Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Welcome sunrise!

Batjay emailed me and Sassy, who likewise blogged about it, about Secondary 1 students at Crescent Girls' School using PC's in lieu of pens, textbooks and paper. Being a pilot class, these girls will be among the first students to use this high tech PCs, which come loaded with digital textbooks, multimedia learning tools and note-taking software. You can read about it here.

Whether we like it or not, computers are here to stay. This will naturally bring a big change in how education will be in the next decades to come. For one thing, we may be seeing the final stages of the traditional classroom where students ranging from a minimum of 10 students to as big as 70 per class come to learn all at the same time. At this very moment, actual universities are going online and offering virtual schooling for college and post-graduate courses. I alone, am a member of one where I try to learn how to write poetry.

What will be the implications of having a virtual university as against the traditional schools? One of the main arguments against this scenario is that students will lose the chance to socialize with their peers. In one of his latest entries, Doc Emer in his blog entitled, Do you think Dr. Emer has "Poor social skills? presents us with a study of children without siblings as lacking in social skills. While commenters agreed that this may not be so since these children may have grown up with friends of their own age, a virtual school will deprive them of the needed interaction with their peers. And because one has no need to go to school, what this means is that there will be no more games to play with one another during recess and PE. No story telling during breaks, no need to look decent and be careful with social manners.

Another argument is that there will be no instantaneous interaction between student and teacher. True, they can use cameras, but this may be very impersonal. Hence, gestures, hand signals and body movements which betray ones true feelings and sentiments may be hidden from view.

Lastly, the syllabi, methodology, testing and evaluation will have to be altered to adapt to the change. For one thing, we must be wary of safeguarding that students are the ones doing the work and not anyone else. Tests will be more open-ended and memorization will be minimized as the student can easily pick up the book and check sources. Hence, studying will be more on the analytical rather than merely identifying by rote and mnemonics.

Now, let's talk about advantages. If and when this virtual schools happen, students, as well as teachers, will not have to leave their houses anymore. All they have to do is turn on the computer and read the lesson. Ergo, no traffic to contend with, lesser kidnappings if not nil, no need to declare a no class day during typhoons, etc. Furthermore, it will be a lot cheaper to maintain a school in the long run, as we no longer need classrooms with blackboards and everything that comes with the traditional package.

Again, at the rate we're going, this phenomenon may not be far from coming. When this day comes, I wonder if we can pick it up easily. I guess not when we have not gotten rid of our fear of long brownouts happening again like it did before. Not when most of the populace is reluctant about change and refusing to leave our comfort zones. Not when our students are not mature enough to be left alone and study by themselves.
We must be ready for we are about to see the sunrise of tomorrow. Wag na tayong magpa-iwan kung saka-sakali.


Dr. Emer said...

I agree. There might come a time when computers will make human interaction unnecessary. Heaven forbid that a day will come when we can all run everything from our beds at the ease of pushing a button or moving the mouse. That will make many professions obsolete. I believe computers should only exist for research and communication.

Nothing beats talking face-to-face with your friends, reading a real book and holding a real newspaper. Everything has a cost. Let not the cost be human interaction. A lot of personality disorders will surely crop up when that happens. Psychiatry and its disciplines will be making a killing should that day arrive. :)

rolly said...

Doc, you sure paint a very grim picture. hahaha

Di naman siguro. As we can attest, albeit not having met each others yet, mukhang maganda naman ang interaction nating mga bloggers e. Besides, I believe man is basically a party animal so we will just adjust our working attitudes.

Anonymous said...

ang hirap namang mag post ng comment dito!!! anyway, ok din yang technology at least it will be a sign of progress pagnagkataon!!! oo nga pala, i already started my blog! ni link na rin kita hehehe!!!!!!

BatJay said...

this i think is the future of the notebook PC. we will start to go wireless and the tablet PC is a great tool to use, not only in school but outside as well.

sabi ko nga, you can write in longhand using a tablet. the new windows XP for tablet PC's has this feature. ang galing nga kasi you can electronically write notes into your electronic books - it really functions like a
sketchpad, notebook, textbook, PC - all in one.

we have a tablet in office but it costs 5 times more kasi industrial grade (you can even throw it on the floor and it will still work). we use in our
work for industrial automation and control - ie. making products in the factory by remote control using the tablet.

prediction ko lang: in the next few years, you'll see more people using this - from the utilities, sales people, students.

we will adjust. we always have. this is just a tool and human nature will not prevent us from interacting with one another. no matter what technology we use, we will still find a way to touch each others hearts.

rolly said...

