Software giant Microsoft, through its local office, held its first innovative education forum and the awarding of its 6th Innovative Teachers Leadership Award (ITLA) last week at the SMX Convention Center.
The education forum presented an avenue for teachers and educators to learn about the best practices in engaging students make the most out of their studies by incorporating technology into teaching and learning. It aims to bring student’s learning experience a notch higher by introducing teaching methods that will make more exciting and interactive for both teachers and students.
“We at Microsoft believe that to empower schools increase learning is thru teacher development. Technology is not just a tool in educating the young minds but also an instrument that can be utilize, improve, strengthen, and enhance the learning experiences of both teachers and the students," said Leeanne Lambino-Nuguid, Academic Programs Manager, Partners in Learning, Microsoft Philippines.
The ITLA is a program under the Partners in Learning initiative, Microsoft’s global initiative for education that provides educators and partners technology training and tools. ITLA is a recognition given to top ten public elementary and secondary teachers who have successfully integrated information and communications technology in teaching and learning, and who have impacted a great number of students in the process.
According to Nuguid, Microsoft Philippines launched Partners in Learning in the country six years ago and since then it has worked with the Department of Education (DepEd) in implementing skill-training programs and helping schools prepare and enriched teachers Information Technology (IT) knowledge and skills.
To date, Partners in Learning has reached over 3 million people and has been able to train 43, 687 teachers in the Philippines.
Nuguid said that the program is anchored on the belief of Microsoft that the key to better education is innovation and students that have an access to better education are potential partners in national and economic development.
“Through the forum and ITLA, we are bringing community of teachers who are also learners and offering them the opportunities to become stakeholders in producing IT skilled Filipino students," Nuguid added.
This year’s ITLA top three winners are: Felix Bunagan of Makati City High School for his project, “Fun with Newton"; Blecyrezza Piluden of the Baguio City National High School for her “The Film Festival"; and Glendale Lamiseria of Dulag National High School for her “Tendencies for a Cause" project.
The three teachers will represent the country in the 7th Regional Innovative Education Forum in Thailand this March 9-11.
Yolanda Quijano, DepEd Undersecretary for Programs and Projects, said that DepEd joins Microsoft in honoring the teachers for rising above and optimize the use of technology and bring out better student learning despite the limited ICT resources in their schools.
“We are happy that Microsoft is taking the lead in aiding teachers and students become more interactive in the learning process. The growing opportunities for our teachers and students in the country is vast and we should all work together to provide the best learning experiences to them," said Quijano.
John Bessy, Managing Director, Microsoft Philippines said that with the continuous support partners and DepEd, Microsoft will be reaching more children and teachers in the coming years to enable the youth to become globally-competitive through technology.
Also, present at the forum was Efren Penaflorida, 2009 CNN Hero of the year, who shared his motivation in putting up his “Kariton" classroom as an alternative education for the Filipino youth. — TJD, GMA News