Sunday, October 15, 2017

Teacher Techie of the Month: Winona Yapit-Diola

The blog's Teacher Techie of the month is none other than, Winona "Teacher Winnie" Yapit-Diola. 

Teacher Winnie joined De La Salle Zobel School in 1994 and handled diverse Science classes in Junior Prep, Grades 1 to 6 levels. She was recognized as DLSZ’s Outstanding Instructional Leader in 2014. Ms Winnie is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Class of 2015, a Distinguished Lasallian Leader Awardee, Certified Apple Teacher, Apple Accredited Professional Learning (PL) Consultant and Trainer, Certified Google Educator Level 1 and was named one of the winners of the 2016 Search for Outstanding Teachers by the Metrobank Foundation.

If I were not a teacher, I would be either a factory worker or a nurse

How did you bridge or overcome the challenges of learning new technology for classroom instruction? 
In the implementation of Next Generation Blended Learning Program in De La Salle Zobel School, I was among the senior teachers who accepted the challenge to become innovators of the program and to teach with iPad as a tool for learning. I was quite hesitant at first but as the saying goes “If you can’t beat them, join them”. I joined the bandwagon of teachers who are willing to give it a try and implement the use of mobile devices inside the classroom. I attended tedious training on how to use a mobile device (iPad), deepened my understanding of the blended learning pedagogy, and prepared modules that combine both face to face activities and electronic/online learning. And together, we prepared rules on the proper use of mobile devices in class and explored mobile applications that can be useful to my students. For me, it is a two-way learning process as I guide my students learn the content, creativity, cooperation, and collaboration in my subject area. I also learn from them different apps, tricks and tips on the use of mobile devices. Then, I started to see myself as a facilitator of learning who allows students to learn in unconventional ways as they accomplish tasks that are previously inconceivable.

Some teachers fall for the idea of putting technology inside the classroom and making them available for use without having a clear pedagogy and specific ideas on how to incorporate them to improve student learning. So they end up facing challenges/ difficulties on when to use or how to manage the use of technology in class. Teachers should put in mind the importance of providing activities that are driven by pedagogy and not by the mere presence of technology.

Teacher Winnie with family meeting  DepEd Secretary Briones and President Duterte after being awarded the as Metrobank's Most Outstanding Teacher of 2016.
What is the recipe for a successful integration of technology in education/instruction?
The recipe for a successful integration of technology in education lies on the ability of the teachers to innovate and to foster creativity. A teacher who understands the pedagogy that responds to the learning styles of students and learning modalities that would help students simulate real world environment as they use different available technology.
As facilitators of learning, teachers should ask themselves this question- “How do I use technology to develop the skills needed by 21st century learners so they become successful adults?” And if the needed skills of digital learners are addressed and student learning is improved with the use of technology, then we can say that the technology integration is successful.

What would help teachers’ transition from traditional tech use to digital tech use?
Transforming from traditional use of technology to digital technology use does not happen overnight. The greatest challenge to us, teachers, is to learn to use technology to teach effectively and to inspire student learning and creativity- to get out of the comfort zone to see the unknown of having a transformative blend of instruction while using available technologies.
Teachers must be willing to unlearn, learn, and relearn different pedagogy, skills needed by digital learners, teaching modalities, and effective F2F teaching strategies for effective classroom instruction. They should not focus on how to use technology in the classroom. Rather, they need to put more emphasis in providing student-centered activities to amplify students’ potential to become lifelong learners who are reflective, competent, creative, critical thinkers and problem- solvers. 
Teachers should combine innovative strategies and various technology tools to promote the 4Cs of 21st Century Learning- Collaboration to produce outputs whether offline or online, Communication with peers and/or experts through diverse environment, Critical thinking to solve problems, and Creativity in building new knowledge as they connect learning to real world situations and involves practical work. When teachers and students focus more on achieving their goals and skills to master, the use of technology comes in handy.

Teacher Winnie is online. Go find her and make a connection!

Ms. Winnie Diola’s Online Portfolio-
Twitter: diolawy
Facebook: winniediola

Here are Teacher Winnie's upcoming workshops.

October 18-19, 2017 - Seminar- Workshop: De la Salle Zobel Santiago School’s SparkEd 2017: Transforming Education Through Technology and Next Generation Blended Learning

December 7-8, 201 -Department of Education’s 1st ICT Summit

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