Education technology holds the key to enhancing the quality of education in the Philippines especially now that many private schools continue to embrace blended learning.
Jack Brazel, regional director of Turnitin in Southeast Asia, says it is vital for countries like the Philippines to embrace the use of education technology to equip both faculty and students with the tools they need to succeed. Turnitin is an American company known for its plagiarism detection service.
“There are some current obstacles to achieving this, however, relating to digital infrastructure and disparities in technology access that can be felt across the nation. The imperative, then, is to create the right learning infrastructure that is open to all in order to facilitate and empower teaching and learning practices that directly impact social and economic outcomes in the Philippines,” Brazel says in an email interview.
He says investing in digital solutions can help the Philippines’ education ecosystem to advance necessary skill-building and develop the students’ readiness to play a key role in national digital transformation.
This is where education technology comes in. Ed-tech supports existing academic foundations while providing new opportunities to enhance the efficacy of teaching, learning and administrative functions, he says.
“Through edtech, institutions can reach unparalleled efficiencies compared to manual methods, and enjoy flexibility to leverage the benefits of online and hybrid education delivery and cushion against learning disruption,” says Brazel.
He says the benefits of ed-tech touch multiple stakeholders in the sector. For educators, it can relieve them of the burden of administrative tasks to focus their time on teaching instruction, assist in their delivery of assessment and feedback and offer data insights to inform student interventions and shape course content. In turn, students can benefit from more frequent, quality interactions with teaching staff, meaningful feedback that guides next steps in learning and boosts learner independence, and avenues for authentic learning where students can harness their tech-savvy as digital natives and apply it to their learning goals, towards increased engagement.
“The possibilities for the integration of pedagogy and technology through edtech are numerous, and are already broadening the scope of curricula to deliver more relevant learning opportunities and secure desired outcomes,” he says.
Brazel says technology can help educators steer students away from academic misconduct. “Upholding academic integrity is an issue that needs urgent attention, and according to a study by Aguilar, empowering teachers and students is crucial to combat rising rates of student misconduct.
Academic integrity software is already being used to great effect to detect and deter potential plagiarism and unoriginal work, but more investment is needed here,” he says.
Brazel says the Philippine Constitution mandates that education receive the largest chunk of the national budget, which puts it a step ahead of economies where educational investment is of a lower budgetary priority.
“As developing nations are still striving to adapt methods for assessing and grading students to the realities of classrooms today, other vital considerations emerge. Concentrating on edtech that integrates with existing systems and workflows will ensure a smoother learning experience that is not hindered by difficulties that disrupt the progress of educators and students,” he says.
He says digital infrastructure paired with teaching that engages students and allows them to feel seen and heard is also crucial to offsetting any feelings of isolation that can occur in online spaces.
Technology holds the key to ensuring that education delivery is agile and responsive to future developments and disruptions, and central to the growth of tech-driven industry in the Philippines, says Brazel.
“Of course, not all education technology is created equal, and care must be taken by institutions to adopt software that aligns with their strategic vision, pedagogical approach and operational workflows,” he says.
“By embarking on partnerships with institutions across the Philippines to nurture academic achievement and serve institutional needs, Turnitin is committed to improving learning outcomes that will support nation-building in the Philippines,” he says.
Brazel says that aside from offering a suite of product solutions that also strengthen digital literacy in schools and universities, Turnitin is also supporting communities through knowledge-sharing in the form of regular webinars and providing a platform for education leaders and faculty to connect with their peers and trusted experts in the field.
He says Turnitin offers a comprehensive suite of academic integrity and assessment solutions, with integrity-focused products especially suited to Filipino institutions and their journey to address student misconduct accurately and consistently.
They include Turnitin Similarity which upholds academic integrity by allowing educators to identify potential plagiarism or citation errors by cross-referencing student work against the world’s largest database of internet; Feedback Studio which pairs similarity checking with grading and feedback features to support educators in delivering fast, robust and ongoing feedback to nurture student writing and avoid patterns of inadvertent or deliberate misconduct.
“We also have a tool designed for the student workflow. Draft Coach for Microsoft Word for the web and Google Docs lives where students write, and helps address citation errors, unintended plagiarism and grammar mistakes earlier in the writing process, with instant feedback. With students empowered to identify and self-correct errors prior to submission of their work, Draft Coach also helps reduce educators’ time spent grading,” he says.
Meanwhile, Turnitin Originality, the new standard in academic integrity, increases institutions’ capacity for academic misconduct investigation by combatting emerging threats to integrity such as contract cheating.
“We also offer iThenticate, which enables scholars to validate their research during the high-stakes manuscript drafting process, ensuring peace of mind that their work is original and accurately cited,” he says.