Ed Tech Keys to Improve Education Quality in PH
Educational technology is key to improving the quality of education in the Philippines, especially now that many private schools continue to use blended learning.
Jack Brazel, Turnitin’s Southeast Asia regional director, says it’s critical for countries like the Philippines to encourage the use of education technology to equip both educators and students with the tools they need to succeed. Turnitin is an American company known for its plagiarism detection service.
“However, there are some current barriers to achieving this in terms of digital infrastructure and disparities in technology access that are being felt across the country. Therefore, it is imperative to create the right learning infrastructure, open to all, to facilitate and strengthen teaching and learning practices that directly impact social and economic outcomes in the Philippines,” says Brazel in an email Interview.
He says investing in digital solutions can help the Philippines’ education ecosystem drive the necessary skill building and develop student readiness to play a key role in the national digital transformation.
This is where educational technology comes into play. Ed-Tech supports existing academic foundations while offering new opportunities to improve the efficiency of teaching, learning and administrative functions, he says.
“Through edtech, institutions can achieve unprecedented efficiencies compared to manual methods and enjoy the flexibility to take advantage of online and hybrid education and cushion learning interruptions,” says Brazel.
He says the benefits of ed-tech affect multiple stakeholders in the industry. For educators, it can relieve them of the burden of administrative tasks to focus their time on teaching, help provide assessments and feedback, and provide data insights to inform student interventions and shape course content. In return, students can benefit from more frequent, high-quality interactions with teachers, meaningful feedback that guides next learning steps and strengthens learner independence, and opportunities for authentic learning where students use their technical skills as digital natives and on themselves can apply learning goals towards more commitment.
“Opportunities for edtech to integrate pedagogy and technology are numerous and are already expanding the scope of curricula to provide more relevant learning opportunities and secure desired outcomes,” he says.
According to Brazel, technology can help educators keep students away from academic misconduct. “Maintaining academic integrity is an issue that requires urgent attention, and according to a study by Aguilar, empowering teachers and students is critical to combating the rising rate of student misconduct.
Academic integrity software is already being used to great effect to detect and deter potential plagiarism and unoriginal work, but more investment is needed here,” he says.
According to Brazel, the Philippine constitution mandates that education receive the bulk of the state budget, which puts it a step ahead of economies where investment in education has a lower budget priority.
“While developing countries still strive to adapt methods of assessing and grading students to the realities of today’s classrooms, other important considerations are emerging. Focusing on edtech that integrates with existing systems and workflows will ensure a smoother learning experience, unhindered by difficulties that disrupt educator and student progress,” he says.
He says a digital infrastructure coupled with classes that engage students and make them feel seen and heard are also crucial to offsetting the sense of isolation that can occur in online spaces.
Technology is key to ensuring that education delivery is agile and responsive to future developments and disruptions, and is central to the growth of the technology-driven industry in the Philippines, says Brazel.
“Of course, not all educational technologies are created equal, and institutions must be careful to adopt software that aligns with their strategic vision, pedagogical approach, and operational workflows,” he says.
“By beginning partnerships with institutions in the Philippines to advance academic achievement and meet institutional needs, Turnitin is committed to enhancing learning outcomes that support nation-building in the Philippines,” he says.
According to Brazel, Turnitin not only offers a range of product solutions that also strengthen digital literacy in schools and universities, but also supports communities through knowledge sharing in the form of regular webinars and offers educational leaders and educators a platform to connect with their peers and trusted experts in this area.
He says Turnitin offers a comprehensive suite of academic integrity and assessment solutions, with integrity-focused products particularly suited to Filipino institutions and their efforts to accurately and consistently address student misconduct.
These include Turnitin Similarity, which maintains academic integrity by allowing educators to identify potential plagiarism or citation errors by comparing student work against the world’s largest web database; Feedback Studio that combines similarity testing with grading and feedback features to help educators provide fast, robust, and continuous feedback to encourage student writing and avoid patterns of accidental or intentional misbehavior.
“We also have a tool designed for student workflow. Draft Coach for Microsoft Word for the web and Google Docs lives where students write, providing instant feedback to help fix citation errors, unintentional plagiarism, and grammatical errors earlier in the writing process. By empowering students to identify mistakes and correct them themselves before submitting their work, Draft Coach also helps reduce the time teachers spend grading,” he says.
Meanwhile, Turnitin Originality, the new standard for academic integrity, increases institutions’ capacity to investigate academic misconduct by combating emerging integrity threats such as contract fraud.
“We also offer iThenticate, which allows researchers to validate their research throughout the demanding manuscript creation process to ensure their work is original and correctly cited,” he says.