Educators as Innovators
It is an educator's wish: to bring the latest technology to one's own pupils. It should have been easy, if not for the cost. Yes, technology has cost. And often, expensive technology tends to be seen as the cutting-edge technology.
Well, not anymore since Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds changed the way software is developed. Stallman wanted programs to be open to the user, and created the General Public License and GNU software development tools. In another side of the world, Linus Torvalds started an openly developed Operating System and successfully created Linux. Together, GNU/Linux changed the world of software.
Recent Linux builds have become smaller and faster, like Puppy Linux, DamnSmallLinux, and Austrumi. Users can revive old PC boxes as old as Pentium I-166 Mhz with these mini-Linuxes and enjoy the newest computing and Internet technologies. Newer devices, called embedded or portable devices, have become small but very functional. Often, the devices can deliver desktop computing at surprisingly low cost.
Technology updates for educators receive its share at the Institute of Community Education at UPLB. Eminima founder Dr Raffy handles a class that studies the cheapest and simplest way of delivering learning in schools using Internet and PC technologies. One of his students is Miss Indira Dimaporo, shown below holding a tiny PC.
Miss Indira Dimaporo, UPLB PhD student, is amazed at a recently arrived tiny PC sent to UPLB for testing.
The Instiute of Community Education of UPLB is the same school where Eminima pioneer Laurita Arca did her PhD dissertation research. Laury pioneered virtual learning at the Pedro Guevara Memorial National High School (PGMNHS) Annex Campus in August 2006. She created the content herself and handled most of the of work in setting up the client-server environment as guided by Dr Raffy.
Principal de Castro (in blue) and OIC Rienda (in white) listen to Teacher Laury as she explains the virtual learning environment setup for her experiment in August 2006. The PCs were donated by GILAS.
As this page is being written in mid-February 2007, teacher Laury and colleagues are busy implementing computer-aided teaching in their classes.
Teacher Miss Laury still uses the old reliable server she used for her dissertation research, a Celeron 300 running Puppy Linux, LAMP and DokeOS. Her English Department Chair Loida Villanueva watches as she starts the server.
Laury's co-teachers in the Annex Campus, Archie Condino and Merlen Sancha, hold the client and server Puppy Linux CDs being used in their local area network (LAN) of 10 PCs and 1 server. The screen in the background shows Teacher Laury's pilot course delivered virtually in August 2006.