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Monday, December 18, 2017

Final Paper for Educational Leadership and Management


(Trying to be a prophet)

De La Salle Santiago Zobel: The Future in Responding to Learning Needs
of Millenials with the Advent of Technology

Introduction

               
De La Salle Santiago Zobel school is a Catholic  institution that belongs to the system of
the De La Salle Philippines.  As such, it is a system of education that originated in France and follows a long history dating as far back as the 18th century.  With its educational philosophy of Teaching Minds, Touching Hearts and Transforming Lives, it makes sure that it has the learners at the core of its ministry.  This being the case, De La Salle Santiago Zobel School, henceforth DLSZ, keeps up with the latest trends in education to keep up with the changes happening in education here and abroad.
 With the advent of the internet, the world has been transformed into just one global village. Hence, it is imperative that schools should have the learners transform into global learners ready to compete and interact with anyone in the world. This poses a challenge to an educational system that is supposed to follow long traditions and philosophy set by its founder, St. John Baptist De La Salle.  At first glance, this may be very hard. However, knowing that the founder was an innovator and has addressed issues that confronted him at the time with innovation and creativity, it is safe to assume that the founder would have embraced new technologies if and only if such would benefit the learners.
This is the case with DLSZ.  Having been established in 1978, it has grown to what it is today. From the simple facility that is the main building, this institution of learning has matured into a big school that has state of the art edifices and equipment enabling it to compete with the very best in the country.  Its faculty has developed into major educators that provide top of the line, quality education for the young. Lately, it is one of the first institutions to adapt technology inside the classroom by divesting the use of books in favor of iPads called MLD’s or Mobile Learning Device. DLSZ uses different apps in education to supplement learning and even spearheaded the use of technology in other schools by launching a series of seminars called SparkEd, to showcase how learning takes place in the classroom.
Statement of the Problem
            Just like any other institutions, organizations that started breathing shall, at one point or another, expire. It may take years and years of a very long existence but just like a turtle who has set on a long journey of a thousand miles, it will one day reach its destination.  Such is the life of an organization. It will eventually face its inevitable demise. DLSZ is not immune to such a painful end. As a matter of fact, it has experienced several downfalls, like the downfall of the number of enrollees and/or having suffered a collective dampened spirit as a school. These setbacks are living testimonies that the school is in fact as vulnerable as any other.  There have been many times that DLSZ, as a school could have met its tragic death.  One of the major plunges the school experienced was on the 20th of November in 1996 when the tragic accident involving a grade four student died in an amusement ride while the school opened its fair grounds. This also involved another classmate losing her arm as a result of the said accident.  The spirit of the entire school was dampened for it never realized that such a thing could happen within its grounds.  The second was during the Erap administration in 1998 and the ensuing economic dive experienced by the country. The enrolment was at a low during the time. The all-time low in the enrolment was somehow abated with the proliferation of Korean students who flocked in the country to get education.  Another incident that could have caused the school its untimely demise was when one of its students, Mcsi Perlas, a graduating student met his untimely death in a car crash involving him and other classmates coming from a school activity in Dasmariñas, Cavite.  However, these events, no matter how tragic, proved how resilient DLSZ can be. 
Lately, the school has been facing another blow in its thirty-nine years of having been alive.  The very subdivision, the posh village of AAVA to where the school lies, is threatening the very existence of the school inside its premises.  The school is being seen as the cause of the horrendous traffic during rush hours among others, plus the noise and chaos such brings to an otherwise peaceful community. Such an irony for the very same institution was lured to establish its grounds on where it now stands as a marketing ploy to attract families to build their homes in the area knowing that they can send their young at an excellent school nearby.  Now that the children of the original homeowners have graduated and most of its students are non-villagers, the school is now regarded as a nuisance. Such is a serious threat to the school’s existence. However, the school is not to die of this nature. Sure, the building to where it stands might be thrown away but the school has already started a new building to continue its existence. This is where the school houses its Senior High School, a new addition to the organization to address the paradigm shift from a four-year high school system to a continuous grade level which is the actual system among international contemporaries. 
Hence, it can be said that the institution has not really died but has continued its existence in another place.
            However, there is another threat to the existence of the school which will surely cause its death. As a matter of fact, such threat holds true not only to DLSZ but to the entire school system in the country as we know it.  This is the fast paced growth education has undergone for the past decade or so.  With the advent of the computer and the internet, we are now faced with a different set of learners.  Gone are the days when students have to memorize facts and figures, formulae and other things we used to put to memory.  With computers, a limitless data can be had at the click of the keypad.  Since information can be had within a few seconds, man does not have to memorize anything anymore.  This being the case, teachers have to reinvent teaching.  They should now make lessons on the basis that students can have information easily and quickly.  They no longer have to stand in queue at libraries to research. 
            Computers have changed the landscape of education.  Its fast changing pace leads to the question on how relevant are traditional schools today.  We have already learned that education via correspondence is possible a long time ago.  And this is via snail mail and it has been with us for a very long time.  So too do we now have online universities such as the Writersvillage.com where people who wants to become writers join and attend classes in virtual classrooms.  Considering that distance learning is possible, the eventuality that schools will be configured to be online is tremendous.  We can just imagine a teacher conducting her class in front of a computer and the students are settled in the comfort of their homes attending class by just sitting in front of the computer as well.  The students interact and get engaged with the learning, only that they are not physically present altogether in one place at the same time.  Teachers would operate just like what they did before, writing their syllabi and daily lessons, only that they do this in front of a computer with access to a network system and talking to 20 or more students logged in at the same time. The teacher would be using the computer just like operators at call centers multi-tasking talking and listening via the headset with a microphone and continuous typing on a keyboard.  When this time happens, this will truly be the demise of schools as we know it.  At the rate technology is overtaking our daily lives, it seems like the next paradigm shift in education is inevitable.   The question is when. With DLSZ adapting quickly with the advances in technology, with its teachers being the first to be accredited by the famous company Apple as Distinguished Educators, a title bestowed to very select elite teachers around the world and four of its teachers as members of the Microsoft Certified Educators, about 20 Microsoft Innovation Experts and several more as Microsoft Innovation Education Experts, it could be said that the school has embraced technology altogether.  Hence, this paper will try to predict when education in DLSZ shall cease to exist as has been posited earlier. Such study shall be limited to DLSZ based on surrounding circumstances hoping the future can be foreseen out of the activities and the way DLSZ views education and how it handles its policies. 
Methodology
            To get a picture of learning that happens in DLSZ against a backdrop of technology based learning and how technology is being used in the school, the paper shall start with the different apps known as Learning Management Systems or LMS used in DLSZ.  These apps shall be gathered and be given a brief description of each and their use.  With this, the paper shall try to assess whether or not the apps used are bound to pose an alternative system which will eventually cause a drastic change in the future. 

