needs.”

The judge mentioned the “cultural gap” in our socially stratified society as another hazard. This means differences in food, in speech, in pastimes, in grooming, in dress, in the kind of people you are comfortable with. When teens with such different cultural backgrounds marry, he said, it is usually because the biological attraction is so strong that it blots all other considerations. He advises young people to try a 48-hour experiment: spend 24 hours in each other’s homes with no love-making at all. If boy and girl remain pleased with each other’s family and way of life, and if without any physical contact they are not bored with each other, then, there is hope for the future.

The fourth deadly factor is interfering in-laws. Where young marriages are concerned, the judge said, in-laws too, often become outlaws. They criticize, they meddle, they make demands. However, I don’t think your parents are much like that, or Bob’s parents either.

All this discussion brings me to a question that you will not like, but that needs to be asked: Why don’t you wait a while? Neither of you has had much exposure, romantically speaking, to other people. Neither of you has been in love before. Neither of you knows what the great big supermarket of the world has to offer because, to put it bluntly, you haven’t shopped around. A year from now, one of you might have a change of heart. In that interval, somebody else might come along who would make an even better life partner. Such waiting period would be a pretty solid test of the durability of your affection. Maybe you don’t owe any such test to your parents, but you owe it to each other.

Whether you take this advice or reject it, you may be sure of one thing: nothing is going to change the way I feel about you. People say that the generation gap is unbridgeable but I don’t believe it. Do you really think that parents forget how lonely and vulnerable being a teenager can be, how desperately you need someone to lean on sometimes?

I remember the stormy night you were born, almost 18 years ago. I was waiting by myself in the hospital room assigned to your mother. The hospital was very quiet. Then I heard a baby’s cry – the delivery room was far down the corridor, through two or three sets of doors. I should not have been able to hear anything at all. But I did hear that one sharp, poignant, far-off sound. Something in me knew it was you. Later I found out from the doctor that it was you.

I have always liked to think that no matter what happened or how many doors came between us, we would always be able to hear from each other.

Love always,

DAD

On How to Win Friends and Influence People

I currently finished reading a book written by Dale Carnegie entitled “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” As a teacher, leader, and team-builder, the book has been helpful to me in so many ways in the field of human relations.

In the book, Carnegie has presented fundamental techniques in handling people. I may not have applied all of them always, but when I did, they are proven accurate and impeccable. So I took the opportunity to write the gist of D. Carnegie’s principles.

dale carnegie 2

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want.

Six Ways to Make People Like You

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people.
  2. Smile.
  3. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.
  6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

Win People to Your Way of Thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say, “You’re wrong.”
  3. If you are wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.
  4. Begin in a friendly way.
  5. Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.
  7. Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires.
  10. Appeal to the nobler motives.
  11. Dramatize your ideas.
  12. Throw down a challenge.

Folks, “it is our ability to deal with people (Schwab)” that makes us successful. Quoting Charles Schwab and many other prominent personalities, Dale Carnegie reiterates the importance of “putting genuine interest” as well as being “hearty in approbation and lavish in praise” toward others.

May we all learn from this book and win more friends and influence multitudes of people each day.

God Works in Ways We Expect the Least

It’s just amazing how God works in ways we don’t expect. I was talking to a friend over the phone last night. Before our almost two hours of conversation ended, it’s just so fantastic how the topic drew about religion and stuffs. I usually talk about religion and spirituality, with the special exception with friends of different religion I’m in. I just don’t intend having arguments because of our difference in faith. But last night was unlike any other. Having mutual respect for each other’s opinions and regarding each other’s beliefs as honorable, despite us having to defend (thus explain) each other’s faith, everything turned out well.

At the top of it all, we realized that being a “Christian” transcends any religion. Our deep relation with the Lord, emanating with our love of neighbor, is what truly matters.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

SDC Netizen’s Choice

CARPE DIEM

(the original title is “A whole new perspective” but I found it better to change the title with “Carpe Diem”)

Friday morning it is when this article was assigned to us. Since then I began to wonder what the meaning of life is. How shall I define it? I had confusions actually that took me so long to come up with an idea, or at least grasp one. There have been many conflicting thoughts running in my head. Is it really possible to confine the complexities of life into this limited parchment? But then, like many others, I tried.

            While some see life as an end, and others see it as a constant process – a cycle, I see it as a battlefield. It is a constant war between what I want and what is right. As David Russell said, “the hardest thing in life is to choose which bridge to cross and which to burn.” Life is a choice where there is no turning back, as time is swiftly passing by.

            I was raised to have options on my hands. I was raised to decide on how I would live my life. I am free to do what I want and find my personal legend, as Paulo Coelho wrote in his novel, The Alchemist. Yes. I know I am free. But in this freedom, I was also thought never to infringe others’ equal freedom. As one puts it, “our freedom ends when others’ has begun.”

            As I journeyed through life for 22 years, I learned that life is building relationships. That though we’re just poor in terms of wealth, I am so rich with family and friends who love me.

            Once, I wondered how I could make myself immortal. Shakespeare and some other great people answered my query. I could be immortalized by living my life to the full and touching the lives of others. Life is all about sharing a part of your life to others. I couldn’t forget a quote from an anonymous source that says, “When you touch someone’s heart, they will never quite be the same again. Part of your life will be in them, always.”

            We are part of the greater scheme. We are challenged, that as living entity, as human, we strike the difference and make change in other peoples’ lives. We are asked to reach out to those who are poor, suffering, and dying.

            For others, life is cruel and unfair. Perhaps, it is true. But God, I believe, isn’t blind. He made the world perfectly. We all just have to see life in God’s perspective. It is good to live life to the full. But it is nobler and sweeter to help one live his life to the full; to inspire and be inspired.

            Many people have affected my point of view about life. Perhaps, meeting different people each day and reading books have changed and shaped my beliefs. At home, I was thought to always be meek and humble. I observe that my family would rather choose to be silent than to argue, especially when the opponent is someone in power or is a friend. This is good for some time. But at some point, I know I must strike the difference and go against the flow. I must stand and be firm of what I believe in – a thing I teach everyone I meet. “A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it,” said G. K. Chesterton in his book, The Everlasting Man. I tenacious and I always will be. Otherwise, I will be easily swayed by the confusions of the world.

            This is my life. I am unique and I see life in my own perspective. My life is in my own hands. What other people think about me doesn’t interest me. I am happy and I guess that’s what we all want in this life – happiness. I always strive to live my life extraordinarily.

            I am always satisfied but never content. There is more to life than we see it. So I always hope for the future and live well each day; and not, just as Henry David Thoreau wrote, when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.