Pinoy animators create software that makes Math more fun for students
Elmer Peramo and Kevin De Guzman believe animation is a powerful tool in developing interactive materials to make learning more fun for students, especially in Mathematics.
Elmer and Kevin are from the computer software division of the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). They are part of the team that developed a tablet courseware application that aims to supplement the Math classes for Grade 1 pupils.
The courseware is one of the priority projects DOST outlined in its agenda for 2012. It is currently implemented in selected pilot schools in different regions before it is introduced nationwide by next school year.
ASTI worked with the DOST’s Science Education Institute (SEI) and the Department of Education to develop the modules based on Grade 1 Mathematics curriculum.
Taking inspiration from the educational TV show “Dora The Explorer,” the mathematics tablet courseware introduces three brown-skinned characters who will have to solve different problems that incorporate the math lessons.
It is divided into 10 modules that students can use throughout the whole year and focuses on the identification of shapes, color, and grouping them together, as well as primary operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
To teach the lessons, the module incorporates three stages: activity, to introduce the concepts and show sample problems; fixing skills, where students can answer sample problems at their own pace; and evaluation, which includes the actual quizzes that teachers can use to gauge if a student learned the lesson.
“Based on the pre-test, the students love the fact that they are tapping on the tablets to answer the quizzes. Even the instructors agree that the touch interface of tablets is best for young pupils instead of the keyboard interface,” Elmer said.
The modules tell a part of a popular children’s book story so it can engage the learner’s imagination and impart moral lessons while enhancing their Math skills.
To prevent students from advancing in lessons ahead of the curriculum timetable, only the latest lessons are accessible, with the rest of the future lessons locked digitally.
Elmer and Kevin say they are fulfilled as developers and as part of the project. They are now currently doing modules for science in elementary and high school in line with the +12 curriculum.
“We are fulfilled to be part of this project because we are able to use our skills to create a product that can contribute to the learning of Filipino students,” Elmer said.
Kevin adds that “working in the government may not appeal to everyone because our pay scale is lower than that of private employees.”
“But we take pride and joy in the fact that our projects have something to contribute to nation building and we are able to show how IT can make education more fun and better,” he says.
Math tech improves student performance
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.
Commercial software, including games, is trying to cash in on the urgent need of parents to raise their kids’ scores, of schools to supplement the lack of qualified teachers and of students to learn in a “fun” way.
But technology use in class is controversial. Studies in the United States show it can be linked to distracted behavior and attention deficit disorders.
Courseware by Filipinos
In 2011, Science Secretary Mario Montejo wanted to create a viable math courseware and test whether it could make an impact on student learning. With Science Undersecretary Fortunato de la Peña and Education Undersecretary Yolanda Quijano, I cochaired the project “Technology Package for Student Learning Empowerment.”
We worked to make the courseware neither too fast nor distracting, providing sufficient time for students to understand math concepts.
Several government units worked together: The Science Education Institute (SEI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) financed and monitored the project; the University of the Philippines National Institute for Science and Math Education wrote the lesson scripts; the Advanced Science and Technology Institute provided hardware and software resources; the Department of Education made possible the pilot testing of the material in public schools; the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development supported the production.
We 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. Our courseware was meant to supplement—not replace—traditional textbooks, lessons and teachers.
Based on expected student competencies, the 10 courseware lessons are, in order: Classifying Objects, Comparing Sets of Objects and Numbers, Ordering Sets of Objects and Numbers, Searching for Number Patterns, Adding Whole Numbers, Subtracting Whole Numbers, Partitioning Regions into Halves, Partitioning Regions into Fourths, Finding the Whole Region or Set (Given One-Fourth of It), Measuring Length (Using Nonstandard Units).
Each lesson (in animation) opens with Filipino children, as the characters, encountering a situation that is best solved by math. After the introduction comes Fixing Skills for students to deepen understanding, followed by a section on Evaluation to increase mastery of concepts.
For instance, in the lesson on Ordering Sets, characters are having a picnic. They decide to arrange the sandwiches, juice cans and fruits they have from least in number to greatest and vice versa. Students “help” the characters do the required sequence by clicking on what they think is the right answer.
SAN AGUSTIN pupils enjoy doing exercises on patterns.
Students then go on to Fixing Skills where they have to arrange quantities not just from least to greatest, but also nearest to farthest (distance) and lightest to heaviest (weight). In the Evaluation phase, students do more exercises to ensure mastery.
We also developed Teaching Support Material to guide teachers and procured tablets for the pilot testing.
