Mimio Global Press

Manila Bulletin
The 21st Century Classroom

Teachers and students may soon totally say goodbye to chalk and blackboards!
By RACHEL C. BARAWID
Oct. 13, 2010

MANILA, Philippines - Everyday, Grades 5 and 6 of the Fort Bonifacio Elementary School (FBES) in West Rembo, Makati eagerly look forward to start their classes in Math and Science. In class they are so enthusiastic, participative, and most of all, attentive to the teachers.

The reason: their new high-tech whiteboard, which is far more exciting and educational than the ordinary blackboard.

“Manghang-mangha ang mga estudyante ko nung una nilang nakita itong Mimio interactive whiteboard. Definitely, nag improve ang performance nila at tumaas ang motivation level. Hindi na nagdadaldalan kasi lahat nakikinig at lahat gusto mag-participate,” shares Lilibeth Biscayda, ICT coordinator and Grade 6 teacher at FBES.

MULTIMEDIA CLASSROOM

In other countries, almost all schools are already using interactive whiteboards in classrooms.

The interactive whiteboard is designed as an important tool for teaching. There is no need for markers with this equipment, only a mimio interactive toolbar and a stylus. If there is no whiteboard available, one can even use a wireless mimio on any flat surface which can be converted into a whiteboard.

According to Joie Hernandez-Perilla, e-Learning head of Microdata, only a few schools in the country have this interactive technology. Among them are Xavier University, Poveda, Veritas Parochial School and FBES, the only public school.

Compared to existing touch-based interactive whiteboards, Perilla says, the mimio uses a stylus to make it more convenient for the user.

“In our research, we found out that when you use your fingers four hours straight, it turns sore and it’s not hygienic as well. That’s why it is advisable to use a stylus for the whiteboard,” she notes.

Furthermore, the mimio interactive technology already has a template of lesson plans in various subjects including Math, Science, Biology, and Chemistry for all levels. A teacher may incorporate her own lessons and save them in the portable interactive toolbar which is open to any information.

The teacher can likewise show mini films from the mimio to complement the lesson or go online using the mimio to search for complementing videos on YouTube and other sites. Students, meanwhile, can answer mathematical problems, draw and color on the whiteboard.

“What makes this more exciting is that students can even watch 3D images for Biology and other Sciences using the interactive whiteboard. They also don’t need to take down notes because the teacher can just print the lessons shown on the mimio and give copies to the students, or they can just save it on a USB,” explains Perilla.

The teacher can also make annotations on their lessons on the mimio. Apart from the Mimio Gallery and Studio Software, the interactive whiteboard also has a recording function, internet connection, and a camera to capture images.

“Pagdating sa technology, dapat walang mayaman at walang mahirap. Everyone should have access to technology,” stresses Perilla.

PILOT SCHOOL

To make the new technology accessible even to students in public schools, Microdata donated one set of a mimio interactive toolbar and stylus to FBES, one of the top performing schools in Makati.

FBES principal Delia A. Serrano says the new gadget has ignited the students’ interest in learning while it has made the job of the teachers easier.

“Maganda din ito kasi makakatipid kami sa chalk. Yung teachers hindi na rin magsasalita nang magsasalita kasi mas gagamitin na yung functions ng whiteboard like film showing. Mas marami rin ang puwede maturuang mga bata with this technology. Our students are being inspired and their learning enhanced with the mimio,” says Serrano.

Indeed, the students of FBES are not only inspired but are also excited with the new technology.

“Sa blackboard po nagkaka an-an kami sa paghawak ng chalk. Kaya maganda po itong whiteboard kasi pino-point mo lang yung stylus para makapagsulat ka,” reveals Grade 6 student Marc Joshua Flores.

Grade 5 pupil Sophia Micha Panes, meanwhile is so thankful that they have the technology. “I am so thankful na mayroon kaming ganitong whiteboard, yung ibang schools wala. Nakakatuwa. Ang saya saya pag gumagamit ‘nun.

Her classmate Alain Geronimo adds: Ang ganda pag sinusulat yung stylus. Parang magic! Ang sarap hawakan. Hindi madumi sa kamay, di gaya ng chalk.”

Perilla observes that it won’t be long before interactive whiteboards become more than just a additional tool for teaching. Later on, she believes it will be a necessity as the country strives to keep up with the demands of the times.

“I believe this is very important. We are in the digitized age. Everything is software based and minimalist. Portability comes with technology. In a few years, the classroom will transform into a totally paperless environment where blackboards and notebooks will be replaced by interactive whiteboards and laptops. That will be very exciting to see,” ends Perilla.

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