(Trying to be a prophet)
De La Salle Santiago Zobel: The Future in
Responding to Learning Needs
of Millenials with the Advent of Technology
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
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.
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.
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
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
Course Content Management System
Document Processing and Alterations App
Picture Editing and Video Making Application
Screen Capture Lessons from Quicktime
Communication and Social Media Applications
Collaboration, Print Formatting, Readers and File Storage
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
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.
– 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
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.
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
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,
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
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.
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
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.
Labels: education, leadership, trends