Ms. Ann Michelle Medina, a student of the Master of Distance Education (MDE) of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), received the Department of Education (DepEd) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Innovations Award for Teaching and Learning and was recognized as a Finalist in the same award for Governance during the 1st National DepEd ICT Summit last 28 February 2018 in Pasay City. Her awards were brought about by the honor and excellence in ICT practice of her project – an intensification on the use of the DepEd Computerization Program (DCP) Package.

Ms. Medina is a Junior High School Teacher at Tagumpay National High School (TNHS) in Rodriguez, Rizal. She is the School Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Coordinator when she enrolled in UPOU for the MDE program. In her EDDE 230 course (Ethical, Legal and Social Issue in the Information Age) under Prof. Primo Garcia, she came up with a project for her school to create a personal organizational vision that deals with ethical, legal and social issues in the information age applied in educational context.

In an email interview, she mentioned choosing her school as the primary subject for her course because for her, “improving the quality of education is everybody’s liability.” Additionally, she believes that this project has the potential to capacitate and involve teachers in lifelong learning. This could also promote the responsible use of ICT infrastructure/resources and could engage the community as an active citizen.
In detail, Project CORE (Community of Responsible Educators) was founded on the idea of Community of Practice (COP). It is a 3-phase project that aims for teacher empowerment, student training and utilization of technology. According to Ms. Medina:

  1. Mission BrIDGE (Break Illiteracy through Digital Guidance to Education) is the first phase of the project. Through this method, teachers were equipped and empowered because they are the primary input and the key indicator to education access. Under this phase, teachers are prepared to be prime movers of lifelong learning as it employs Learning Action Cell (LAC) session to assess the instructional needs and levels of teachers’ ICT readiness, they conduct research-based in-house training to improve instruction and assessment delivery leading to quality and relevant education and through this stage, teachers are capacitated for maximum learning thereby benefitting the community.
  2. Mission CARE (Computer Advocates for Responsive Education) project CORE’s second phase, targets to produce a pool of digital natives to be tomorrow’s leaders, or as a catalyst of change to an ever-changing society. Additionally, they serve as the student arm of TNHS that spread the productive and positive use of ICT to a diversified citizens and netizens.
  3. Finally, Operation SHARE (Share Harmonized and Regulated Education) the 3rd component of Project CORE benefits the stakeholders including pre-service teachers, in-service teachers from network schools, higher education institutions (HEIs), teaching education institutions (TEIs) and other state universities and colleges (SUCs), private and public sectors including industries and local government as well as the local and virtual community where home is – the primary source of love and passion for learning. This phase is an advantage to TNHS community and its partners (key players and stakeholders) for the continuum process and development of knowledge and learning.

Project CORE is all about achieving 21st century teaching learning success through democratizing access, refining quality and solidifying governance. It was not created to be acknowledged or to win in competitions because I am only after the welfare of our students,” says Ms. Medina. But relative to the National ICT Summit, a search at the Division level was conducted where Project CORE won recognitions among the different municipalities in Rizal. It also gained awards from the 1st Regional DepEd ICT Summit held in Batangas City. This has also brought Ms. Medina to be recognized as ‘Outstanding ICT Coordinator” of DepEd Rizal during its 1st Gawad Kampilan in Marikina City last December 2017.

Ms. Medina acknowledges her superiors, Dr. Maria Cristina S. Marasigan, Secondary School Principal IV and Mr. John Raymond P. Durusan, DepEd Rizal’s Division IT Officer, the project consultants/stakeholders, her colleagues at TNHS and the UPOU community for instilling in her excellence and developing her holistically. She believes that people look forward to what can be given to the country by effectively utilizing every resource. She reflects on that God honors good stewardship as she practices governance in a transparent, ethical and accountable (TEA) way.

With ICT, barriers to access education were removed and with that no one can justify that education was not delivered at your door,” ends Ms. Medina. (RHBulanhagui)

Article originally posted on the UPOU website: