Technology Package for Student Learning Empowerment: Grade1 Mathematics Courseware in Tablet PC

Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) and Science Education Institute (SEI)

Philippines

Organization Type: Government | Category:

Project Summary

This project seeks to contribute to the improved delivery of educational content especially in the primary education, and consequently, to the improvement of the quality of Philippine education. By utilizing efficient and affordable innovations in ICT, the students can adapt to new ways of learning in this information age.

The courseware is composed of ten lessons in mathematics with 16 activities, fixing skills, and evaluation that involves animated interactivities, which is a fun way to engage pupils in learning. The development of the program involved local but highly-skilled talents like graphic artists and programmers. The project also provided the necessary required units of tablet computers for its pilot testing. The pilot testing involved deploying the tablet computers to ten selected schools in the country. Various metrics was used to measure the effectiveness of using tablet computers as a learning tool. A steering committee, composed of key representatives from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Education (DepEd), Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), National Institute of Science and Mathematics Education, and a consultant from the Ateneo de Manila University, was created for the pilot testing. The committee identified the ten elementary schools from different parts of the country to be involved in the pilot testing. Specifically, Grade 1 pupils from these schools were the target participants for the pilot testing. The project also provided training to teachers as part of the pilot test deployment and first-level support for deployed units. Moreover, the project adopts a stakeholder approach and shall hold consultative dialogues with various stakeholders, including the Department of Education (DepEd), Science Education institute (SEI), and local electronics designers and manufacturers, for the optimum design and list of specifications of the learning tool suitable for basic education. The project ensures that the bill of materials results to an affordable device.

Grade1 Mathematics Courseware is a set of interactive multimedia lessons intended as supplementary material and covers the following topics:
1. Classifying Objects
2. Comparing Sets of Objects and Numbers
3. Ordering Sets of Objects and Numbers
4. Searching for Number Patterns
5. Adding Whole Numbers
6. Subtracting Whole Numbers
7. Partitioning Regions into Halves
8. Partitioning Regions into Fourths
9. Finding the Whole Region or Set, Given ¼ of It
10, Measuring Length Using Nonstandard Units

The courseware introduces mathematical concepts through familiar situations, as well as catchy songs, chants and lively characters like Aida, Dan, Ed and Tessa for pupils to easily identify and acquaint themselves with the use of this technology. Localization of elements within the module gives it a more “Filipino” feel giving users a sense of familiarity.



Modules are divided into three parts: Activities, Fixing Skills and Evaluation.
• “Activity” shows/explains the lesson proper.
• “Fixing Skills” are exercises that increase understanding of the lesson and mastery of the concept.
• “Evaluation” tests the pupils’ lesson comprehension.

The lessons featured Mathematics topics compatible with both the existing basic education and the Kindergarten to Year 12 curricula (K to 12). Teachers of the said classes were also trained to facilitate the pupils’ use of technology package while monitoring activities were conducted by the team composed of members from UP-NISMED, SEI, ASTI and DepEd.

Background

Results of national assessments show that although the performance of Filipino students in science and mathematics improved across the years, the 75% criterion level suggesting “high” performance has not yet been achieved. A number of reasons have been cited to explain this situation: medium of instruction, lack of teachers, ineffective teaching, lack of instructional materials, lack of classroom and large classes, to name a few. Further, drop-out rate for the past five school years (2006-2011) for elementary ranged from 5.99% to 7.33%. A number of initiatives have been tried to find solutions to this situation. One of the highly considered recent solution put forward by many is by providing students with the latest educational hardware tools like Tablet PCs containing learning materials available for their learning empowerment.

To meet these challenges and to harness the use of fast-changing and evolving forms of 21st century software applications and hardware technologies in education, in 2011, DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo initiated the project “Technology Package for Student Learning Empowerment” which initially produced ten (10) selected digitized/interactive learning materials or lessons in Grade 1 Mathematics loaded in Tablet PCs to test whether it could make an impact on student learning as supplementary materials to the traditional textbooks. This project is a collective effort of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) for project conceptualization and implementation, Advance Science Technology (DOST-ASTI) for the digitization of the lessons and provision of computer hardware in cooperation with the University of the Philippines-National Institute for Science and Mathematics Education Development (UP-NISMED) for the lesson scripts, Department of Education (DepEd) for the selection of elementary schools for pilot testing, Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and Dr. Queena N. Lee-Chua of the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU).

Justification

The Philippines lags behind its Asian neighbors in terms of Mathematics education in the primary level. Coupled by the fact that the current president of the Philippines included quality education as one of the priority key performance indicators of his administration, the project was also initiated out of the need to allocate technological access to rural or provincial areas of the country. These are reasons why our organization.

This project nominated to the ISIF Asia award because…

With the success of the implementation of the project “Technology Package for Student Learning Empowerment: Grade1 Mathematics Courseware in Tablet PC”, Grades 2 to 6 Mathematics Courseware was developed to complete the set of the technology package, this time the courseware was loaded in a netbook.