After which, the paper will look at the different influences involved with teacher-student engagement like government agencies, parents, teachers themselves, the principal, etc. who could, in one way or another, be a major force in either the acceptance or rejection of the issue on hand. The paper will try to predict how these influences would react to a paradigm shift in the educational system of DLSZ and in what capacity should they influence such change.   Among the very popular ones are the following:
Learning Management System
Edmodo
Schoology –
Google classroom
iTunes U

Course Content Management System
Khan Academy
VBS Economics
Cinch –
Socratic –
Gooru
Presentation
Microsoft Power point
Keynote
Haiku Deck
Popplet Lite
Microsoft Sway
Document Processing and Alterations App
Google docs
Microsoft Word
Adobe Acrobat
Type on PDF
Graphing Data Collection
Desmos
Numbers
Microsoft Excel
Google Forms

Picture Editing and Video Making Application
Toontastic
Comic Lite
Screen Capture Lessons from Quicktime
Showme
Communication and Social Media Applications
Skype
iMessage
Facebook
Twitter
Collaboration, Print Formatting, Readers and File Storage Applications
Office 365 One Drive
Cam Scanner
Google Drive
Office 365 One Note
Schoology - a learning management system (LMS) for K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and corporations that allows users to create, manage, and share content and resources. Also known as a course management system (CMS) or virtual learning environment (VLE), the cloud-based platform provides tools to manage any classroom or blended learning environment.
Google Classroom - a learning management system developed by Google for schools that aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way. Google Classroom combines Google Drive for assignment creation and distribution, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides for writing, Gmail for communication, and Google Calendar for scheduling, and Google Search to help with school projects. Students can be invited to classes through the institution's database, through a private code, or be automatically imported from a school domain.
 Edmodo – offers a communication, collaboration and coaching platform to K-12 schools and teachers. The Edmodo network enables teachers to share content, distribute quizzes, assignments, and manage communication with students, colleagues, and parents. Edmodo is very teacher-centric in their design and philosophy: students and parents can only join Edmodo if invited to do so by a teacher. Teachers and students spend large amounts of time on the platform, both in and out of the classroom.
Kahoot! -  a game-based learning platform, used as educational technology in classrooms and other learning institutions. Launched in August 2013 in Norway, Kahoot! is played by millions of people in 100 countries. Its learning games ("kahoots") are multiple-choice quizzes that can be created by anyone and are not restricted as to age level or subject matter. Kahoot! can be played using any mobile device, desktop or laptop with an internet connection and web browser.
Khan Academy - a non-profit educational organization created in 2006 by educator Salman Khan with a goal of creating a set of online tools that help educate students. The organization produces short lectures in the form of YouTube videos Its website also includes supplementary practice exercises and materials for educators. All resources are available to users of the website. The website and its content are provided mainly in English, but are also available in other languages.
YouTube - is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google's subsidiaries.
YouTube allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to favorites, report, comment on videos, and subscribe to other users. It offers a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, etc,
 Other Influences
Government - from among the influences that could affect the change in the system of education, the government, notably the Department of Education, plays the most important role for it has the power to effect changes.  This fact can clearly be seen when the department issued the changes a few years back introducing the KPUP grading system whereby the grading components have been identified and classified into knowledge, Process, Understanding and Product with the corresponding grade allocations and the change to the K-12 system to synchronize with international standards.
            Looking back, the Department however does not seem to have changed much throughout the years.  The changes in education has been very minimal, if not non-existent.  Other than its political structure, the department has not changed that much until the changes effected during the 21st century.  Looking back from the Reorganization Act of 1916, the changes ever since were not as drastic as it has done in the last few years.  Nevertheless, it is obvious that the man at the helm of the Department needs to be strong willed as the late Secretary, Br. Armin Luistro, FSC, to create drastic changes within the Department. 
