Finding Purpose in the Midst of the Pandemic: Commencement Address to the Graduates of Foundation University (Dumaguete)

Thank you for that wonderful introduction. A pleasant day to the Board of Trustees, President Victor Vicente Sinco, Chancellor Ebenezer Lim, Former President Mira Sinco, members of the administration, faculty, the graduates and their parents, and the rest of the Foundation University community. It is truly an honor to be virtually here with everyone and [...]

Most-Streamed empowerED Podcast Series (Year 1, 2019-2020)

In March 2020, as the whole world braced for the first wave of school closures due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, I quickly thought of creating a very limited series that focused on helping educators, especially in the K-12 years, to understand what it meant to transition to, plan, and implement online distance or remote learning. [...]

#grateful: 1 Year of empowerED Podcast with Francis Jim Tuscano

Almost a year ago, I launched the empowerED Education Advocacy and Platform with three basic goals: to transform the education landscape, elevate the teaching profession, and celebrate every teacher. To achieve these, the first of the empowerED Platforms that I planned and produced was the empowerED Podcast with Francis Jim Tuscano. It simply started with [...]

Lost and Overwhelmed Online Students? Design for Learner Agency and Way-Finding in Online Distance Learning

Online distance learning ideally combines synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. As they practice self-paced or guided learning in these activities, students need to find their own way as they navigate, engage with others, and personally aim to sustain their learning in the online courses. To help them achieve these things, teachers must design online distance [...]

Design for Authenticity: Authentic Assessments in Online Distance Learning

In an online distance learning environment, information is simply a click away from students. The availability of information makes it harder for teachers to use simple recall-based assessments as means to gauge mastery in student learning. While it is not totally bad to check student’s understanding about basic and foundational concepts, teachers need to design [...]

Designing for Feedback: Formative Assessments in Online Distance Learning

A very crucial part of online distance learning is the presence of helpful formative assessments and timeliness of feedback to the online learners. In an online distance learning environment, we recognize that there is a geographical, pedagogical, and psychological gap between the teacher and learner which can have a negative effect on the side of the [...]

Voices Around the Globe: Reflection on the Global Online Meeting on “Teaching in the Era of the Pandemic”

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to share my reflections, observations, and recommendations on the effect of the COVD-19 Pandemic in the Philippines in a global online meeting: "Teaching in the Era of the Pandemic" convened and hosted by Senator and former Education Minister Esteban Bullrich of Argentina and global education leader, Vikas Pota. On my [...]

Big Ideas on Online Assessment in this Time of COVID-19 Pandemic

For school leaders and administrators, a rapid transition to online distance learning can possibly lead to negative feelings or attitude towards the new mode of instruction delivery. Teachers can feel overwhelmed, lost, and exhausted even before the first week of online learning starts. Preparation time should be given to teachers so that they have enough time [...]

empowerED Podcast Season 4: Overturned Released!

Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic, I finally released the fourth season, formerly advertised as Season 3 but due to the pandemic's effect on the difference education systems around the world, I first published a special five-part series on Online Distance Learning. Hence, the OVERTURNED Series has been renamed season 4 in our podcast stations on Apple [...]

Independent Report to UNESCO & EI: Thinking about Pedagogy in an Unfolding Pandemic

Almost two weeks ago, the second and updated version of the independent report to inform UNESCO and Education International, which I co-authored with Armand Doucet, Koen Timmers, and Dr. Deborah Netolicky, was published by Education International. The independent report, "Thinking about Pedagogy in an Unfolding Pandemic," aims “to inform practice and policy from the people [...]

empowerED Podcast Special Series: Quick Intro to Online Distance Learning

In response to #covid19's effect on education systems, empowerED Podcast releases a special 5-episode series on online distance learning (ODL). The episodes cover an introduction to ODL, lessening learning loneliness, designing ODL units and assessments, edtech tools for ODL, and learning tips for ODL students. This is our contribution in helping schools and learners transition towards [...]

EdTech Tools to Support Online Learning

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused a number of lockdowns and heightened alert levels in a number of cities and countries around the world. This has led to long suspensions of classes which disrupted the learning cycles or academic terms in schools, affecting the youngest learners until to the graduate students in the universities in many [...]