The project was composed of two components:
• Courseware training of teachers from the twenty (20) recipient-schools with one (1) teacher per each of the five levelsof Grades 2-6 were pre-selected based on the criteria determined by the Department of Education (DepEd). The activity was conducted 27-30 January 2014.
• Pilot testing of courseware (after the teachers’ training) in the twenty (20) selected recipient-schools all over the country where each school was given twenty-five (25) netbook units loaded with courseware at a ratio of 1:2 unit-pupil. This activity was conducted from February to March 2014. The recipient-schools and grades are the following:

o Region 1 Pangasinan II – Pozorubio Central Elementary School, Grades 5 and 6
o Region 2 Cagayan – Tuguegarao West Central School, Grades 2, 3 and 4.
o Region 3 Bataan – Dinalupihan East Central School, Grades 3 & 4; Nueva Ecija – Munoz Central Elem School, Grades 5& 6 and Bulacan – Gregorio del Pilar Elem School, Grades 5& 6.
o Region 4b Oriental Mindoro – Jose L. Basa Central School., Grades 2,3 &4; Puerto Princesa City – Mateo Jagmis Elem School. Grades 5 and 6
o Region 5 Camarines Sur – Caramoan Central School, Grades 2& 4; Sorsogon – Gubat North Elem School, Grades 5&6.
o Region 6 Aklan – Kalibo Pilot School, Grades 2 and 4
o Region 7 Negros Oriental – Sta. Catalina Central School Grades 2 and 4; Tagbilaran City – Tagbilaran Central Elem School – Grades 5 and 6
o Region 9 Dipolog City – Dipolog Pilot Demo School, Grades 2,3 & 4
o Region 11 Davao City – Davao City Special School, Grades 2, 3 and 4; Davao del Sur – Magsaysay Central Elem School, Grades 5&6
o Region 12 Koronadal – Surallah East Elem School Grades 2&4
o CAR Benguet – Lepanto Elem School, Grades 5 and 6
o CARAGA Agusan del Norte – Buenavista Elem School Grades 5& 6
o NCR Valenzuela City – Malinta Elem School Grades 2, 3&4;
o Quezon City – Goodwill Elem School Grades 5&6

The topics for Grade 2-6 Mathematics are:
• Grade 2
o Introducing the Concept of Area
o Presenting Data in a Table and in a Pictograph
o Tessellating Triangles and Squares
• Grade 3
o Patterns in Bracelet Making
o Tessellating Triangles , Squares and Hexagons
• Grade 4
o Estimating the Area of an Irregularly-shaped Figure
o Finding the Perimeter of a Rectangle
o Representing and Interpreting Data in a Bar Graph
o What Number is Missing?
• Grade 5
o Finding the Area of a Circle
o Finding the Area of a Trapezoid
o Finding the Volume of a Cube and a Rectangular Prism
o Multiplying Decimals
o Percent and its Relationship to Ratio, Fraction and Decimal
o Reading and Interpreting Data in a Line Graph
o Representing and Interpreting Data in a Circle Graph
• Grade 6
o Determining Percent of Increase and Decrease
o Direct Proportion
o Finding the Surface Area of a Cube and a Rectangular Prism
o Inverse Proportion
o Making Simple Predictions
o Partitive Proportion
o Representing and Interpreting Data in a Circle Graph
o Solving Problems Involving Percent
o What is the Expression?

The Technology Package which includes Grades 1 – 6 Mathematics courseware are free of charge and accessible for download through the DOST Courseware Website http://courseware.dost.gov.ph. However, due to some ongoing minor revisions with Grades 2-6 courseware after its pilot testing in March 2014, only Grade 1 modules are readily available for download, for now, but will soon be uploaded on the 4th quarter of this year.
Since 2007,DOST continues to develop courseware in science and mathematics and will continue to embrace global information technologies to produce a well-designed educational software to address the pressing need to ensure that Filipino students learn mathematics (and science) in as many innovative and meaningful ways as possible.

The project should win the award because it uses innovative and sustainable technology and other resources to uplift the quality of education in the Philippines. It employed local talents for the benefits of the marginalized sector and made narrower the technological divide that separates the can-affords and the have-nots.

Team

A steering committee headed by the Undersecretary for the Science and Technological Services of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was created to oversee the project. It is composed of experts and key personnel from different organizations including Dr. Queena Lee-Chua of Ateneo de Manila University, Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevarra of the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), Engr. Denis Villorente of the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), Dr. Yolanda Quijano of the Department of Education (DepEd), Dr. Merle C. Tan of the University of the Philippines National Institute of Science and Mathematics Education (UP-NISMED) and many others. The project was funded by the Science Education Institute then headed by its director, Dr. Filma Brawner. The development was collaboration between the ASTI (for the digitization) and the UP-NISMED (for the content development). The steering committee regularly meets for status reports and future direction of the project.