From July to September 2012, we tested the courseware on 736 Grade 1 students in 10 schools around the country: San Nicolas Elementary and Pasuquin Central Schools in Ilocos Norte, Tanauan North Central School in Batangas, Lores Elementary School in Antipolo City, Fourth Estate and San Agustin Elementary Schools in Parañaque City, Cong. A. T. Aguja Memorial Central and Cassidy Elementary Schools in Leyte, and Jasaan Central and Kimaya Elementary Schools in Misamis Oriental.
Teachers were trained to use the courseware. Two Grade 1 classes (with students of mixed abilities) were chosen in each school, one used the courseware, the other did not. Other than this, conditions were similar for both groups: Teachers, lesson, evaluation.
All students took a pretest. 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 we could be 95-percent confident 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.
Students were excited to use the courseware. Some were so enthusiastic that teachers found it difficult at times to manage the class.
Because of the Mother Tongue Law, English was still not taught in Grade 1, so many of the children could not understand the text. But when the teachers translated it into the local language, the students quickly grasped the concepts.
We plan to have the courseware translated into various languages. We also plan to create math courseware for Grades 2 to 6.
For more information, contact Lilia Lauron of the Science Education Institute at 8372071 local 2386 or firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mail the author at email@example.com.
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DoST project aims to improve science, math teaching
(From BusinessWorld (Philippines))
The Science Education Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), a partner in the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) Personal Computers for Public Schools (PCPS) Project, developed a courseware project to improve the teaching and learning of science and mathematics in various public high schools nationwide.
The courseware project was composed of 27 computer-based teaching (CBT) titles of selected topics in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology that were packaged and replicated in compact discs and teacher's guides.
An objective of the project is to design, develop and replicate CBT modules on selected topics in high school science and mathematics for distribution to beneficiary schools of the PCPS. The PCPS was designed to raise the level literacy and competence of teachers and students by providing access to information technology and preparing them as future workers for the "Knowledge Economy."
Earlier, recipient schools of the PCPS project received 15 to 20 CDs and a copy of the teacher's guide accompanying a computer package composed of 20 stand-alone desktop computers, two inkjet printers, one external modem, one external CD-ROM and a two-day teacher/school personnel training on basic PC operations, troubleshooting and maintenance.
DTI and DoST noticed that a number of high school science and mathematics subjects were abstract and difficult to teach because of the absence or lack of knowledge in using computes to create visual aids that will facilitate the teaching and learning of such topics.
Due to these conditions, design scripts based on the best way to present such topics were created. Programmers, artists and subject specialists collaborated to develop CBTs.
Interactive courseware for Grade I mathematics
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through its attached agencies, the Science Education Institute (SEI) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), collaborated with NISMED in the development of a new courseware for Grade I mathematics under the project Technology Package for Student Learning Empowerment: Pilot Testing of Courseware and Tablet PC. The project aims to determine the effect of using digitized learning materials on the academic performance of Grade 1 pupils in mathematics, to identify the problems associated with the use of the Tablet PC, to determine the benefits of using the Tablet PC in the teaching and learning of mathematics, and to recommend actions based on the results of the pilot testing.
The interactive courseware in mathematics is a supplementary material and will be loaded in Tablet PCs. There are 10 lessons included in the courseware: six on Whole Numbers, three on Fractions, and one on Linear Measurement. Each lesson has three parts: Activities, Fixing Skills, and Evaluation. The courseware is accompanied by a teaching support material that will guide the teachers on how to use the interactive courseware effectively in the classroom.
The project has four major phases: design and development of the lessons for the courseware; digitization of these lessons; training of teachers; and pilot testing of the courseware using the Tablet PC. The third phase of the project was completed in August 2011. A total of 20 teachers from NCR, Region I, Region IVA, Region VIII, and Region X participated in the training program held at the Information Science Laboratory, STTC Building, UP NISMED. The teacher-participants were familiarized with the features and operation of the Tablet PC as well as on the use of the interactive courseware.
The pre-pilot testing of the courseware started in November 2011 and ended in March 2012.
And now, math and science lessons online
The launching marked a significant progress in the country’s thrust to enhance the functional literacy of students in science and mathematics. Director Denis Villorente during the launching recounted the milestones of the courseware project, underlining the significance of information technology in uplifting the student’s imagination, creativity and interest in education. Ms. Delia C. Legaspino Director of the Philippine Science High School – Southern Mindanao Region welcomed the guests.
Elementary students who attended the science camp in Philippine Science High School-Davao had a hands-on experience on some of the modules. They navigated through the courseware web pages and answered exercises that followed the lessons. The online courseware gave excitement to academic lessons which they normally consider as boring. For teachers, multimedia and innovative technology has made teaching and learning science and mathematics an easier and fun task.