DLSZ – while the school is first to embrace technology in its system, the school per se might not be very kin in changing the entire system altogether.  It still holds some traditions which it may not be ready to abandon.  When the opening of classes was suggested and adapted in some schools to be held in August, DLSZ did not follow suit.  There have been some reasons that the management of the school has given why it has decided not to join the schools, known as the big four, in changing the opening of classes.  To think that these schools included De La Salle University.  The other schools being the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila and the University of Santo Tomas to change their school calendar. 
Parents – parents are wont to question changes schools undergo.  They are a staunch believers of the saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Parents would only understand that they were educated this and that way and because of this, they think like it is the only way.  They will be the last one to accept any changes that would happen on how schools should teach their children.  Oftentimes, one hears them asking, “Why are you experimenting on my child?” The parents are a big factor in the school to the point that they sometimes meddle with its operation.  They would question the grades given by the teacher thinking that there has been bias in the giving of the grade. 
Teachers – this group of educators would not succumb to a drastic change. On the contrary, rather than viewing this as an advance to their profession, they may find such as a threat to their very existence.  Like they would soon be replaced by technology and that they would soon be seen as obsolete.  Another way that this group of people would be an obstacle to the change is that they might be afraid of the unknown. 
            While there are a lot of advantages that the change in the system can be had with the scheme like easing down the traffic jams in the cities as the student population share the biggest chunk of the commuting public; the dangers posed by congested buildings of young teen agers; abating the drug problem in schools, one of the biggest arguments people have is that students will not develop their social skills as they will not have  interact with their peers. 

Findings
            Based on the foregoing, the paradigm shift in schools talked about in this paper will not yet happen in the near future.  The timing is just not right and the mind-set of the major players in DLSZ are not yet ready to embrace such an idea.  For one thing, the apps used in the school still have the traditional classroom in mind.  And to think DLSZ is among the pioneers in embracing technology in the classroom.
First and foremost, the programs seem to be designed for the classroom setting. The proposed change should begin with the designers who have yet to create a separate curriculum intended for distance learning in basic education. By doing so, the applications made shall be geared towards that end.  From among the platforms we already have,  Skype, iMessenger seem to be the most susceptible to this need.  These apps can be developed to hold conferences in a big scale so that the teacher can talk, teach and communicate with his/her students online at the same time.  There should also be a way by which the students can communicate with each other while such a lesson is taking place.  This and more are the problems the designers would have to address so that we can start to even think about changing the educational system.
Furthermore, the internet connection is still too slow and irregular.  With the internet connection being too slow results plus the intermittent interruptions, the country is definitely not ready to go into education that uses technology like the one being discussed here.  We have to ensure that the connection with the internet is almost worry-free and that the learning shall be uninterrupted for this scheme to succeed. 
The school, should it want to change the system, should work really hard to sell the idea not only to the major players who hold the biggest influence in the system.  It should be able to convince not only the parents, the teachers and students but itself that such is the only way left for us.  That the learners are faced with different problems as those faced by their predecessors.
This paper believes that the change is inevitable and that schools shall cease to exist the way it does. It does not even need to answer the how.  One day, the more progressive countries will make the change and the government will have no other recourse but to follow suit.  The only question is when. Yet, as fast as technology is surpassing and engulfing our lives, it seems like DLSZ and the entire school system will not yet be ready in the next twenty years.    


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MGA TURO NI TITO:
Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.


Taken by my friend Arlene Lawson in her room at Century Park Sheraton in May, 2000.
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