Objectives

This project seeks to contribute to the improved delivery of educational content especially in the primary education, and consequently, to the improvement of the quality of Philippine education. By utilizing efficient and affordable innovations in ICT, the students can adapt to new ways of learning in this information age. Specifically, the aims of the project are:

1. To develop material to supplement math teaching and learning in the classroom, based on the concepts in the DepEd's Basic Education curriculum (which was in place when we started the project ; but we also made sure it would be compatible with the proposed Kindergarten to Year 12 curriculum);

2. To test lesson material with various public school students across the country, revise whatever needs correction, and do recommendations in that regard;

3. To train teachers, as needed, to utilize the courseware to maximize its instructional potential;

4. To distribute the courseware (with corresponding hardware units) all over the country, if and once everything is deemed satisfactory.

5. To recommend further steps for future directions based on the results of the project.

Technical details and contribution to innovation

The project used Adobe Flash and the open source FlashDevelop for the software and the Coby touchscreen tablet for the hardware.

Activities

The project has four major phases:
1. Design and content development including scriptwriting and development of the lessons as courseware – experts from UPNISMED drafted the script and eventually transform the concepts into lessons and edited/revised by Dr. Queena Lee-Chua before digitization
2. Digitization of lessons – involves interface designing, programming, execution of animation, mixing of music and soundand finally integration of all elements to produce a courseware.
3. Training of teachers – involves training of teachers with the use of courseware and designing lesson plan to integrate the courseware in teaching.
4. Pilot testing of the courseware using the Tablet PC – before the main pilot testing, a pre-pilot-testing was conducted in ten recipient-schools for all the lessons to identify possible problems and implement adjustments and remedies to make the actual testing smoother. Main pilot testing was conducted from July to September 2012 in the same schools as follows with corresponding number of pupils composing the experimental and control groups:

1. Jasaan Central School (Misamis Oriental) - 81
2. Kimaya Elementary School (Misamis Oriental) - 93
3. Cong. A.T. Aguja Memorial Central School (Leyte) - 87
4. Cassidy Elementary School (Leyte) - 87
5. Fourth Estate Elementary School (Paranaque City) - 78
6. San Agustin Elementary School(Paranaque City) - 89
7. San Nicolas Elementary School (Ilocos Norte) - 82
8. Pasuquin Central School(Ilocos Norte) - 51
9. Tanauan North Central School(Batangas) - 80
10. Lores Elementary School (Rizal) - 84

Outcomes

• Pre-tests and post-tests were given to both experimental and control groups where their scores were calculated. The differences in average (mean) gain scores were calculated using SPSS with the usual difference-of-means tests (Z-test for big samples), the probability values (p-values difference in the mean gain scores of the groups were collected. The mean gain scores for all the schools (except for Pasuquin Elementary School) were significant at the 0.01 level, which means that there is a 99% degree of confidence that the difference in scores is genuine. The difference in scores (experimental groups all had higher scores) may be due to students’ use of the courseware in PC Tablet.
• Interaction between pupils was kept to a minimum, because each student was provided with his or her own tablet PC to use. Several concepts in math are retained better through cooperative learning or pair work, and individual PC tablets tend to foster individual learning, without the benefits of exchange of ideas. Thus, recommends to have two students share a tablet, especially while doing the Activity or Fixing Skills portions. This makes them interact to solve problem, and minimizes intrusion of faster learners upon the pace of slower ones.
• Some pupils, when manipulating the courseware, unconsciously placed their finger on their mouth or nose then use the same finger to tap the screen, smudging it and making the equipment tedious to clean afterwards. If tablets do not respond, they will keep on tapping (a natural reaction) but this could cause the equipment to hang. Thus, recommends the use of laptop or netbook rather than tablets for pupils (them being young absorb technology easily and can explore by themselves). Laptops or netbooks are more resistant to mishandling, cost-wise can be even slightly less than tablets, easier to handle in case keyboarding (not just tapping screens) is warranted.
• Fifty (50) units of tablets with the courseware were given to the ten (10) elementary school-participant and finally, the roll-over.

Publications and dissemination efforts

The courseware is currently loaded at a repository for all DOST-produced courseware http://courseware.dost.gov.ph

It is also featured at various exhibits by ASTI-DOST and SEI-DOST especially during the celebration of National Science and Technology Week of DOST usually held in July of every year. Flyers are given to guests (students, teachers, educators, foreign visitors) of both institutes

Awards and distinctions

ADOC (APEC Digital Opportunity Center) International Award for the e-Nutrition project; National Invention Contest and Exhibits (NICE) Award

Website

http://courseware.dost.gov.ph/

profile or page from the organization or project leader

https://www.facebook.com/DOST.SEI?fref=ts

profile from the organization or project leader

http://twitter.com/dost_sei

profile from the organization or project leader

N/A

Project Representative

ELMER CATIBAY PERAMO

Project Representative on

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/elmer-peramo/12/695/755

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