What is DIWA Innovation Lab? 

In celebration for our 35th year in the industry of providing quality educational resources in the Philippines, we have started this week our nationwide implementation of the Diwa Innovation Lab.

 

What is DIWA Innovation Lab? 

It is a pop up science showcase implemented by Diwa Learning Systems that features the use of new technologies to encourage the love for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

 

Why is Diwa conducting the Innovation Lab? 

Diwa upholds its battlecry: Innovation in Education. We wanted the students to elevate the student’s learning experiences and enhance their creativity and critical thinking skills. We wanted to make innovation our way of life and do things differently so that in one way or another, we can make an impact to the lives of our teachers and students and make teaching better.

 

Where are you implementing Diwa Innovation Lab? 

We are going around the Philippines — North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao! We wanted to share these new technologies and how to use it inside the classroom with the teachers and students as our immediate audience.

How do teachers and students benefit from participating in the Diwa Innovation Lab?

Both the teachers and students will learn about how to use the new technologies showcased in the Innovation Lab. Also, they are encouraged to share what they learn to their classmates once they go back to their schools.

 

So now, I’m sharing to you our photos for the day:

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Design Thinking in the Classroom

We just started our nationwide Innovator’s Congress (ICon)  here in Metro Manila. We have gathered educators from different subject areas to train them with new skills and techniques for their teaching strategies. This year, our theme focused on design thinking.

You may be asking, what is design thinking, especially once applied in education?

Design Thinking is a dynamic problem-solving approach to help educators become creators, innovators and emphatic beings. Imagine you have a problem you want to solve. Let’s say you have a problem of frequently forgetting things. Your initial approach is to immediately brainstorm for a solution. In design thinking, however, you look deeper into the problem first. You think of the root causes, the context and the people involved. In this case, if you always forget things, you will look into the whole picture — the why, the how, and the who would benefit when a solution is delivered for a problem.

 

How can design thinking be applied in education? Abesamis & Robles (2017) shares three key points:

  • As a teaching strategy

You can engage students with design thinking projects. With this, students can go beyond the “learning by doing” approach in doing their final projects.

  • As a mindset or solving problems in school

As educators, you are in a unique position to solve school problems being in constant contact with your students. Because of this, you can create a team and address school issues using the design thinking approach and engage a community in the decision-making process.

  • As a process for lesson planning and designing materials

In preparing school materials, you can use a logbook to create a student profile, that in effect, can be used as a primary resource while drafting your lesson plans. With each student profile, you can log any feedback gathered after an activity; thus, it will be easier for you to gain ownership of your student’s learning progress and become a better teacher.

 

As an educator, you can also be a designer. As a designer,  you start with the people and focus on their needs, understanding the context of their problem. Armed with insights, you then start designing ideas and solutions. You iteratively refine these solutions by gathering high-quality feedback before finalizing your output. With this process, a teacher and school leader like you can create an authentic learning experience for your students.

 

How to let your students experience the design thinking process? Here’s how:

Emphatize

  • Encourage your students to look, listen and learn. Let them ask questions about the people, or about the circumstance. Let them explore all possible scenarios.

Define

  • Here, the students will generate and narrow down the data they’ve gathered based on their questions. They can now create their design challenge statement. A design challenge statement is the similar to the problem you want to address.

Ideation

  • The students here “go all out” with their solutions. They can just down all the ideas for their solution as many as they can.

Prototype

  • Once they have a chosen feasible solution, your students can start building tangible prototypes. It can be a mini-version of the product they want to build using scrap materials, or if it is a process or strategy, students can document their prototype through role-playing and videos.

Testing

  • If students have built a prototype, it is now necessary to show it to their target audience for feedback. This feedback will serve as a springboard for improving their work and building a better solution to the problem. The final work can then be their reference once they decided to implement these prototypes into bigger and better solution to the problem they wanted to address.

 

In our ICon event, our teacher-participants became students for a day and used design thinking in their activities:

 

By using design thinking, both Filipino teachers and the students can create better and feasible solutions to problems at hand. Not only that, using this approach can make inventors and effective problem-solvers in no time. In a world where innovation is the new norm, you have to constantly be curious and update your skillset so you can always have something exciting to share inside the classroom. 🙂

 

Reference:

Abesamis, G. & Robles, K. (2017). Design Thinking. Quality Teacher Magazine Vol. 14 No. 2, Diwa Learning Systems and Bato Balani Foundation Inc.

 

Pangalangan, A. (2017). Prepare Learners to Become Effective Problem Solvers. Quality Teacher Magazine Vol. 14 No. 2, Diwa Learning Systems and Bato Balani Foundation Inc.

What I Like About Genyo eLearning

Recently, we had product display during the CEAP convention in Davao, and I had the chance to interact with some school coordinator, administrators and some teachers. I got the chance to explain about our books, magazines and our e-Learning product. What’s more, I got the chance to appreciate fully our products because it is one in the market that offers much more than our competitors.

 

So, as an e-Learning advocate and a Genyo supporter since 2010, what do I like about Genyo e-Learning?

 

  1. Training and Technology Integration

    • With Genyo, teachers are trained to use the e-Learning platform at the start of the school year and at other dates as needed all year round. The teachers and the students not only gets trained about the system, but really, how to integrate its use inside the classroom, and during school events. There are schools who used Genyo for their quizzes, and others for their online quarterly examinations. There are also who used the platform for school-wide election, and others who use it for survey, or any other subject-related event such as Buwan ng Wika, English Month, or any even the World Teacher’s day.
    • Technology Integration is one standard required in the Philippine K-12 curriculum of the Department of Education, so with Genyo, it would be seamless to apply this standard for schools. There are also several schools who use Genyo for their PAASCU accreditation.
    • Malate Catholic School who has implemented their hybrid program with integrating technology in their curriculum is already a testament to how the training and technology integration can be successful for e-Learning implementation. Also, forums for training the administrators are provided so these schools can be at par in their e-Learning implementation with the global standards. You can read more on this article.
    • Lastly, the help of Learning Integration Specialists assigned in schools all-year-round makes it a better opportunity for the schools to move forward with e-Learning.
  2. Curriculum-Aligned Content

    • Genyo already has content housed inside its platform — with topics for English, Math, Science, Araling Panlipunan and Filipino. These content are animated, and ready-made. What’s more, our team already developed contents that are aligned with the learning competencies of the Philippine K-12 curriculum guide. One thing you just need to do is search the thousand contents that we have for your topic.
    • What if the contents are not aligned in your school curriculum? Don’t worry. There are options for the contents in Genyo to be mapped out to your curriculum, just ask the Learning Integration Specialist how to do it.
    • Last but not the least, aside from the lessons, there are also quizzes, games and interactive activities inside the platform that both teachers and students can take advantage of. These quizzes are either aligned with the lessons, or stand-alone. If you opt to customize a game that you can do for your lesson, no problem! That is possible too with our platform.
  3. Customizable Modules

    • Suppose you are a teacher, do you have less time for yourself because you need to do several administrative tasks as add-on for your lessons? With Genyo, you can just customize and create your own lesson packages from our own content, your own PowerPoint file, or just a link from your references list. You can also create quizzes and allow these to be assigned to your students as reviewer for an exam, or just a quiz included in your lesson. These lessons and quizzes also give you immediate feedback (if you opt it), so on your end, you can immediately analyze if your students did well for the quiz you’ve assigned. So, if you’re a teacher, tracking your student’s progress is very very important.
    • Announcements are also important especially if the school don’t have classes (maybe because of class suspension) yet teachers want the students to work on their homework. Instead of having the students just check social media, why not take advantage of technology to shout out those school requirements? For the past years, Genyo has been used as an announcement platform during on-the-spot suspension of classes because of provincial events, or even natural disasters coming their way.

 

So there. For the past years, I have worked as a Genyo advocate so I have an idea of how Genyo works and how it helps students, teachers and schools in integrating technology into their lessons and their school curriculum. I think these are also the reasons our partner schools have taken advantage since they have started their e-Learning journey with us. 🙂

DIWA Innovation Lab

For this week, we have been tapped as one of the sponsor exhibitor for the annual Convention of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP). Since we wanted to also promote Diwa’s 35th year in the publishing industry, we have come up with a showcase of the DIWA products, ranging from books, magazines and e-learning. Also, in line with our tagline “Innovation in Education” in the 21st century, we are promoting an all-in-one classroom experience for Philippine educators with the use of not only our existing products but also new technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). We call this our very own Diwa Innovation Lab

For this week, we are showcasing these technologies and you can see here how these educators are exploring these new tech. Bringing these tech to Philippine educators and really, inside the classroom where Filipino students are playing around and learning from it is something we can look forward to in the next few years. 🙂 
Booth Exhibit

Tribute to Teachers

Every year, we have been recognizing select teachers from all over the Philippines for their exemplary contribution on the field of education.

