High school students nationwide reinforce their digital literacy via PLDT-UPOU’s webinar series

Over a thousand Grades 7 to 12 students from public schools nationwide recently participated in the opening session of the Infoteach Outreach Webinar Series, PLDT’s digital literacy program, presented in partnership with the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU).

PLDT, in partnership with UP Open University (UPOU), conducted the first session of the Infoteach Outreach Webinar Series, attended by over a thousand high school students from public schools nationwide. Photo shows the speakers at the opening session which carried the topic: Digital Productivity Tools. They are, topmost from left: PLDT Community Relations Head Katherine Diaz De Rivera, who delivered the welcome remarks; Dr. Flordeliza C. Gecobe, CESO V, Schools Division Superintendent of Quirino Province, guest speaker; UPOU Asst. Professor Myra Almodiel, resource person; and UPOU Chancellor Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria, moderator. The webinar is held every Friday, 10-11:30 am, from March 5 to May 14.

“We are continuing our Infoteach Outreach training, now on its Phase 6.  It is the flagship program of PLDT’s corporate social responsibility initiatives. Rest assured that we will stay the course, providing beneficial digital literacy training to our country’s students and teachers. Our first module, for instance, is Digital Productivity Tools, a very relevant topic for our participants,” said PLDT Community Relations Head Katherine Diaz De Rivera in her welcome remarks.

Guest speaker Dr. Flordeliza C. Gecobe, CESO V, Schools Division Superintendent of Quirino Province, remarked that digital productivity tools remain to be very useful in making lessons more interesting for students who use their skills in managing these tools.

UPOU Chancellor Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria, who acted as moderator, thanked PLDT for conforming to the design of the training rollout. “It took a while to redesign the new training which we have aligned to the context of the current pandemic because we have to protect our students and teachers who will take part in the various sessions,” Dr. Bandalaria said.

Covering the first module, UPOU Asst. Professor Myra Almodiel began her lecture by discussing the three categories of productivity tools. One of which is the personal productivity tool, composed of applications that are very useful to students, such as the Notetaking apps – Evernote, OneNote, AppleNotes, GoogleKeep – with time tracking tools, dictation software, and website blockers. The latter, offered by apps like Freedom, StayFocused, WasteNoTime, Forest, and Pause, are especially valuable because they block distracting websites, enabling students to focus their attention on their lessons.

An expert in computer science, Almodiel commended the student-attendees for actively participating in the discussion. “I’m so glad you’re very active, eagerly expressing your thoughts in the comments section. Your generation easily adapts to new technology and that’s a good trait,” Almodiel observed.

To increase productivity, she advised the students to use the right tools or apps that are appropriate for them, learn and understand these tools, keep them simple and avoid overcomplicating, and maximize their use since there is no need to add superfluous apps.

Online registration to the webinar series has continued to increase, going up to over 6,000 registrants since it opened on March 5. Conducted every Friday, 10-11:30 am, until May 14, the PLDT Infoteach Outreach Phase 6 rollout training will take up the following topics in succeeding sessions: Online Collaboration Tools; 21st Century Competencies; Effective Communication Skills; Digital Literacy; Responsible Use of Social Media; Global Digital Citizenship; Cyber Security; Lifelong Learning; and Introduction to Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2020, PLDT and UPOU held the first-ever Infoteach webinar series before schools opened in October, helping prepare teachers, students, parents, and school administrative staff for the blended learning strategy in pandemic times. “Organizing the first webinar was a very fulfilling experience for both PLDT and UPOU because of the overwhelming support and interaction we got and felt from the participants all over the country,” recalled Diaz De Rivera.

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