(New and Old) Literacies for Well-Rounded Learner of the Future

For the past decades or so, reading, writing, and mathematics (arithmetic), referred to as the 3R’s, have taken a back seat. The basic skills or building blocks that underpin learning have been often equated with traditional school setting where knowing is defined as the ability to read, write, and solve math problems. In understanding the [...]

Global Event Alert! Kids Can! Innovation Camp

Registration open: Let your students be agents of change! Join the 1st ever global innovation camp tailored for students! Register at: http://bit.ly/2sLuuv2 For more info visit: http://globalinnovationcamp.com Follow our social media accounts: https://twitter.com/KidsCanInnovate and https://www.facebook.com/globalinnovationcamp/ Why join the Global Innovation Camp? At the heart of “Kids Can! Innovation Camp” is the goal of involving, engaging & providing children the opportunity [...]

A Village’s Work: Raising, Valuing, and Guiding a Child

In a recent OECD PISA Students’ Well-Being Study (2015) conducted to 540, 000 students in 72 participating countries and economies, student anxiety about school work and tests was seen to be related with how supportive their teachers and schools are to the students and not to how long the students stay in school or prepare [...]

Celebrating Failures, Humanizing Success in the Classroom

The world of education has long celebrated those who get the perfect scores and the highest academic awards. We rejoice and wonder in awe when we come across kid geniuses, often telling ourselves, that they will become the future Einstein or any other famous scientist and intellectuals. These kinds of remarks often put on a [...]

Why Digital Citizenship Matters?

According to TeenSafe, in 2016, 87% of today’s youth have witnessed cyberbullying while 34% personally experienced cyberbullying. Among the surveyed students, 15% have admitted to cyberbullying others, while 24% said they did not know what to do if they would be harassed online. Most commonly reported types of cyberbullying includes spreading rumours and experiencing hurtful comments [...]

Quest for a Relevant School Curriculum

In the 15th of May 2013, the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013 was signed as a law, which made the Philippines as one of the last countries to adopt a K-12 system in the basic education years. This was a game-changer, not just for teachers, students, and parents, but for the whole country. The [...]

Shifting from Ed Tech Professional Development to Professional Learning

Ed Tech integration in education has been a major factor or catalyst in driving 21st century learning forward. When done meaningfully, student learning is propelled into greater heights, adding the needed rocket boost to engage all kinds of learners and to enable learning environments that welcome risk-taking, innovation, and creativity. However, tech integration can also [...]

Hot off the Press: Pedagogy Toolkit (iBook Store)

I am proud to share that the international collaboration among technology integration experts, or more specifically, Apple Distinguished Educators, has been published in the iBook Store. The Pedagogy Toolkit showcases how the use of the iPad supports research and evidence-based pedagogies and opens us for more possibilities in fostering 21st century learning skills in students. [...]

To Blend or Not to Blend and More Questions to Ask About Blended Learning

Blended learning refers to the delivery of formal education through a thoughtful combination of online learning and delivery of content and instruction with varied degree of student control over time, place, pace and with face-to-face encounter done in a brick-and-mortar setup, such as the school (Staker and Horn, 2012). There are four main models of [...]

My Own PD: WW ADE 2016 Blog

The last week of July 2016 became the best professional learning yet that I had experienced as an educator. The Worldwide Apple Distinguished Educators Institute 2016 was held in the lovely and magnificent city of Berlin in Germany. It was my first time to attend a worldwide event for ADEs since becoming a member of the [...]

Inquiry-Based Learning and 5Ds Framework

Inquiry-based approach to learning emphasises the importance of developing thinking and problem solving skills in students. As a learner-centered approach, inquiry-based approach leads students to ask questions and to use these questions as their guide in gathering and processing data they find. The gathered data is then used to solve problems and generate conclusions. Inquiry-based [...]

Engage with Your Audience: Q&A Google Slides Feature

Presenting in front of an audience has gone better and more interactive! Well, this is so if you have been using or planning to use Google Slides the next time you speak up on the stage, in front of your classroom, or in an auditorium.   Several weeks ago, Google Apps for Education's Slides has been [...]

Easy to Use Quiz Feature of Google Forms

Google Forms has a new quiz feature that aims to help educators administer, well, quizzes or formative assessments to check for student’s understandings. The quiz feature is embedded in the app so there’s no need to install add-ons or extensions.   The quiz feature has been requested for so long. Now that it is part [...]

