Saturday, February 27, 2021

Ang Examen


The 2020 National Children's Book Award Winners

The National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) announce the winners of the 6th National Children’s Book Awards (NCBA). From 218 nominated titles and a shortlisted 29 finalists, 3 titles emerged as winners. The NCBA is a biennial event that honors the best published books for children and young adults published in the previous two years. A maximum of ten titles may be included in the Best Reads list. In 2014 and 2016, a panel of child judges shortlisted ten titles and voted for their top choice through the Kids’ Choice Award.

The passion to develop children’s books in the country can be traced to Dr. Jose Rizal’s retelling of “The Monkey and the Turtle.” This was published in Trubner's Oriental Record in London in July 1889. The third Tuesday of July is celebrated as National Children's Book Day to commemorate the anniversary of its publication.
The awards aim to encourage parents and care givers to spend more time reading with their children while recommending the best published works.
The winners for the 6th National Children’s Book Awards are:
Ang Maliit na Kalabaw
Illustrated and written by Liza Flores
Adarna House, Inc., 2018
Cashaysayan: A History of Philippine Money (Halo-Halo Histories Book 2)
Written by Michelline Suarez, Joonee Garcia, and Divine Reyes
Illustrated by Benjor Catindig
Tahanan Books for Young Readers, 2018
Pitong Tsinelas (Seven Slippers)
Written by Divine Gil Reyes
Illustrated by Benjor Catindig
Tahanan Books for Young Readers, 2018
The NCBA is co-administered by NBDB with PBBY. The PBBY is a private, nonstock, nonprofit organization committed to the development of children's literature in the Philippines.
The NCBA is judged by a panel of award-winning children’s book authors, illustrators, and scholars. The esteemed judges are Dr. Christine Bellen-Ang, Dr. Rebecca AnoƱuevo, Ms Dolores Carungui, Dr. Lina De Rivera, and Mr. Russell Molina.
This year, the NBDB and PBBY accepted nominations of books published in 2018 and 2019.
The awarding ceremony will be held in July 2021 during the National Children’s Book Day celebration.

Friday, February 26, 2021

In Memoriam: Miguel Magpantay Cobaria (September 30, 1948 - February 22, 2021)

Back in November 2019, the CLAPI and the NLP organized a talk on Children’s Literature and they invited me to share developments in the book industry specifically on the publication of children’s books in recent years. Both agencies supported the launch of my 9th book with Lampara Books, “When A Book Talks” (Gagatiga and Cabalar, 2019). It had a good attendance from the public sector.

From the audience, it was Prof. Miguel “Mike” Cobaria who made himself known with projects and programs for inmates in Muntinlupa and the urban poor. He talked about the use of children’s literature to engage adults and young people to read. What an interesting topic to study, I thought. As if we have all the time in the world.

Sir Mike bought copies of my books that were on sale that day. He asked that I sign them for his community whom he visits every week for storytelling and Bibliotherapy sessions. I gladly obliged. Unknown to many, it was Sir Mike who inspired me to pursue Reading Guidance and Readers Advisory, Bibliotherapy and BookTalk Services at a time when everyone in Philippine Librarianship was crazy over IT applications in library management and operations. Productivity and efficiency are important goals for any library to achieve. Library automation and computerization were the answers. It was the 90s. Everyone was riding and jumping on the IT bandwagon. But someone has to work with teachers and parents so children and young people can build their confidence to learn how to read. Teachers need an ally. Parents need literacy partners and support systems. I chose that path. I decided to take on that role. I thank Sir Mike for opening that door of possibility. It has led me to amazing adventures and a continuing journey of self discovery.
It will take me a while to come to terms with his passing. The last time we met was in January 2020, a few weeks before lockdown. He attended the Bibliotherapy workshop I set up for librarians in the Southern Tagalog Region. We were preparing for volunteer work in evacuation centers in CALABARZON to conduct storytelling and Bibliotherapy sessions with children and their families who were displaced because of the eruption of Taal volcano. He already looked frail and feeble at the time but his mind and his spirit were animated with the grace and mercy of God. He invited me to join him in one of his outreach activities. I said yes, of course. But it never happened.

In his passing I felt I have lost not just a teacher and mentor but a dear friend as well. I console myself with the thought that Sir Mike will remain a kindred spirit.
Rest in God’s peace, Sir Mike! We will carry on!

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Spark a Reading Revolution Book Bundle 1 - The Civil Rights Movement


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Lighthouse Diary Entry #26: Academic Integrity and Turnitin

I attended a webinar yesterday morning. Yes, another webinar. The local distributor of Turnitin, APAC Marketing organized a 2 hour webinar on Academic Integrity at the heart of teaching and learning processes. There is less talk of the Turnitin app and more of practices in teaching and learning. 

One takeaway I have from the webinar is the 70-30 approach in online distance learning. This means, 70% is allotted for asynchronous learning and 30% for synchronous learning. This may imply that the design of instruction for asynchronous learning will lean towards student agency, engagement and independent learning. Skills teaching is paramount. Synchronous learning would entail follow up, following through, tutorial type sessions, show and model strategies. Concepts and content, especially those that cover a prescribed curriculum may need to be revisited.

I appreciated the input session of Dr. Michael Dino on Academic Integrity. I was holistic, historical and culturally relevant to our teaching practices. The live online forum that followed right after the product demo of Gradescope was engaging. Gradescope helps teachers manage and administer grades and assessments. Pegged as easy to use, it generates data that may help inform teachers on skills and concepts that have been learned and would need improvement on.

During the open forum, there were many questions about plagiarism and citations. I had to involve myself on this topic. I just cannot. So, I gave some suggestions on citation processes and the necessity of following a citation format to guide students and researchers in the responsible use of information and varied media formats.

This led me to another insight on Academic Integrity. It is about relationships. Knowing the learner, first of all, and the teacher recognizing and seeing himself or herself as a learner too, are factors to building a caring and respectful relationship necessary for learning honestly and with integrity.

Turnitin is neat app to detect plagiarism, thereby upholding Academic Integrity. But at the end of the day, it is a tool. We need to make these tools work for our advantage and not the other way around.

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