8 MCS teachers earn high marks in education technology course


Eight teachers from Mount Carmel School recently all earned A+ grades in an education technology course run by the CNMI Public School System. The eight teachers are part of an “Ed Tech” cohort of private school teachers that are taking a series of courses that will help them make the most of technology in the classroom.

The first course, Computer Application, taught by both Education Commissioner Dr. Rita Sablan, and master teacher Marizel Hiponia, introduced teachers to the fundamentals of computer applications in the classroom. Blending webinars with face-to-face instruction, the course covered different operating systems and refined teachers’ understanding of plug-ins, extensions, add-ons, and other aspects of computer applications. The entire Ed Tech program uses the Classroom Instruction that Works (CITW) model to focus on how technology can enhance instruction and learning.

The first course, which ran for six weeks from Sept. 29 through Nov. 8, was a grueling schedule that had teachers investing up to 10 instructional hours every week and countless additional hours researching and completing coursework.

For 6th grade teacher and former MCS Teacher of the Year, Frances Taimanao, despite how difficult the course was, it was worth it. “It was really hectic, crazy, and challenging, but I learned a lot.” Taimanao added, “I really appreciate how it helps us use technology in the classroom. I’ve even been able to share what I’ve learned with a visiting Japanese teacher in my classroom and my own students.”

Besides Taimanao, the cohort included vice principal for curriculum and instruction Bobby Baldazo, high school science teacher Luz Baldazo, computer teacher Filmah Buenaflor, 5th grade teachers Min Ji Han and HeJin Lee, 1st grade teacher Zita Sablan, school counselor Tobed Smith, and teachers from Saipan International School and Grace Christian Academy.

The cohort will continue with its next course, Solo 6 and Literacy, and subsequent courses, Google Apps for Education, Student Products, and Creative Design—Adobe Creative Suite. (MCS)

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