Wegotmail: Edtech with a heart (1st part)


The Society for Technology in Education Philippines (STEP) recently gathered at Ateneo de Manila University and began a contemplative journey to reinterpret the function of educational technology. This strategic planning workshop, which was presided over by Fr. Jonjee Sumpaico III, SJ, ADMU Vice President for Basic Education, underlined the country's desire for a human-centered digital transformation in education. 

I had the honor of contributing to a vision that integrates technology with school's core values as a board member of STEP, a community of digital innovators in education. This initiative resonates with the Asean's aspirations for a digitally empowered region and aligns with the Department of Education's (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education's (Ched), and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority's (Tesda) shared mission to elevate learning through digital means.

During the aforementioned workshop, it was decided that utilizing cutting-edge technologies to create a learning atmosphere that prioritizes empathy, creativity, and human values is just as important as just implementing them. Our task, made more difficult by the present state of the education system, is to use digital transformation to improve access, close gaps, and customize learning opportunities. This strategy is essential in our nation where there are significant differences in educational attainment and where many communities have not yet completely benefited from the promise of technology.

In-class examples of this vision in action include virtual reality excursions that bring historical events to life, AI-driven personalized learning platforms that adjust to each student's pace and style, and interactive tools like Mentimeter, Nearpod, Kahoot, and Quizizz that make assessment a dynamic and interesting activity. These advances represent major movements away from upgrades and toward an educational system that emphasizes personalized learning and interactive teaching.

Based on the discussions during this planning session, the main focus of our approach at Step is ongoing professional development for teachers. It is essential to provide educators with the pedagogical knowledge and technical proficiency to enable them to effectively use technology into their instruction. This empowerment includes creating an atmosphere in which learners are inspired to be inquisitive, critical thinkers, and compassionate citizens who are prepared for the challenges of the twenty-first century.

As part of our digital transformation plan, we also prioritize environmentally friendly technical solutions in line with the global shift towards sustainable practices. This dual emphasis on sustainability and innovation is a reflection of a comprehensive reform strategy in education that equips students not just for the workforce but also for responsible citizenship in a global society.

In terms of vision and mission regarding educational technology, the partnership of STEP, DepEd, CHED, and TESDA, at least in theory, indicates a shared commitment to a technologically sophisticated yet profoundly humane educational environment. Our goal is to place our nation at the forefront of educational innovation, where technology acts as a bridge rather than a barrier to high-quality learning, by exchanging resources, knowledge, and best practices.

We were all reminded during the strat plan session of the value of reflection, context, action, and evaluation in the learning process, all of which were influenced by our Ignatian pedigree. In general, adding these components to our digital education strategy makes sure that technology enriches, rather than subtracts from, the rich, human-centered learning experiences that serve as the cornerstone of teaching that is both student-centered and socially relevant.

There will inevitably be obstacles in the way of the nation's technologically revolutionized educational system, but there are also plenty of chances for big changes. Through the centralization of human values in our digital initiatives, we can guarantee that technology serves as an enabler for a more comprehensive, captivating, and productive education. The insights we learned from our STEP strategic planning session will continue to direct our work going forward, probably sharing the same desire with thousands of our like-minded Filipino educators, helping to close the gap between technological innovation and the timeless values that characterize high-quality, holistic education with a heart.


Doc H fondly describes himself as a 'student of and for life' who, like many others, aspires to a life-giving and why-driven world that is grounded in social justice and the pursuit of happiness. His views herewith do not necessarily reflect those of the institutions he is employed or connected with.


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