PH seeks to replicate Taiwan’s tech-infused classroom set-up

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The Science Education Institute (SEI) has sent six of its staff in Taiwan to undergo extensive study visits with renowned academic and research institutions in the island-nation.

The SEI is an attached agency under the Department of Science and Technology.

A team from the Science Education Institute seeks to follow to the success of Wulai Elementary and Junior High School?s Popular Science Classroom?, a concept that created a technology-advanced classroom for indigenous people of Taiwan. The team envisions conceptualizing an advanced science classroom as prototype for Philippine schools

The SEI team visited Wulai Elementary and Junior High School, a school for indigenous people located at Wulai township, about an hour away from Taipei City.

?The local school is a perfect example on how to establish a technology-advanced classroom,? said SEI Innovations Division Chief Lilia Lauron.

In what it calls as the ?Popular Science Classroom?, a concept wherein the classroom serves as a modern multi-media room of the school, Wulai Elementary and Junior High School provides a good model for science and math education which the Philippines can imitate.

The Popular Science Classroom is equipped with four advanced computers placed in each table for sharing of students, connected to a central server, and can be viewed in a 3D capable television.

Actual science artifacts are present aside from the usual textbooks and other references in normal classrooms.

The classroom is also designed in a fun and engaging way where even the window blinds serve as mind stimulators with its science-related prints.

Further reinforcing learning, the school houses the Wulai Atayal Museum which displays photos, relics, and actual samples of the things used by the aborigines of Taiwan.

?The features of the Popular Science Classroom can be adopted by SEI in conceptualizing a science classroom with resource-efficient state-of-the-art technologies as a prototype for schools,? said SEI Director Filma G. Brawner.

Meanwhile, the SEI team also visited the Science Education Center of National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) which boasted its five-year project entitled ?Aim for the Top University? which is funded by the Ministry of Education.

?The project aims to establish a Center for Research Excellence in Science Education or CRESE to integrate advanced information technology and develop innovative approaches for the teaching, learning, and assessment of science to enhance the scientific literacy of all citizens,? said its director, Prof. Chun-Yen Chang.

Some of the center?s innovative strategies include the use of an iPod application in identifying the kinds of rocks pictured in meta-cards; a virtual tour to the NTNU?s campus, and an animated and body movement-controlled tour to Taiwan?s National Park.

Brawner said that as the lead agency in implementing innovative science education programs and projects in the country, it is necessary to improve institutional cooperation and enhance manpower capacity of the Institute.

?It is imperative that we seek the help of other institutions or countries who experienced success in their innovative strategies in advancing science education,? Brawner disclosed.

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