Nov 23, 2011

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Makati High School teacher represents country in Microsoft’s forum abroad

Microsoft recently held its Partners in Learning Global Forum in Washington, D.C. with the aim to drive collaboration among educators and school leaders in promoting innovative programs, where Felix Bunagan, a teacher from Makati High School and a winner of Regional Innovative Education Forum held early this year, represented the Philippines with his “Fun with Newton” project.

“Fun with Newton” focuses on motivating students to learn physics in a more student-centered and exciting way. This project uses collaborative working and incorporates Information and Communications Technology (ICT) which includes the use of simple videos, manipulation in robotics, and the use of Internet to widen the classroom experience of the students.

Felix Bunagan, Philippine representative to Microsoft’s Global Forum (right) with his “Fun with Newton” entry, together with Microsoft Philippines’ Robby Manubay (left), in the recent Teacher's Exhibition in Washington, D.C.

“We at Microsoft make it a point to work closely with the academe in helping create stronger learning experiences for students through the integration of technology in the lessons. We aim to improve and strengthen education through the use of technology, customized training and strong partnerships in a way that unlocks the potential of students, educators and schools,” said John Bessey, Managing Director, Microsoft Philippines.

Microsoft’s Global Forum promotes best practices in education as well as establishing a strong community of innovators worldwide across all levels. It further aims to connect educators and school leaders with one another to network and develop lasting relationships that would encourage collaborative learning from one another.

The Microsoft Partners in Learning Program is a global initiative for education that focuses on improving teaching and learning through the effective use of technology in the learning process of students. The annual Global Forum is the culminating activity of the Partners in Learning program of Microsoft, which gathers an estimated 700 of the most innovative global educators.

Meanwhile, Bunagan shared how he has made his teaching methods more creative and fun for his students. “Physics is known to be a very serious subject that always includes numbers, so I create ways to make it more exciting for students. They say Physics is hard and boring because it’s full of numbers and they don’t have hands-on activities that will help them become more interested,” Bunagan said.

According to him, he used ICT as a tool in his teaching and the most challenging activity he prepared for his students was the problem-based robotics, where the students had to discover the laws of motion. The students were asked to study vehicular accidents and were then asked to create a vehicle prototype that is safe and accident-free.

“The students’ basic knowledge was on how to program the robot, so they focused on how to assemble and make the pieces work together. They came up with a car surrounded with sensors. I saw that with the use of technology in our classroom, there has been significant change in the interest and excitement of my students to learn Physics. They have become more interested and challenged through our projects and hands-on activities,” Bunagan pointed out.

In this year’s Global Forum, teachers from all over the world will gather to attend workshops, present their projects to panelists and engage in development programs, which will help them better craft their teaching skills.

Prior to the Global forum, teachers like Bunagan undergo a series of selective competitions at the national and regional levels and present their projects through a ‘virtual classroom tour’ that explains how they use technology in their teaching and how it impacts their student learning.

“Education is one of the important aspects that Microsoft focuses on and we provide opportunities for students and teachers to use their passion, creativity and technology skills to help make a difference in the world,” ended Bessey.



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