Technophobic educators learn new
things from cyberspace
Many public school
principals do not yet know how to use the Internet or the
computer. It is no surprise that many computers donated to
public schools are left underused, if ever they are switched on.
The teachers’ excuses were almost the same: “We might break it
and we don’t know how to fix it." Basically, it is out of fear
of technology that prevents old teachers and principals from
learning how to computers.
Luckily, teachers and principals are starting to learn the ropes
when it comes to computers. Laure Natividad, principal of
Bayabas National High School in Cagayan de Oro, is one of those
educators who have little knowledge of computers. But she is
getting a crash course on information and communications
technology through a five-day seminar provided by Smart
Communications. She is joined by 30 other principals, teachers
and public school IT coordinators for the training.
Natividad, who has spent much of her professional life as a
public school teacher, admits that she barely touched a computer
nor has she ever browsed the Internet prior to the Smart
training seminar. However, she still yearns to learn how to use
a PC not just because the younger teachers were already familiar
with it, but rather to help her in administrative work.
Then again, it wasn’t easy for her. She still laughs at her own
relatively slow progress, though she promised that she will
learn how to use a computer by the time she goes back to work.
“For the first few days of the seminar, I got familiar with
opening documents and doing spreadsheets. But there were so many
terms to learn that I tend to forget the previous terms. It’ll
take practice," Natividad said.
Like Natividad, Misamis Oriental Comprehensive High School
Principal Pedro Montejo said he only learned how to use
computers much later in his professional life in the academe.
But since his school was a recipient of the Department of Trade
and Industry’s PCs for Public Schools Program, he said he and
some of his teachers had to start learning computers. It was
hard at first since they were not given proper training though
they received formal training a few months back through a
private sector initiative.
Incidentally, Montejo said their school’s first Internet
connection came from the students’ own pockets. Through an
existing telephone line, the school got a basic connection that
students paid for every time they used it. Montejo said it was
the students who became mentors to some of their teachers when
it came to the Internet.
“The teachers were learning as much as the students were. I’m
glad that some of our teachers are learning how to use the
Internet because eventually, we’ll be integrating computer-based
teaching into our curriculum," Montejo said.
Smart Communications Spokesperson Ramon Isberto said the
five-day seminar was conducted to bridge the digital divide
between technology and school principals and teachers. Since all
of the attending teachers during the training were members of
their Smart Schools project, it was but natural to give them
training, particularly those who were not familiar with
“In the end, it’s really the people who matter. We’re focusing
our efforts in giving teachers relevant training and access to
online content so they can make the most out of the Internet as
a learning resource," Isberto said.