DOST Secretary, Dr. Estrella Albastro expressed her support on the project and on the continuing initiative of SEI and ASTI in integrating technology to classroom learning. ASTI and SEI are currently implementing a project that aims to develop 500 modules on science and mathematics for the secondary level. These are expected to be completed in 2012.
DoST launches math and science softwares
MANILA, Apr 15, 2009 (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX) -- The Department of Science and Technology has launched interactive learning portal to entice young students with the fun in learning science and mathematics.
"The website offers practical and convenient access to the modules which can be viewed online or saved as a personal copy," the Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) said.
The courseware covers Grades 1 to 6 Science and Math subjects and can run on both Linux and MS Windows OS, DOST's Advances Science and Technology Institute director Dennis Villorente said.
It can attract interests of young students because it features all original animated characters and images, detailed discussions (text and audio), animated elements interactive activities, evaluation exams, he added.
Phase 2 will feature Filipino characters Lam-ang, Maria Makiling and Bernardo Carpio.
The project was spawned from the success of the 101 elementary science and mathematics modules released in CD copies in 2006.
The Courseware Team, from ASTI and SEI, expanded the project via the World Wide Web, making the modules more accessible to the public.
The courseware website was started in October of 2008 in line with the preceding courseware project?s vision to improve elementary science and mathematics education in the Philippines.
The website project was developed corollary to ASTI and SEI?s vision and mission to contribute to the national development by providing innovative solutions using information and communications technology (ICT).
ASTI and SEI are currently working on the development of 500 science and math courseware modules for secondary level which are expected to be completed in 2012.
It was launched in Philippine Science High School-Davao campus.
Courseware Website Launched in Davao City
Davao City, Philippines—The Department of Science and Technology launched on Wednesday (April 15) the Courseware Website in its bid to make the learning modules more reachable to the Filipino students and teachers.
At the opening ceremony of the 1st Science Camp of the Mindanao Opportunities for Vitalized Education for the Upgrading of Science (MOVE UPS) held at the Philippine Science High School campus here, Secretary Estrella F. Alabastro said the expansion of the coverage of the courseware through the world wide web would ensure that the learning modules could reach even the farthest corners of the country.
“To get into the hearts and minds of our students, we must speak their language. Through the expansion of the courseware, we would be able to penetrate the computers of the farthest students in the Philippines,” she
DOST Science Education Institute Director Dr. Ester B. Ogena said the expansion of the courseware to the world wide web is an offshoot of the successful 101 science and mathematics courseware modules which were distributed to various schools in the country in 2006.
“The expansion of the courseware to the Internet makes it more accessible to the public, making our vision of an improved elementary science and mathematics education in the Philippines more attainable,” she said.
Ogena said the availability of the courseware in the Internet would make learning dynamic as it captures the interest of the students especially in the grade school level.
“Multimedia is the easiest and one of the most effective resources that educators can utilize to improve learning and make it more enjoyable to our students,” she said.
The website offers access to the modules which can either be viewed online or saved as a personal copy. Ogena said this would make the learning tools in the website more accessible to the general public.
Ogena said the website is SEI’s, in partnership with the Advanced Science and Technology Institute, contribution to our country’s development by providing innovative solutions using Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
She said 560 science and mathematics coursewares for the secondary level is currently being developed jointly by SEI and ASTI and is expected to be completed by 2012.
The Online Courseware is available at http://courseware.dost.gov.ph (30)
source : http://www.sei.dost.gov.ph/nwapr15_09.htm
DOST launches courseware website in Davao City
Following the success of the 101 elementary science and mathematics modules released in CD copies in 2006, the Courseware Team expanded the project via the World Wide Web, making the modules more accessible to the public. The courseware website was started in October of 2008 in line with the preceding courseware project’s vision to improve elementary science and mathematics education in the Philippines.
The website offers practical and convenient access to the modules which can be viewed online or saved as a personal copy.
The website project was developed corollary to ASTI and SEI’s vision and mission to contribute to the national development by providing innovative solutions using Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
ASTI and SEI are currently working on the development of 500 science and math courseware modules for secondary level which are expected to be completed in 2012.
What Lesson Ideas Might Instructors Consider in Using Online Courseware?
Any lesson can be open to online courseware. While a teacher may choose to purchase one of a number of developed online courseware programs for the curriculum needs they may have, creating one on your own may be most beneficial for the classroom in which they teach. Also, there is also free online courseware offered by the Department of Science and Technology for most grades. These are well developed programs that are creative, engaging and effective. The DOST website notes, “The launching [of online courseware] marked a significant progress in the country’s thrust to enhance the functional literacy of students in science and mathematics. Director Denis Villorente during the launching recounted the milestones of the courseware project, underlining the significance of information technology in uplifting the student’s imagination, creativity and interest in education." (4)
DOST launches math, science software for kids
DAVAO CITY — Millions of Filipino elementary students and teachers can finally access science and math learning materials via the internet.
