We’ve Got Facebook, Now What?

Technology is all around. The degree of technology usage and reasons for such differ among peoples and organizations and may spell the difference between success and failure. An organization’s inability to adapt and change may cause its decline.  Schools are no exception. Consequently, educational institutions, now more than ever, are faced with the challenge of updating themselves with tools with which they can create an effective teaching and learning atmosphere – even beyond the four corners of the classroom.  Institutions of higher learning may well be a forerunner in the promotion of novel schemes in educating the young.

The workshop on “Digital Tools for Higher Education” conducted last November 26, 2010 at the University of Baguio, which was co-organized by the UB Research and Development Center, highlighted the need for teachers to take advantage of technology and on-line resources to foster a better learning process.

Sponsored by Asian University Digital Resource Network, Miriam College and University of Baguio, the workshop opened the participants’ minds to the idea that social networking sites can be utilized to promote shared experiences that make learning more fun and productive.  These practices also allow educators to manage student learning through the internet and other digital paraphernalia.  United Board for Christian Learning, which funded the event, was represented by Mr. Avron Boretz who was in attendance to observe the proceedings.

The speakers, namely:  Alice Pañares of NCCA, Noel Buensuceso of Miriam College, and Diane Siriban of De La Salle Canlubang,  gave interesting, relevant and informative discussions on a wide-range of internet sites and approaches to assist teachers in becoming more effective at their profession.  Despite their different areas of specialization, they have a common denominator: they employ technology and internet as part of their strategies. The use of twitter, facebook, and digital camera, for instance, can serve as innovative and effective tools in teaching because the younger generation is into these things. “We have to dance to the tune to which our students are dancing,” according to Dr. Esmeralda Gatchallan, University of Baguio Vice-President for Academic Affairs.

The workshop was a success owing to the participants coming from different universities, including Saint Louis University, University of the Cordilleras, University of Pangasinan, and University of Baguio. The participants clamored for another session that would enable them to have a more detailed exposure to the methods and techniques, in consideration of school policies, and constraints on the part of students, among others. | By: Mary Agnes Haydee E. Dabucol, Dean, Graduate School, Research and Extension