What makes online learning difficult?
Getting our kids going with certain activities is typically pretty tough. The excitement of meeting new teachers, reuniting with friends, and maybe a milestone like the first day of kindergarten or high school comes with mixed emotions this year. Plus, the online atmosphere lets kids face in front of their monitors to make the learning happen. The existing barriers at home hamper effective teaching opportunities for children. These are some of the points that need to be addressed, but for some, it’s a great start to taking the challenge.
The RSE Academy under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Cheryl Dublar in collaboration with the BSCE 1-C students of the University of San Agustin initiated a culminating activity that promotes digital literacy – a platform that enables children to understand the modern stage of living with computers. A two-day program activity that allows kids ages 9-12 to develop an understanding of Microsoft PowerPoint, its usage, and its importance.
Enrolling kids in school does not take much, as you will probably default to the school in the closest proximity; while some parents may have to put in a little more work if they choose to send their children to a private school or get a private tutor instead. From research to applications to financial commitments, the important thing to remember is that there is a set process to follow. Just like this event, it displays that learning can even happen under the papaya tree.
Similar to sports and many extracurricular activities, it’s difficult to miss the numerous flyers and adverts for local little leagues that are posted all over town and in your email inboxes or Facebook groups if your kids want to learn new things. Not to mention that kids will probably have at least a couple of friends who will be playing as well; who can serve as resources and recommendations.
Why is digital literacy necessary?
The rapid development of technologies in people in the digital age must deal with situations that call for the use of an expanding variety of technological, cognitive, social, and other abilities that are needed to carry out efficiently in digital settings. These competencies are referred to as “digital literacy” in literature (Buckingham, 2003; Gilster, 1997; Hargittai, 2008; Lankshear & Knobel, 2008).
A PIDS (The Philippine Institute for Development Studies) paper highlighted the low levels of digital literacy among Filipinos. Only about 40% of people have at least one of the six ICT (Information and Communications Technology) skills that are being tracked for the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). The young (10–14 years old) and the elderly (65 and above) seem to have the lowest levels of digital literacy. The Philippines is behind the rest of ASEAN in almost all ICT competencies recommended by the International Telecommunication Union.
The Department of Education has put into place ICT initiatives such as ICT literacy programs for primary and secondary education, and the Learning Resource Management and Development System – an online library with free teaching-learning resources that can be downloaded. There has not been a review or update of these programs yet though.
Digital literacy is not yet a course that the Department of Education offers in all public schools. A computer lab with 15 to 20 computer units is a luxury that some public schools enjoy, the Philippine Statistical Authority (2014) notes. However, not all pupils in government-run institutions are allowed to put what their computer teacher has taught them into practice since the student-to-computer ratio is below the minimum. The lack of computers in those schools in remote places are the worst. The Department of Education notes that particular science lessons are offered in schools that teach Science, Technology, and Engineering as well as through regional science high schools that offer STEM curriculum programs.
As members of a digital society, we see a rising threat of digital illiteracy to Filipinos especially those who do not belong to Generation Z. In this regard, we believe that through this project we can instill the needed education for all of them to address this problem.
December 13, 2022 (Day 1)
The preparation started over a week or two before the set day of our training, led by Mr. Kevin Joshua Poli, the president of BSCE 1-C.
Group A did their grind to pass all the required files so that we can proceed to our next step; the polishing, assigning, and the most anticipated dry-run of Group B, headed by Mr. Norwin Giles Dela Cruz and Mr. Christian Paul Baculinao.
The time was set as everyone agreed to meet at 9:30 AM on December 13, 2022; the dry-run was held, and everyone sought to find both their positive and negative side to delivering the training. Other members from other Groups (A & C) witnessed and critiqued the group to further brainstorm and generate a better approach to the training.
Goals were set after the discussion of improvement points such as:
The training began on December 13, 2022 at 5:00 PM when the host began accepting participants into the meet. Other children were unable to join due to a bad internet connection while some of them were still finishing their own classes. However, the session went on. Despite the difficulties, this demonstrated the trainers’ and participants’ burning passion and determination.
At 5:30, the program officially began. Group B proceeded to instruct all of the children who had attended. To begin the training proper, the Philippine National Anthem was played first, followed by the Prayer, Opening Remarks, and an Energizer to kick off the training.
Mr. Paul Baculinao served as the event’s main host. “It really warms my heart to teach the kids about Microsoft Powerpoint, and being chosen as the host is a dream come true for me as a student,” he said.
To guarantee the proper operation of the aforementioned program, everyone actively engaged in class discussions and plugged and unplugged activities such as word-guessing games for children’s vocabulary. Both the children and their trainers enjoyed the program.
The children took an active role in the games and even answered the questions in chorus. Furthermore, despite technical challenges in the event, Group B performed very well on Day 1.
The following persons are the people who participated in the event:
Leader: Rainier Adrian Mateo
Assistant Leader: Kyle Arvi Fuentes
Crystal Joy Bondad
Adrei Virgil Albarado
Gim Kee Seah
Aron Giebriel Paloma
Dave Bryan Eiman
Xyrus Andrei Desierto
Dexter Gerad Gencianeo
Dane Gabriel Quitollo
Kg Joshua Garcalicana
Josh Malvin Escarnuela
RJ Abillera, Jr.
