Technology: Education and Students

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A. The Issue

“Math tech improves student performance”

By Queena N. Lee-Chua, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jan. 28, 2013

The Philippines lags behind the rest of the world in mathematics and science expertise, as shown by Filipino students’ dismal scores in global tests like the 2004 Trends in International Math and Sciences Study. Technology has been touted to fix education problems.  Open-source codes and open universities, PowerPoint presentations and iPads in class all make the most of technology. Courseware by Filipinos

In 2011, Science Secretary Mario Montejo created a viable math courseware (presenting lessons in animation using tablets) and tested whether it could make an impact on student learning. They decided to start with Grade 1 math, and deal with topics compatible with both the existing basic education and the proposed Kindergarten to Year 12 curricula.  Their courseware were meant to supplement—not replace—traditional textbooks, lessons and teachers. As they administered a pretest to two Grade 1 classes, one group supplemented lessons by using the courseware and going through the activities, with the guidance of teachers.  The other, the control group, followed the traditional classroom lesson plan, without the courseware.  Later, they all took a posttest. The scores of the students who used the courseware soared, compared to those who did not.  Statistical tests showed, it could be 95-percent confident that the increase in scores was due to the courseware. In short, the courseware was effective for practically all the students who used it.  After the posttest, the control group was finally allowed to use the courseware.

B. Position Statement
THE ARGUMENTS SUPPORTING THE ISSUE AND THEIR EVIDENCE
According to Padrnos’ master’s thesis, technology helps students — particularly minorities — conquer math. He said, “Visualizing things moving around is very helpful for kids who are not math whizzes.” Students can come up and move things around and see how everything changes.” He also said, “Because many come from households where there is no computer, basic technological literacy is often a stumbling block. Once you bridge that, technology can be a great aid. Education is really changing because of technology.” (Beth Hawkins, MINNPOST 06/02/11)

According to Guillermo M. Luz, co-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), the Philippine ranks a poor seventh among nine Southeast Asian nations in the area of education, science and technology and innovation. In the area of primary education, the Philippines ranked 99th out of 138 economies. The Philippines ranked 69th in educational system, 112th in science and math and 76th on Internet access. In all categories, the Philippines was falling behind Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Because of these conditions, one of his proposals is the use of more technology in education. For instance, Luz said, instead of spending billions of pesos for textbooks that are prone to errors and entail huge printing and transport costs, public and private schools should shift to e-books that are easier to upload and update. He said shifting to e-books is more practical nowadays, with the presence of computers in schools and the connectivity being offered by private firms. (By Max V. de Leon, Business Mirror 06/15/2011) It says in Kto12 Math Conceptual Framework, “We recognized that the use of appropriate tools is needed in teaching mathematics. These include: manipulative objects, measuring devices, calculators and computers, Smartphones and tablet PCs, and the Internet.” (Kto12 Curriculum Guide - version as of January 31, 2012)

Senate education committee chairman Edgardo Angara made the call at a hearing on proposed curricular reforms to the Philippine basic education system. “This issue of science and mathematics being taught at the earliest period...
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