BUTUAN CITY - With the aim of providing platform to widen partnerships in delivering innovative extension services for agriculture and fisheries, the Agricultural Training Institute – Regional Training Center XIII (ATI-Caraga), in tandem with Philippine e-Learning Society (PeLS), conducted the Demystifying e-Learning: Strengthening Partnerships for the Innovative Extension Modalities at Goat2Geder Hotel and Restaurant in Butuan City last July 25, 2018.
Participants include representatives from National Government Agencies (NGAs), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Caraga Region. Ginalyn V. Arbutante, Information Officer II of ATI-Caraga, explained that the activity is in line with Department Order No. 03 series of 2007 which designated ATI as lead agency in the provision of e-Extension services. As such, for more than a decade, ATI has developed and offered for free more than 50 rolling e-Learning courses that cover crop and animal productions, marine and fisheries, sustainable agriculture and social technologies. These e-Learning courses are offered not only to farmers and agriculture extension workers but also to students who are interested to learn and earn certificates. Beginning this year, it will be promoted to other organizations such as private HEIs in order to broaden its reach and introduce to students this alternative learning modality.
Dennis Boyd R. Baltazar, Chief of the Information Services Section of ATI-RTC VIII and PeLS Board of Trustee (BOT), delved further about the e-Extension program and demonstrated how to access the Philippine e-Extension portal, explained the components of the program, the pains and gains in the development of e-Learning courses and the partners behind the successful implementation.
Janice Antoniette V. Förster, IT Chairperson of Silliman University and PeLS BOT, also encouraged the participants to become members of PeLS and join the 14th National e-Learning Conference which will be held in Butuan City between September 11-13, 2018. Förster also stressed the trend in the use of e-Learning as an alternative tool in inculcating knowledge to students and users. She noted that the Philippines has been cited as one of the top 10 countries in the world with a high growth of e-Learning. Among the highlights of her discussion were the advantages and challenges of e-Learning, PeLS Vision/Mission, activities and membership.
The participants expressed their commitment to help promote e-Learning in their respective schools. They were also thankful for the opportunity to be invited in the said activity. “The e-Learning topic is interesting and challenging. The resource persons were experts in their field. Personally, they inspired me to adopt the e-Learning teaching method,” said Rodel Oclarit, an instructor from the Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology (ASSCAT) in Bunawan, Agusan del Sur.