Aligned with the upcoming International Teacher’s Day on 5 October, Education New Zealand (ENZ), in partnership with Teach for the Philippines, today announced the details of its latest School Influencer Workshop targeted at science teachers in the Philippines.
The virtual workshop aims to equip teachers with knowledge on digital tools to build more effective science classrooms and curriculums. Taking place on 2 October 2021 from 9.00am to 11.00am PHT, the workshop will be led by Dr. Sriparna Saha, a PhD candidate in GeoEducation at University of Canterbury.
Teach for the Philippines is a non-profit organisation that works to provide all Filipino children will benefit from an inclusive, relevant and excellent education, through improving teacher quality and creating a pipeline of teachers who can significantly improve student learning outcomes.
All 50 attendees of the School Influencer Workshop will comprise of Teach for the Philippines’ Teacher Fellows, Teacher Leaders, and Alumni.
The integration of information and communication technologies in classrooms is a common challenge around the globe and their adoption has been further encouraged with the ongoing pandemic. In Philippines especially, teachers are increasingly looking for new ways to engage their students and offer richer learning experiences.
With over 20 active volcanoes across the country, the importance of introducing volcanoes and their effects into the local science curriculum is growing, in the event of an eruption.
The School Influencer Workshop will introduce to the teachers a wide array of digital resources which will allow them to create new curriculums centred around volcanoes. Teachers will be exposed to different digital tools such as virtual field trips, online platforms, and digital storytelling that can enhance their science curriculums and engage students during a time when face-to-face interaction is limited.
Dr. Srirparna Saha, the workshop lead, is currently using Digital Storytelling for designing educational resources to teach about Caldera volcanoes, as part of her PhD. During the workshop, Dr. Saha will be sharing her best practices for innovative solutions to blend storytelling and communicating with science and art.
“The topic of volcanoes as a learning subject is an interesting one, particularly for both New Zealand and the Philippines. Fusing such lessons with digital elements will take students on an even more exciting journey and I am looking forward to bringing some of my experiences using these digital technologies to the teachers at the workshop.
“Sharing what I know about virtual field trips, online platforms and storytelling with teachers from a wider community will definitely be a fulfilling experience,” shared Dr. Saha.
The workshop is the latest in Education New Zealand (ENZ)’s series of School Influencer Workshops that first began in 2017. The series of workshops reasserts ENZ’s goal of achieving knowledge diplomacy, sharing the expertise, courses, and skills that New Zealand has to offer international communities.
ENZ’s Regional Director Asia, Ben Burrowes, said this workshop reasserts New Zealand’s commitment to sharing information and knowledge with more governments, schools, and communities around the world.
He said, “It is a very important moment for us as we explore the best digital resources available in order to enhance the learning experience for all of our students. The importance of information and communication technology in the education space has always been apparent to us.
“Being able to bring some of the University of Canterbury’s knowledge and expertise in the digital sphere through Dr.Saha’s guidance and expertise, is a golden opportunity for us. Through the School Influencer Workshop, we hope that the teachers will be motivated to introduce new ways of teaching that can satisfy their students’ curiosity in volcano science,” he added.
According to Ginny Villa-Real, Director of Program & Training at Teach for the Philippines, “The knowledge that our teachers will pick up during the School Influencer Workshop will go a long way. Our teachers will be able to apply the digital tools to not only their science lessons, but other subjects as well. We are thankful for this collaboration with Education New Zealand and look forward to more partnerships to upskill our teachers.”