Making Waves in the Philippine e-Learning Community

ATI's female delegates to the ICE 2015 (Photo courtesy of Olivia D. Gatus)

MAKATI CITY, Philippines – A key in the effective implementation of the Philippine e-Extension Program for Agriculture and Fisheries is the continuous pursuit and establishment of linkages with institutions from both public and private sectors. As the lead agency of the program, the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) maximizes avenues for sourcing, networking, as well as knowledge-sharing with local and international institutions. One of these is the 2nd International Congress on e-Learning (ICE) recently organized by the Philippine e-Learning Society (PeLS).

ICE, which is held every two years, is an academic forum that gathers various e-learning stakeholders in the country for knowledge sharing and information exchange on the new advances and research results as well as the challenges and solutions in the execution of distance learning programs.

Since the first congress in 2013, ATI has been consistently sending its Knowledge Management (KM) coordinators from the Institute’s network of training centers to the different learning opportunities such as the ICE. The coordinators participate in the forum whilst acquiring membership in the PeLS. With only nine members in PeLS three years ago, the coordinators are now up to 19 PeLS members and ICE 2015 delegates.

The ATI's KM team who participated in the recent ICE 2015 was composed of Antonieta J. Arceo and Pamela G. Mappala of ATI Central Office’s Information Services Division; Maricel D. Dacapias of ATI-Regional Training Center I, Ma. Norma Maddalora and Claris M. Alaska of ATI-RTC II, Ma. Theresa Villanueva of ATI-RTC III, Mariel Celeste Dayanghirang, Rolando Maningas and Roy Victoria of ATI-RTC IVA; Nicolasita Gallego of ATI-RTC VI; Merrian P. Soliva of ATI-RTC VII; Hazel Grace T. Taganas and Dennis Boyd R. Baltazar of ATI-RTC VIII; Virgie Cabrera of ATI-RTC IX; Noemi Beth G. Macario and Honeylou Cababaros of ATI-RTC X; Olivia D. Gatus of ATI-RTC XI; and Fil Victor A. Babanto and Emmilou Gonzaga of ATI-RTC XIII.

In this year’s congress, ATI-RTC VIII's Baltazar was elected as a member of the PeLS Board of Trustees. He was able to get most of the participants’ votes and is the only elected trustee who is not from the academe. As a trustee, Baltazar will take part in managing the PeLS for two years. The nomination and voting of the new set of trustees were done online and the results were shown during the congress proper.

On the other hand, Maningas of ATI-RTC IVA was among the paper presenters during the parallel sessions. He showcased his case on “e-Learning as Instructional Material on the Culture and Utilization of Pangasius Catfish (Pangasius hypophthalmus) at Laguna State Polytechnic University, Los Baños Campus AY 2014-2015” during the session in September 18, 2015. In such sessions, leading practitioners present case studies and researches on innovations and best practices in e-learning.

ATI’s KM coordinators are the lead implementers of the e-Extension Program in the grassroots. With them immersing in this congress, stepping up in the Philippine e-learning community and expanding their networks, more innovations and improvements are expected in the program. After the training, they were tasked to develop action plans based on their insights and learnings from the congress.

PeLS is the country’s foremost organization that promotes the development of e-learning competencies in the government, academe, as well as in the industry. With the theme: “ASEAN and the Global eLearning Ecosystem: Growing Pedagogy. Advancing in Technology and Responding to Challenges” this 2nd ICE was held last September 17 to 18, 2015 at the InterContinental Manila in this city.