New ideas and skills greeted NISMED staff during the first quarter of 2010. A series of in-house seminars were held to further enhance NISMED’s development and research work and organizational relationships.
On Web 2.0 technologies
Sixteen more NISMED staff participated in the second run of the two-day in-house seminar-workshop on “Collaborative Content Development Using Web 2.0 Tools” on January 7 and 15, at the Information Science Lab. Enthusiastically and earnestly engaging themselves in every activity during the workshop, ‘Batch 2’—as they proudly called their group—insisted that they had more fun (and teased they also learned more) than their ‘Batch 1’ cohorts. The first run, conducted on December 3 to 4, 2009, had 18 participants.
“Batch 2” participants engage in an activity called “Find Someone Who...”.
Facilitated by Celia Balbin and John Alex Reyroso of the Information Science Group, the seminar-workshop focused on how to leverage Google Docs and wikis to enhance collaborative development work at NISMED. In addition to learning the essentials of Google Docs and wikis and viewing samples of actual use in education, the group reflected on current practices in content development and on how incorporating Web 2.0 technologies may improve efficiency and productivity in their respective workplaces.
Within three months of completing two batches of an in-house seminar, NISMED harnesses Google Docs and wikis to support its programs and operations. The Socials Committee was first to adopt the tools. They put up a wiki during the in-house training and formally launched their Web 2.0 presence with an online survey (also in Google Docs) that polled the staff on whether or not to continue with birthday celebrations. The techies were quick to join and sustained an animated discussion on the topic put to a halt only with the posting of the survey results. The discussion pages generated much participation as committee members and other staff asked questions, exchanged opinions, shared tips and information in relation to forthcoming events. Postings in the months of January and February were mostly on organizing the retirement party for Angie Montes—NISMED’s librarian, drawing sponsors for NISMED’s bowling team, and brainstorming on the venue for the summer teambuilding. Find the wiki at http://nismedsocials2010.wiki spaces.com.
The Property Section now disseminates the monthly summary of supplies, repairs and equipment expenditures through the Google Docs platform. With view-only rights, section heads and group chairs now have ready access to the information. Being able to see other groups’ and sections’ reports also adds to the ‘accountability’ feel.
NISMED will once again host an international conference this year. Dubbed “The 2nd International Conference in Science and Mathematics Education,” the conference will be held on October 26 to 28, 2010. Cognizant of the gargantuan tasks of running an international conference, Dr. Marlene B. Ferido, conference overall chair, is starting early. Among the preparations was the setting up of a wiki to support committee operations for the conference. As a start, the wiki environment enabled individual staff to sign up for the committee(s) of their choice. Dr. Ferido has added the duties and responsibilities of each committee, while the Art Section has uploaded for review and polling different designs each for the ID, poster, brochure and website. The wiki now has section pages for the different committees, file upload, discussion, calendar linked to Google Calendar, and is expected to generate more content and contributions as preparations progress.
Using Google docs, members of the Earth Science Group contributed individual inputs to a class observation report while the Biology Group collaboratively developed a lesson plan on Mendelian genetics with a partner teacher from Balara High School. They also used Google spreadsheets to add their latest edits to the Science Curriculum Framework.
On the UbD curriculum model
A series of in-house seminars on Understanding by Design (UbD) was conducted by Dr. Marlene B. Ferido. On January 19, 2010, she presented the first stage of the UbD model. Subsequent workshops on writing enduring understandings (EUs) and essential questions (EQs) were held on February 1 and 2, 2010 among the Science staff. On February 11, 2010, Dr. Ferido shared excerpts from the plenary lectures of Dr. Jeanne Purcell Vautour and Prof. Everett Kline, both faculty of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) in the United States. The conference was held at the Manila Hotel on February 4 to 6, 2010.
UbD is a curriculum model developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe in which curriculum and instruction are developed “backward.” Teachers and curriculum developers using the model consider the learning outcomes and approriate assessment first and then plan learning experiences and instruction to bridge the gap between what students already know and what they need to know. The curriculum model consists of three stages: identifying desired results; determining acceptable evidence; and planning learning experiences and instruction.
In Stage 1 of UbD, big ideas are highlighted by EUs and EQs. EUs are specific insights about big ideas that teachers want students to leave with long after schooling. EQs frame the teaching and learning, emphasizing key ideas, principles, and concepts, and eliciting inquiry into content. In Stage 2, the core assessment tasks focus on evidence of mastery of the big ideas, as well as key performance tasks that give evidence of understanding. In Stage 3, the learning experiences provided by the teacher clarify what the big ideas are, what these ideas look like in concrete situations, and how an understanding of these ideas will be assessed.
On employee discipline vis-a-vis institutional values
Aligning one’s discipline with institutional values took center stage in an in-house seminar for NISMED’s administrative staff held on February 21, 2010 at the Vidal Tan Hall. Facilitated by Angelie S. Domingo, head of the Property Section, and Wilhelmina L. dela Paz of the Desktop and Printing Section, the seminar entitled “Employee Discipline vis-a-vis Institutional Values” aimed to “provide opportunities to revisit, refocus, and realign both the employees’ personal value system and that of the Institution they find themselves in.”
Domingo’s talk focused on the inseparable but at times incongruous nature of personal attitudes and institutional values. In her talk, she sought to clarify the importance of aligning an employee’s personal values to those of the institution. She reasoned that because public office is a public trust, government employees must at “all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency.”
Domingo talks on aligning personal attitudes with institutional values.
Dela Paz, in the second part of the seminar, discussed Civil Service rules and regulations that are fundamental to a government employee’s rights and obligations. She premised her discussion on what constitutes proper conduct among government employees and how this in turn parallels the government’s fight against corruption.
Dela Paz discusses the Civil Service rules and regulations.
Both staff underscored how trust forms the basis of employment and tenure in public service.
The in-house seminar was an echo conduct of a seminar attended by Domingo and dela Paz on August 18 to 21, 2009 in Cagayan De Oro City, given by the Personnel Officers Association of the Philippines.