Leader: Christian Paul Baculinao
Assistant Leader: Norwin Giles Dela Cruz
Clark Kent Palacios
Kristine Mae Fernandez
Ralph Siegfred Bales
Jed Brian Parinasan
Francis Eydrielle Balinsoy
Robert Regie Argañoza
Caesar Barluado, lll
Jude Mel Dampog
Christian Ahmir Monfort
Jan Alain Espanola
Leader: Johann Niccolo Requinto
Assistant Leader: Aira Keen Gallardo
Kristine Angel Batiao
Kevin Joshua Poli
Leonard Von Cabales
Rylle Enzo Lumawag
Dan Kenneth Japitana
Von Jason Palmaira
Toby Bryan Sanchez Pisueña
Florence Nevelle Dalida
Sean Elijah Lamahang
April Joyce Josue
Charles Brian Tacleon
December 16, 2022 (Day 2)
It is a fact that the experience of helping the community in such a small way is a different kind of fulfillment that can be treasured over a lifetime. This might be a small step in achieving our goal to increase digital literacy in the country, but we should always remember that even small steps will lead us to success supported by commitment and consistency.
In today’s time, digital literacy is very crucial since we are dealing with technology most of the time, especially in education, jobs, and personal matters. It allows us to access information, and online resources to facilitate new leanings, discover new skills to enhance our job performances, social engagements with both local and international audiences, and many more.
On the last day of the Digital Literacy training, the BSCE 1C class strengthened its invitation via posters to attract many participants to join the event. “It was a subtle act for the group since we can showcase our different talents and abilities in public speaking,” said Mr. Poli during an interview with the section.
Mr. Leonard Von Cabales took the lead as the event’s primary host for the second day. He was able to conduct the event with clarity and enthusiasm thanks to his new and enticing charm. Excellent work, Von! They certainly want the best day for the children, thus they open their doors to learning the fundamentals of Microsoft PowerPoint as a presenting tool.
Mr. Clark Kent Palacios’ experience has taught him that interacting with children throughout training is invaluable. He was pleased that he and his colleague mentors were able to teach children about Microsoft PowerPoint. It’s been a wonderful experience for me. Poor internet connection was the most difficult problem he’d experienced when planning the event. It’s quite difficult since it is online, however, the event was successful.
Furthermore, he was having a great time teaching the students about Microsoft Powerpoint. It’s very fulfilling considering he was also in a situation where he was taught how to present Microsoft PowerPoint. The students were really engaged in their participation. Mr. Caesar Baluardo’s most memorable training moment, on the other side, was when we conducted the gummy bear dance as a warm-up activity. Additionally, the most memorable aspect of training is when they educate the children and discover that some of them have great potential. The most difficult challenge he had in organizing the event was coming up with an effective technique to teach or explain the topics to the children with confidence and fluency so that they would listen to what he had to say. Being a teacher may be a stressful job at times. He can also witness their active engagement and, of course, their cuteness as a presenter.
Mr. Norwin De la Cruz’s most memorable experience was when all of the children cheerfully and excitedly answered our questions, engaged in the discussions, and competed against each other in the small game we had planned for them. “I felt happy and fulfilled after carrying out our aims and goals for our activity effectively and easily,” he stated.
Ms. Aira Keen Gallardo then supervised the video editing with Leonard Von Cabales. It was a passion for her since she was in love with editing work. “Putting your imaginations and ideas, as well as your character and originality, into the pub mats was a real thrill,” she remarked. They also worked quite hard to make the event attractive and appealing.
Group C, led by Mr. Johann Niccolo Requinto and Ms. Aira keen Gallardo, also performed an excellent job capturing the program, including collecting photos and films. On the other hand, Mr. Kevin Joshua Y. Poli was the primary author of the tech blog news.
Also, they initiated to make pubmats to beautify the activity with Mr. Poli of the concept and edits and Ms. Gallardo of the design. They collected evaluation and feedback from the hosts, trainers and participants of the event.
Lastly, the class really did a very good job in teaching the kids. It was very hard for them since the first meeting plus the invitation of the kids Ages 9-12. Luckily, there were many pupils who are into learning and they want to broaden their understanding about digital technology.
The common disadvantages of digital literacy are students may know more than teachers and could negatively impact writing skills. However, students can have:
Hence, the BSCE 1-C is looking forward to many events like this to solve the rising digital divide across the community. And also, teaching not only the kids but everyone to be digitally literate and computer aware in this modern age. We are aware of different barriers that we might encounter using digital technologies. Given the limited resources and less physical contact, we were able to make an event that can really serve as an example for children although they were really into online games. Thus, we also want to organize an online learning program for them. And, we have this culminating project to solve the problem.
We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone for making this event a successful one. To all the participants, trainers, facilitators and professors, we really commend the initiative of teamwork and brotherhood. We wish everyone a blessed computer learning!
Below are the experience statements of the trainers and members in the said activity: