The first day of the EduTech conference in Manila confirmed that there are still many challenges to get good education to all, even though its a major goal of the government. One way you can speed up the quality of education is by delivering quality Edtech products into schools, but to do this you need the networks available to access this content, this is still a challenge outside of the major cities, but mobile coverage is good so there could be opportunities for supplementary learning using mobiles outside school.
The Philippines also suffers from the growing competition in education systems, especially in the private sectors. This is the same trend in most Asia pacific nations where academic achievement is given much higher recognition that vocational. Where the Philippines differs is they don't have the same drive to compete, they are now looking more towards collaboration. Some of the teachers and schools that shared their experiences are doing great things, but nearly all are in the private sector.
Dr Gary Stager from the US, a global expert in the maker movement, delivered a great keynote on the aspects of "How out of school learning trends will transform in-class expectations", "Obliterating the distinction between vocational and academic subjects". One thing that Dr Stager said that was very interesting is that the maker movement has of 4 years ago become part of the acceptance requirement for MIT. So to now get into MIT you have to be able to show what you have made. We all know the research from neuroscience tells us that making things with our hands improves our problem solving skills. Unlike other nations, Finland never lost the maker movement, or lessons where students make things with their hands.
Maker space run by Dr Stager at the event.
teachers and schools who presented today showed great things, but of course most if not all are from the private school sector.