PASAY CITY, March 12, 2019 – The Department of Education (DepEd), through the Office of the Undersecretary for Administration and the Information and Communications Technology Service (ICTS), spearheaded the DepEd Cyber Expo™ which opened today at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
With the theme, “DRIVE 2019: The Digital Rise of Philippine Education,” the DepEd Cyber Expo is a three-day education technology conference and exhibition event aimed at inspiring and transforming the experiences of learners, educators, stakeholders, and government officials by bringing them together to revolutionize the digital learning curve of the Filipino learners towards academic excellence.
Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones delivered the keynote address, and emphasized the importance of technology and the digital rise in transforming the Department which she described as a “huge, difficult, and lumbering bureaucracy.”
“It is not a luxury that we can perhaps dream about as we did during the 1960s, the 1980s, when all these developments were already predicted. But it is here and now, and we and the Department, as well as the learners, our officials have all these facilities, these tools, these equipment at our disposal,” Briones said, adding that DepEd is now in the process of transforming its information and public financial systems.
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The Expo likewise aims to recognize the achievements of learners in the various fields of technology; demonstrate the latest methods and approaches in education technology; facilitate learners’ exploration of technological solutions to problems affecting their local communities; link the Fourth Industrial Revolution to learners’ career paths and their sensitivity to local and community issues; and discuss technological innovation and strategies that help improve the teaching-learning process.
“A yearly DepEd Cyber Expo will cap and showcase the continuous learning and development of the entire DepEd community in the quest for digital excellence and transformation, to support and sustain the requirements of the K to 12 curriculum,” Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua told the approximately 5,000 delegates.
Facilitated by top-caliber practitioners and experts in the field of ICT, the plenary and breakout sessions include three learning areas, namely: Explore and Ignite (digitization of teaching-learning materials for a stronger ICT integration in curricular instruction); Excel and Collaborate (global digital citizenship, professional learning community engagement, and nurturing millennials in an innovative classroom environment); and Excite and Transform (curriculum integration of drones, mechatronics, 3D printing and design principles, and artificial intelligence).
Public schools of the future
Pascua further shared the Department’s vision for the Public Schools of the Future (PSOF) which is expected to “include and level the playing field for the Last Mile Schools.” The digital rise for this vision, he added, considers the upskilling of public school teachers, provision of digital boards or interactive screen displays, continuous capacity building for DepEd’s Information Technology Officers (ITO), and the establishment of techno hubs. It also envisions public Science High Schools with Innovation Hubs, and as centers of excellence in the fields of Cyber Security and Industrial Robotics.
“DepEd maximizes use of available technology to transform education to facilitate governance and to enable all its constituents with the proper digital skills,” Pascua added, citing the DepEd Enterprise Resource Planning System (DERPS), DepEd Wide Area Network (DWAN), DepEd Mobile Apps, and partnership with international industry players, as part of the Department’s efforts to deliver quality and future-ready resources for the benefit of learners, teachers, and administrators, as well as the entire DepEd community.
Balancing technology with humanities
Briones likewise underscored the importance of balancing the social sciences and ICT knowledge among 21st century learners: “We have to balance this because we have to learn how to be polite. And we are going to strengthen the teaching of good manners and right conduct.”
Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Finance Annalyn Sevilla emphasized the importance of empathy during the press conference following the Expo’s opening program: “Technology without good manners is a disaster. So importante iyong empathy, compassion, humanity. Hindi po iyan makukuha o mapupulot in an online or a technology-driven pedagogy. Kaya napaka-importante pa rin that we invest on teachers na talagang nag-i-interact with the students.”
“Good manners and right conduct and technology make excellent partnership,” the Secretary concluded.
Also present in the said press conference were Undersecretary Pascua and ICTS Director Abram Abanil.