by GERALDIN L. TAROBALLES
With the current policy of no face-to-face classes in the Philippine Basic Education, teachers, parents, and learners start to rely on technology as the answer on the methods of transfer of learning. Teachers in different schools are mostly millennials (Gen Y, Gen X, Gen Z) while others are baby boomers (56-76 years old). This shows that each Generation has its own experience in terms of the technological use.
Here are my personal thoughts on technology in education.
Teachers need to be capacitated with the new platforms of education. John Dewey says,“If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” Most teachers are technologically literate. However, some are in need to be honed in the use of tools for teaching. It is good that there are educators who still thrive to learn on how to use technology. The sad news is: other teachers refuse to relearn which truly rob the children of tomorrow. They need to step up in terms of learning these technologies.
Teachers should never stop learning. Professional growth after the pre-service training must be continuous. There are those who pursue post-graduate education, while there are those who are content with their college degree. Learning is not only limited to formal studies. This could be done through short-term courses or by reading books about current strategies in teaching. The use of ICT is a need in today’s generation. One of the K to 12 skills is technological literacy. How can a teacher share this literacy if he refuses to learn? Age should not be a deterrent. It is of no excuse. There are real-life individuals who are senior citizens yet more adept at technology than those who are in their 40s or 50s. Mark Twain says, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
Technology is not enough for the success in the teaching-learning process. According to Keith Krueger, “It is important to remember that educational software, like textbooks, is only one tool in the learning process. Neither can be a substitute for well-trained teachers, leadership, and parental involvement”. I find it funny when parents get emotional (angry even) when they think of the proposal that DepEd will shift to online learning (for the moment during the pandemic). Some clamor that the burden of teaching will be passed on to them. I am both a teacher and a parent. As a parent, one of my responsibilities is to monitor and teach my children. It is not a responsibility solely of a teacher. Success in the learning of a child should have the involvement of the parents, the leadership of the administrators, and the dedication and capacity of teachers.
Technology can NEVER replace good and committed teachers. Bill Gates said, “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” The great news is that proper technology in the hands of a good and committed teacher would be transformational. The teacher is still the most important in terms of the way learning is transferred.
The battle against COVID-19 still has not been won. Educating the youth should not stop and the Department of Education is racking its brains on how to produce life-long learners despite the pandemic. The use of technology is a great tool in the teaching-learning process. It “just” needs a well-equipped and motivated teacher.