Promoting Collaborative and Reflective Thinking Using Padlet

Visible thinking aims to make thinking or cognitive processes as overt, conscious, and deliberate acts for learners. Visible Thinking routines help learners to be aware of their thinking processes, what they are thinking, and to make these concrete or tangible. It helps students to articulate their ideas in a more thoughtful and reflective manner.

5 Professional Learning Opportunities for EdTech Teachers

Professional learning or professional development is an essential aspect of being a 21st century teacher. As students continue to learn in the classroom, teachers must also continue to learn in order to improve their teaching skills. For EdTech integrators or teachers, the integration of technology in the classroom sometimes require constant updating about the new tech [...]

Moving Beyond Knowledge Consumption: 5Ds Framework & Google Apps for Edu

Google Apps for Education (GAfE) is a suite of productivity apps that cater to the needs of educators and learners. Offered free, GAfE provides communication and collaborative tools to users while creating online documents, presentations, or spreadsheets among others. GAfE aims to provide quick solutions to school challenges regarding information management and dissemination, efficient feedback [...]

5Ds Framework for Tech Integration: From Passive Consumption to Critical Interaction to Active Creation

Hence, in the end, the 5Ds Framework guides the educators to create a connected and meaningful tech-integrated learning process for students. If taken further, it could also lend itself to become a cycle of learning, where the final product of learning becomes a potential source of knowledge that other learners can critically interact with. Moreover, the learning process is transformed from a passive way of learning, which reflects traditional teaching, into a more active, critical, and creative act that successfully transcends the four walls of the classroom.

App Review: 1 Teacher + 37 Students + ClassCraft = ?

Everyday, each classroom teacher is expected to manage his or her  class and to follow up on students’ behavior and academic performance. The teacher aims to put order into the class and makes sure that everyone is engaged with the various learning tasks at hand. Moreover, the teacher is also expected to encourage and motivate [...]

Leveraging Social Media to Create a Connected Learning Community

One big reality today: teachers, school leaders, students, and parents are using various social media platform. Well, a few maybe are not yet using any social media platform, but in the near future, everyone will be creating accounts to post photos, write their thoughts, or just randomly search for information about their favourite topic. While [...]

10 Insights from First-Time EdTech Integrators 

As an EdTech consultant and trainer, I find inspiration from teachers who show openness and enthusiasm during professional development sessions. Deep, meaningful, and relevant discussion about tech tools and learning devices in teaching and learning are often fuelled by curiosity and the will to learn. Conducting PD sessions with fellow educators and school leaders is also a learning experience [...]

1:1 iPad or BYOD Class “PACT”: Classroom Management Tips

Managing the class, i.e. students’ behavior, during 1:1 iPad or BYOD classes can be challenging. The level of excitement increases as students are given a device that can either help them learn or distract them from learning. As teachers, we are reminded to be aware of the importance of maintaining a class atmosphere conducive for learning and sharing of ideas.

5 EdTech Tips to Empower and Involve Parents in School

In order for technology integration in the classroom to be successful, the support and participation of the school community are very much needed.   School leaders train and support their teachers so that they can better prepare themselves as they aim to accomplish the tasks expected of them. Teachers expect full support from administrators as they [...]

6 Teacher Tips for First-Time EdTech Integration in Class

As the new school year begins in the Philippines and as the rest of world relaxes for summer or school break, here are 6 awesome teacher tips for those who are integrating technology for the first time in the classroom. For the rest, these might remind you of your journey and practices in integrating technology.   [...]

Google Classroom: First Time Experience

Updated (January 20, 2015) Last week, Google classroom finally released a mobile app (iOS and Android) for their recent learning and classroom management app. This makes assigning homework and submitting requirements on the go! Download the app from AppStore and PlayStore. I strongly suggest that you couple the Classroom app with the other Google Apps [...]

App, App, and Away: SeeSaw for Showcasing Student Learnings

Looking for a simple app that students can use to demonstrate their learning? SeeSaw app gives you more than that! What is SeeSaw? SeeSaw is a Learning Journal app that enables students to create an online and digital portfolio of their learnings in class. It enables students to reflect on their learnings and even on [...]

Getting Ready: Taiwan Google in Education Summit 2015

I was accepted to be a presenter to the first Taiwan Summit featuring Google in Education organized by AppsEvent. I will be presenting the fruit of my Google experience in the classroom, with regards to designing and creating formative assessments using Google Apps for Education. The link to the summit is here. A part of my [...]