By: Jeric V. Rey
Masbate National Comprehensive High School

Why we cannot just leave things as they were? – the ones we get used to, the practices we’ve been employing for decades. In the ever-evolving educational setting, the modern educator is expected to embrace digitalization, adapt to emerging trends, and continually evolve to meet the dynamic needs of learners.

The Department of Education (DepEd) views Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a potent tool and a significant medium for curriculum content delivery per DepEd Order No. 21, s. 2019. Thus, sorts of ICT-related trainings are provided to teachers. However, there has been a common assumption that continues to persist. It is that some older teachers may be more reluctant to integrate educational technology into their teaching practices. To some, they perceive it as complex and demanding. Perhaps, strengthening a positive working environment and a practical approach towards the less versed would spur their interest to utilize its functionality. And, the most important thing is sticking to the core of effective teaching. The integration of technology in education encompasses mere digital expertise, it is about leveraging tools to enhance learning experiences and meet the diverse needs of students.

On the other hand, speaking through experience, resistance to the adoption of technology is an occasional scenario. In a training-workshop where the Mathematics teachers of Masbate National Comprehensive High School (MNCHS) developed Math TechBook (Mathematics in a Technology-assisted Book) – an Android application designed to provide students with localized and interactive learning materials– I have seen teachers willingly grasp the unfamiliar and propel forward. They acknowledge the imperative role of technology in teaching and learning.

At first, I witnessed their challenges echoing throughout the venue, their voices reaching every corner as they sought help from their colleagues tirelessly. They laughed at themselves as they blindly navigated their laptops, unsure of what they were doing. However, they never gave up. They have no complaints to report. They were among the attendees who paid close attention to the presenters and closely followed all instructions provided to produce the Math TechBooks. They kept up with the youthful, tech-savvy instructors.

Despite the initial struggles, they persevere and embrace the discomfort of learning anew. Most significantly, they became mentors to their peers, promoting engagement and collaboration. When their colleagues had difficulty following the instructions handed out by the resource speakers, they could lend a hand. When they completed a task satisfactorily, they would boldly shout “next,” moving ahead of some teachers. The loud applause they produced after completing a task took the place of their voices pleading for assistance. In the same way as encouraging students to learn actively and continuously, they commit to staying abreast of new approaches in teaching to provide the best possible learning experiences.

There is no age limit to technology. Overcoming challenges posed by technology is possible for anyone by accepting them and being open to learning. Even while it might not be simple, completing, mastering, or winning it is satisfying. It is never too late to acquire new skills and adjust to the rapidly changing educational technology setting, as demonstrated by the Mathematics teachers of the MNCHS Mathematics Department.

Every small step toward digitalization is a significant leap forward, opening doors to innovative teaching methods. In stepping outside the confines of traditional practices, teachers may unlock a world of possibilities, transforming how students engage with educational content. And by keeping at pace and embracing this change, we are presented with both challenges and opportunities for growth – to adapt and thrive.