Our sister company, Bato Balani Foundation, Inc (BBFI), founded an advocacy campaign to extol the virtues of teaching by providing role models who inspire excellence not only for educators but for most Filipinos as well. This advocacy campaign is called, “The Many Faces of a Teacher”.

Private or public entities can nominate a teacher to be honored and recognized by BBFI in an annual gala gathering called “Tribute to Teachers”, in front of hundreds, sometimes thousands of educators. These nominees are then filtered, interviewed and selected by panel of judges from different sectors involved in the development of the education in the country. Four honorees are selected each year and recognized as leaders and unsung heroes in the teaching profession — those who can become sources of inspiration and knowledge for both teachers and students.

I have the opportunity to participate in this event every year as manpower. It inspires me most of really why I am staying at my current company, doing what I love — that is, I get to help the education sector in the Philippines in my own little way. Hearing the speeches of the honorees makes me want to salute all the teachers I know for their passion, hardwork and compassion to teach the next generation of this nation.

So to all the teachers, thank you for your hardwork and your compassion. Thank you for believing your students and thank you for thinking how the next generation of leaders are molded into the persons they could become.

Here are some photos from Bato Balani’s Tribute to Teachers 2017 last September 1:

The Idea of Giving Back

The past few weeks has been very busy for me, so pardon me if I update this blog just once a week. But in those few weeks, I can only sum up my weekends using two words: Giving Back.

I was the kind of gal who wondered if I can eventually make an impact to other people, and to the society as well. With the opportunities presented to me the past few weeks, I guess the heavens answered that simple question in my mind.

Making Connections

I had the opportunity to meet a guy who is into taking a degree in Instructional Design and Technology. He is just starting out in the field and is on the lookout to learn more. We met and were able to exchange ideas on elearning, international studies, and how can we make an impact in the education sector. Meeting him actually allowed me to share my insights on the industry; thus, giving him an opportunity to know how the education sector in Philippines is thriving with e-Learning. The simple act of sharing my knowledge and experience on the industry gave me that feeling of fulfillment, as I am able to help other people with their career goals.

Helping Mother Earth

I was invited by a friend to participate in a tree-planting activity at Mt. Balagbag in Bulacan. I usually participate in these kinds of activities so when the opportunity was available, there’s no time to say no. It was an opportunity to help the community since they have been into charcoal industry and planting trees would lessen the impact of this human activity. On one end, we cannot blame the community for burning and creating charcoal as it is their source of income, but we all know its effect to nature. Headed by Green Ants Environmental Camp, we and other volunteers planted more than a hundred seedlings. It was a fulfillment for me to be able to help Mother Nature, and while digging and planting those seedlings, I couldn’t help myself but think about the parable of the seeds found in Luke 8:4-8.

The Story of the Seeds

4-8As they went from town to town, a lot of people joined in and traveled along. He addressed them, using this story: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. Some of it fell on the road; it was tramped down and the birds ate it. Other seed fell in the gravel; it sprouted, but withered because it didn’t have good roots. Other seed fell in the weeds; the weeds grew with it and strangled it. Other seed fell in rich earth and produced a bumper crop.

I was hoping that time that my seedlings will grow and provide shelter. I realized how important for farmers to have good soil to plant the seeds, because when I encountered the rocky soil and the soil filled with weeds, I immediately doubted if these seedlings will grow. Lesson learned, a soil near the water source and with less rocks and weeds will allow any plant to grow abundantly. Just like our lives, if we allow our hearts to become fertile ground to the love of Jesus Christ, that love will grow abundantly not only to benefit us but also other people.

