14th National e-Learning Conference Notes ATI Initiatives

ATI OIC Director Luz Taposok shares the beginnings of the e-Learning program and some plans to expand its reach, including the development of the offline version of the courses.

BUTUAN City, Agusan del Norte—The electronic learning or e-Learning program of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) exemplified yet again the government’s initiatives in terms of information and communications technology (ICT) in agriculture and fisheries during the 14th National eLearning Conference (NeLC).

ATI Officer-in-Charge Director Luz Taposok, who keynoted the conference, shared the evolution, accomplishments, and further improvements for the e-Learning program as it reached its 10th year.

“So far, after 10 years of implementing e-Learning, we have already around 60,000 registered users in our site. We have already produced more than 39,000 graduates from the 58 courses we are offering,” she said.

She also talked about the partnerships with educational institutions and other government agencies to further the reach of the program. In terms of the issues that challenge the implementation of e-Learning, such as technological limitations and level of acceptability and adoption among the stakeholders, Taposok remained optimistic.

“Despite these challenges, some opportunities can be observed. ICT, in general, does not only mean the use of computers and the Internet but also other media mixes. The use of radio, through the school-in-the-air, mixed with interactive chats, online forum, and short messaging system can be done to make more content available and accessible for our clientele,” Taposok stressed.

Spearheaded by the Philippine e-Learning Society (PeLs), NeLC is an academic forum that gathers e-Learning practitioners, educators, trainers, researchers, media specialists, instructional designers, university school administrators, policy-makers, industry partners, and students. This year, the conference theme is “Gaining the Edge: Integrating e-Learning in Instruction, Extension, and Research” and advances and research results in various aspects of e-Learning were presented.

Highlights of the event were the plenary sessions and “Ice Talks” given by various e-Learning practitioners. Their presentations showed how e-Learning is being integrated in education, research, and extension.

Parallel paper presentations were also part of the conference. ATI’s Information Services Division chief Antonieta Arceo presented the paper of Policy and Planning Division chief Milagros Urbano entitled “An Evaluation of the Agricultural Training Institute’s e-Learning as an Alternative Mode in the Delivery of Extension Services: Basis for Policy”. It was recognized as second best paper presentation.

Also marking the event was the election of PeLS’ new board of trustees. ISD assistant chief Pamela Mappala was elected as new member, along with four academicians.

NeLC also featured an exhibit from private and government organizations such as Panopto, Pearson, Blackboard, Canvas, Eesysoft, Nephila Web, Neo by Cypher Learning, TechFactors Inc., Department of Tourism, and ATI which served as one of the major sponsors.

Around 200 e-Learning practitioners attended the conference which also celebrated PeLS’ 15th anniversary. It was held in this city on September 12-14, 2018.

ATI Today

Extension services continue to evolve. With the challenges that extension workers and farmers face, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) continues to explore various strategies to improve its efforts as the extension and training arm of the Department of Agriculture. In over 30 years, the ATI has celebrated various successes and learned from the lessons during hard times. Nonetheless, we are proud to be standing the test of time through the support of our partners and the clientele themselves. This is the ATI Today, more committed to bring you extension services beyond boundaries.