Today, NBS takes you to an interview with one of the countryâ€™s education enablers through technology – Galvin Ngo of Woohoo Learning Lab. Galvinâ€™s company is dedicated to building a community of people who are passionate about using technology to enhance learning within and beyond the four walls of the classroom.
Because National Book Store is a passionate advocate of education for all including the educators Â (a.k.a. our teachers), we decided to feature this new, tech-driven startup and their unique advocacy. Additionally, Woohoo Learning Lab is co-presenting a National Conference on Technology in Education: INNOVATED this September 12-14 at the SMX Convention Center in Manila.
Tell us about your groupâ€™s advocacy, and why do you think this is worth pursuing?
Woohoo Learning Lab is an education technology professional learning company. Our advocacy is to help schools and teachers ignite meaningful innovations in learning by supporting them with resources and opportunities to exchange ideas and best practices (such as conferences and edcamps), and through coaching, training and consultancy.
Usually conversations about Education Technology are dominated by discussions on types of technologies (Do you use tablets? apps? sites? etc.), and though these are surely exciting things to talk about, what we’ve noticed is that, sometimes the key ingredient for a successful initiative is not given much attention. From our perspective, this key ingredient is the teacher. Though we love learning about new technologies, we are strong believers that it is still learning design and a teacher’s educational philosophy and pedagogical practice that will really help make a difference.
What do our PH teachers need the most in terms of utilizing technology?
One major challenge is that we were not taught the way we want to teach today. We did not learn in an environment where devices and/or the internet is accessible to us as students. This means that by default, we will go back to what we know about how to teach: based on how we were taught and how we were trained as teachers.
We think that Filipino teachers need to consciously take a step back from their experience as students and from what they learned from pre-service teacher education, so that they can make space to creatively relearn their craft, and find intersections between what they know as best practice in teaching and learning and how we can marry this with the challenge of making 21st century learning happen for our students.
How do you plan to empower educators in their profession?
As a professional development company, we hope that through our encounter with teachers we can help them learn new tools and technologies, teaching strategies and paradigms that they can immediately apply in their teaching practice.
Tell us about the National Conference on Technology in Education? What do you plan to achieve with this initiative?
The national conference is really a celebration of research and practice-based innovations from all over the nation. Participants will have an opportunity to learn from and with educators from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and from various educational settings: K-12, Inclusive Ed and Higher Ed. It is also an opportunity to learn about other best practices from outside the nation by featuring speakers from the United States and Singapore. Finally, it is an opportunity to collaborate with each other, not just with the facilitators but also among the participants themselves. With many changes and challenges ahead, most specially in education, I think the best way moving forward is to face them together.
What is the impact in learning if educators have ease and expertise in technology usage?
When teachers become more comfortable with the use of technology, and when technology is made available for students to use, this opens up a lot of possibilities. This can help strengthen communication between teachers and students and enable opportunities for students not just to learn from their teachers, but for teachers and students to learn with and from each other.
How do you envision the PH educational landscape with both teachers and student utilizing technology for learning?
We think that with technology learning can be more relevant, engaging and personal.
What role does National Book Store play in helping teachers in their work?
National Bookstore has always been the go to place for materials that can be used in the classroom. What I like about NBS is the variety of resources you can purchase and the many activities you can begin to think of just by walking down the aisles of display. For example, we use a lot of sticky notes, colored paper, and other paper and writing materials whenever we do training or consulting. Using open-ended materials such as these are still important when it comes to brainstorming and learning.
Can you recommend any book or resource material that teachers need in this modern age?
A good book to start with is Grown Up Digital by Don Tapscott.
Galvin Ngo is currently the CEO of Woohoo Learning Lab. He has an MA in Educational Administration from Ateneo De Manila University, and is currently a part time instructor at the Education Department. He was formerly the coordinator of the NExT Team at Xavier School, where he led the One2One program initiative, IT support and the Computer Education Department. He is also an Apple Distinguished Educator and an Apple Professional Learning Consultant.
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