Jonix!!! musta na ang bagong ina? Buti naman at may blog ka na rin. Kaya lang, may mali yata. Di ko ma-access,e. Check mo uli.

Batjay Thanks uli sa email mo. Me naisulat tuloy ako. hehehe. Anyway, ang galing talaga ng technology, no?

ajay said...

hi tito rolly. i'll be blogging less coz i don't have access to computer now but i'll still be dropping by every now and then.
we have to accept that today's kids are technologically more savvy, my six-year old kid tinkers with my computer and comes out better with it than I do. It's a different world they have now, a chasm between their generation and our generation we can't deny. Yes, our kids may be interacting less but the family still has the power to train them on the right way. This is where the role of parents come in. After all, we still have to see them for dinner, right?;)

Anonymous said...

Tito Rolly,
My only concern is that, for example in the subject of Math, they could rely more in the computer rather than trying to solve manually some problems like extracting roots (square, cube, etc.) or just simple addition, multiplication, division, subtraction. Although this will save time, it is also important that children practice and learn this process manually.
You are an Arts Teacher, I do not know the implication to students in this category.
I am not against this in the first place, it is just that students should hone first their respective talents manually, once they have been developed, the use of computers will enhance this and will maximize their abilities.

Anonymous said...

Tito Rolly,
With all this advancement in technologies, wala pa rin sigurong tatalo, gaya nga ng sabi ni Doc, doon sa mga traditional things like books, newspapers, written letters, etc. not to mention interaction with friends or real persons.
Sorry, nakalimutan kong maglagay na pangalan.
- Santi

BongK said...

whatevet the technical advances may bring in the future, i still belive human nature will prevail. i consider myself to be a member of the old school, yet when i was tasked to do my undertaking using the modern technology (with a lot of help and coaching from the technoguys), whola, everything was so easy, i could make a draft so conveniently while at the same time play, tinkering every keys at hand...

at first, i look forward to coming to the office and explore the magic of computers (im a word processor btw, and not into heavy tech stuff you guys seem to be accostomed to)--sabi ko nga i belong to the old school hehehe, but then when everything has been explored (which i thought was enough, though limited at that), nakakabawas ng challenge kahit papano, challenge to do the job, sa bilis ng process nasosobrahan ka ng bakanteng oras, and the tendency would go bac to the basic, grab a live newspaper, book or other reading materials at hand.. or even jot journals thru your "mongol" pencil..

then you'll feel backlaid afterwards, no need to hurry up things, reasoning "may computer naman, mabilis na yan.. blah blah blah" parang juan tamad... the repercussion i guess... and the attitude would be different..

but i must admit that because of this modernt technology, i gained friends hehehe salamat sa internet

pero madami pa akong hindi natutuhan sa blogger, sino man sa inyo gusto ako turuan please lang po.. hellppppppp hehehehehhe

Jet said...

One thing I like about what you said is the fact that there will be less memorization and more analytical application of the contexts that are being taught. I think that's a more dynamic way to learn. We know naman kasi that after a while, all these things we memorize will be forgotten if we don't regularly come across them. Analysis and application, on the other hand, will be very useful, not only in school but in our everyday, practical lives.

Kaya lang Tito... I guess I will regard this with some reluctance, even as you say that we are about to see the sunrise of tomorrow.

I don't know Tito... first the blackboard and chalk were replaced with the whiteboard and the whiteboard marker. Chalks are messy, they break, they can crumble to powder and they taste awful. But they never run out of ink and chalk dust on our hands can easily be washed off.

Right now, I sometimes have a hard time writing with pen and paper, spending most of the day punching the keys on my keyboard. And when I write and start arguing with myself on how a certain word is spelled, I sometimes have to go back to the keyboard and tap with my hands... like my fingers are now more adept in spelling than my brain is.

Minsan natatawa ako sa sarili ko pero minsan, I get sentimental with the scent of freshly sharpened pencils, a squeaky clean library, pages of books all dog-eared and almost tattered from being over-read.