Participating in Social Responsibility

I had the opportunity to join an event of Maybank (private company) , Teach for the Philippines (NGO) and Renovate to Educate (NGO) to help Panghulo Elementary School in Malabon. The day’s activities included mural painting, fixing old chairs and tables, classroom repainting, chair repainting and seedling planting in the frontyard. We arrived in the area and started the activities around 8am. Immediately, we were briefed with what to do and we head on to work. My friends and I started planting the seedlings, landscaping and then afterwards, we helped repaint the chairs. While on break, I saw the sign in the classroom for the vision of the school — to see Filipinos love their country and be passionate in building the nation. I was moved, for even though it is just a reminder, it is what we really need right now given to what is happening in our country. We need people who love the country and passionate in building the nation, in whatever contribution they can. At the end of the activities, we were able to finish and meet our goal, and at the same time, help the principal and teachers be effective in teaching by providing their classroom needs.

All in all, I enjoyed doing these kinds of things and the idea of giving back in whatever form can give you fulfillment. However, I wanted to reiterate that I’ve already found fulfillment in Christ and this is just an overflow. I may only have little time in this world for we never know what will happen next, but the fact that I am able to contribute to the betterment of a person or nature or the world is already a fulfillment for me.

How about you? What makes you fulfilled? That’s a question you can ponder on. 😁

10 Things About Me 

This is my 10th year blogging my heart out, but in the past ten years, I haven’t been faithful writing my thoughts and sharing it to you. (Blogging is really hard work, just like how you work hard for your relationships). 😄

So now, I’m giving you 10 things you might want to know about me:

10) I’m halfway through the year before I turn 30. 

Yes, I do not look like it, but I already have lots of experience in terms of love and life. Might I say I have a colorful past, I’m enjoying nevertheless my last few months of being 20-ish.

 

9) I have been a mother to babies with names that end in y, and I love them!

If my memory serves me right, I’ve been a friend and a mother to Smarty, Globey, Spotty and Lassy. I guess that obsession with letter Y never leaves me.

 

8) I am fond of watching Kdramas. 

Filipinos are fond of watching Kdramas and I’m just one of them. I remember back in the university when I would ask for copies of Kdrama after our exam period. I have a hard time remembering their names, though, I mostly like the storyline of most Kdrama series.

 

7) I have sweet-tooth.

I am fond of eating chocolates, cakes, ice cream and anything sweet. These foods make me hyper and giddy, as well as it serve as my brain food during intense brainstorming.

 

6) I love reading books!

I don’t have the talent to finish 400-page book in a few hours, but I love the feel of turning the page and learning about the characters in the story. Christian fiction novels are my favorite!

 

5) Forest or beach? Forest please!

And anything that comes with it. Falls, mountains, and nature are my element. I feel so relaxed, calm and peaceful whenever we have mountain trips.

 

4) I am a certified e-learning enthusiast.

For the past 7 years of my career, I have been exposed to the e-learning industry. I had trained teachers and students on how to use our e-learning product and now, I have been developing content for our e-learning system. This industry is one that is just booming in the Philippines so I am excited to see what’s in store for this industry, especially in the education sector.

 

3) Jollibee Chicken Joy and Mini Stop’s Fried Chicken, Peach Mango Pie and Dunkin Donut’s Choco Butternut are my comfort food. 

Whenever I feel so down, stressed and super hungry, I usually look for these food. These, for me, are heaven here on earth.

 

2) I have an on-off relationship with my bed. 

Yes. I’m single and during most of my free time, you would find me in my bed reading books, munching some junk foods, writing in my journal and sleeping for a normal of 10 hours. If I get so busy in a week which means I only get to sleep 2-3 hours, then after a day or two of continuous sleep deprivation, I would get sick and my body will force me to sleep for more than 12-15 hours. Abnormal? I do think so. I guess I still have this appetite for sleep like a teenager.

 

1) I’m more likely 70% introvert, 30% extrovert. 

I’ve improved, you know. Before, I would go inside my shell whenever I need to interact with people. I highly value my personal space. When I make friends, I make sure they’re just few but our relationships last longer.

When we grow older, we meet new people and we adjust to situations. That’s why there’s that 30% extroversion. Now, when I need to communicate with other people, I have that confidence to go out of my way and introduce myself.

So there. I hope you can relate with 10 little things about me. 🙂