The DOST or Department of Science and Technology’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), in cooperation with its Science Education Institute (SEI), recently launched the courseware website at the Philippine Science High School, Davao campus.
The website offers practical and convenient access to the modules which can be viewed online or saved as a personal copy. Even when the student is at home, he could study and learn these subjects by logging in the net or by using its CD form. This way, even far from the guidance of the teacher and the parents, kids can practice self-study and hone efficient study habits.
The website project was developed corollary to ASTI and SE’s vision and mission to contribute to the national development by providing innovative solutions using Information and Communications Technology (ICT). It was also DOST’s response to the challenge to make both math and science more interesting and less feared by school kids. What makes the courseware unique is the high probability of attracting interest of the young. It features all original animated characters and images, detailed discussions, animated elements interactive activities, and evaluation exams.
DOST secretary Dr. Estrella Alabastro believes that learning should be dynamic and that multimedia is the easiest and one of the most effective resources that educators can utilize to improve learning and capture the interest of students especially in the grade school level. DOST is continuing to work with the SEI and ASTI in integrating technology to classroom learning.
The courseware covers Grades 1 to 6 on science and math subjects and can run on both Linux and MS Windows OS.
The courseware website was started in October of 2008 in line with the preceding courseware project’s vision to improve elementary science and mathematics education in the Philippines. The courseware built on the success of the 101 elementary science and mathematics modules released in CD copies in 2006.
DOST is currently working on the development of 500 science and math courseware modules for secondary level which are expected to be completed in 2012. (DOST/PIA)
Free Science and Math Courseware
A courseware that will help improve the Math and Science education of elementary students is now made available free of charge. It can be downloaded and installed easily and using it is just as simple. But you will need a flash player (which, by the way, is also free) to run it properly.
The "Development of Computer-Aided Instructions for Science and Mathematics" project is being undertaken with a vision to improve Science and Mathematics education in the Philippines. The project is made possible through the collaboration of Science Education Institute (SEI) and Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
In 2004, the Science Education Institute (SEI) approached the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), with an idea. To enable schools take advantage of Information Technology (IT) in conducting classroom lectures. The plan was to optimize, streamline and standardize lesson presentation through the use of cost-effective and high quality solutions, which would then assist students to be more competitive, maximize and enhance learning through the use of this technology.
To date, about 7,000 copies of this courseware have been distributed to various public elementary schools, public offices, some foreign guests, science centrums and lawmakers.
MINIMUM COMPUTER REQUIREMENTS
Platform/OS: Linux, Mac or Windows
Processor: 600 Mhz Intel Pentium III or equivalent
RAM: 128 MB (256 recommended)
Hard disk: 347 MB available disk space
Sound: Soundcard & speaker
Courseware website launched in Philippine Science High School –Davao
The Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), in cooperation with the Science Education Institute (SEI) of the Department of Science and Technology, successfully launched the Courseware Website at the Philippine Science High School, Davao City last April 15, 2009.
The launching marked a significant progress in the country’s thrust to enhance the functional literacy of students in Science and Mathematics. A strong foundation in Science and Mathematics education will help lead the Philippines to development. -During the launching ceremony, Director*Denis Villorente gave a short message which highlights the milestones of the courseware project and the significance of Information Technology in uplifting the student’s imagination, creativity and interest in education. The guests were welcomed by the Director of the Philippine Science High School – Southern Mindanao Region, Ms. Delia C. Legaspino.
The Science and Mathematics modules in the website are all interactive lessons, which were released in CD copies in 2006. They are now made available online at www.courseware.dost.gov.ph. Students and teachers alike can now take advantage of these revolutionary resources, which are absolutely free via the Internet.
Elementary Students who attended the Science Camp in Philippine Science High School-Davao were able to get a hands-on experience on some of the modules. They were allowed to navigate through the courseware web pages and answer some of the exercises that followed the lessons. It has been a joyful experience to watch the kids getting excited over academic lessons which they normally consider as boring. With the help of multimedia and innovative technology, learning Science and Mathematics, in the same way as in teaching them, would never have to be such a difficult and painful task.
DOST Secretary, Dr. Estrella Albastro expressed her support on the project and on the continuing initiative of SEI and ASTI in integrating technology to classroom learning. ASTI and SEI is currently implementing a project on the development 500 modules on Science and Mathematics for the Secondary Level. These are expected to be completed in 2012.