Even here in the neighborhood we live in. Sometimes, when I would think that it's about the time of day when kids would be in school and having their break, I would crane my neck to hear the noise of chldren playing, screaming in purely delighted abandon. I almost hardly ever hear them and it makes me wonder how these children ever have fun. And then I would see them on weekends, at the malls, shopping.

School has been much of a playground to me as anything else. I pity the kids who would not know the feeling of walking on dew-moist grass, to sit on swings painted red, blue and yellow, making those squeaking noises as they sail up and down against the air and let their thoughts run free. And go back to the classroom and write them down on a piece of paper, with a freshly sharpened pencil.

rolly said...

Amen to that, Ajay. I think one of the benefits the change would bring is that there'll be more interaction within the family. Imagine not having to go out of the house to study anymore. Sarap!

Santi As I said, we may have to change our methodology, syllabi, or even the whole educational philosophy. I think you failed to mention that learning the long hand method in Math is not only to learn the process but more importantly exercises our brains to think! Something which would be lessened if we use the calculator and other similar devices that gives you instantaneous answers.

Thanks sa inyong dalawa. Okay lang. Magpost ka lang ng mag-post. Gusto ko yan. Santi, open ka na rin ng blog.

rolly said...

Bong K No, I'm not really that computer literate. As I've been saying before, to me, the computer is just a high tech typewriter. I learn things slowly and sometimes, the hard way. natututunan ko rin naman, if I really spend a lot of time with it.

Your comment reminded me of one other thing which is a little grim. With computerization, people can easily be displaced in the working arena. When that happens, then what?

If there's anything you need to know about blogging, tanong ka lang tulad ng ginawa ko kina Batjay at Sassy. Pag alam ko sagot, may sagot ka kagad sa email. We belong to only one community anyway.

rolly said...

Jet your last sentences in this comment are very poetic. yes, we can only wonder how these kids will grow up. Definitely not like the way we did. But come to think of it. There's a saying, "You won't miss what you don't know." We may be crying for their loss, but in these children's frame of mind, do you think they would bother? And besides, I believe people will always be people. We will always enjoy looking at the sunset, hear the murmur of the waves or feel the gentle breeze on a cool December morning. That said, people will find time to experience these things, computer or no computer at all.

pepsi said...

hello sir rolly.

i think the idea of having PC's instead of paper in class has great potential, but the picture you've painted is very outlandish.

there's got to be a limit. to live a normal life, you should probably talking to other people face-to-face other than the members of your family. it's nerve-wracking if you don't get out much, especially those in the case of your PC-world wherein youngsters don't go to school and DON'T MAKE NEW FRIENDS. (now that, is very very crucial in one's life.)

siguro the trade of paper to PC will probably be the best thing that could happen to a classroom. heaven forbid that the student is doing something else behind the monitor during a lecture. :P

rolly said...

Hi Pepsi,

Wouldn't it be great if you had one of those PC notebooks? Cool! Anyway, the scenario I painted is a little on the imaginative side. Like I said in my previous responses, man is basically a social animal. I'm sure you'll still make new friends even if you're just staying in the house for studies. There are at least 12 wakeful hours in a day. I'm sure not all of those will be used in study. Play will still be there and naturally, friends will come with it.

Dr. Emer said...

Tito Rolly, sorry kung pessimist masyado yung view ko, ha. I strongly recommend that you watch Will Smith's "I, Robot" if you have time. With this film, you might have another view about technology. I caught the last full show sa GB3 last weekend. Maganda and it has depth unlike other Will Smith movies. Maybe because it was based on an Asimov book.

BongK said...

ka Rolly ano e-maill addy mo?

rolly said...

Doc I seldom see the movies these days. The last one I saw was in march pa. I forgot which one already. But I saw the trailer of the movie you're talking about. Mukhang maganda nga. Asimov ba naman.

Bong K I've been trying to see your blog but nag-e-error. Anyway, you can reach me at

Jet said...

Kung sabagay nga Tito Rolly, if they never knew how it was before their time, they would hardly miss it.

Hehe... nakakatawa. I never thought there would come a time when I would say to them kids... 'Nung panahon namin...' :)

rolly said...

Jet ikaw papunta pa lang dun, ako madalas ko nang ibunghalit yan. Minsan, napipigilan ko sarili ko kasi mapagbibintangan akong matanda na e. :-)