The Public School System finally got on board last Friday on its first Digital Learning Day, which has been celebrated in the U.S. mainland since 2012.
The occasion gives PSS a chance to place importance on technology as an aid in shaping CNMI students to be global citizens that identifies with the world community and whose actions contribute to building this community’s values and practices.
According to PSS Instructional Technology director Bobby Cruz, technology is here to stay.
“Gone are the days that we see technology as something unknown and intimidating to us,” he said. “Technology [is] ever changing, advancing and improving… because people continue to learn and grow and learn and go some more.”
He said that technology is a partner for learning and development once one knows the proper way to use it to make people better, using the right tools and guidance.
In the run-up to Friday, PSS hosted a competition—essays, poems, and multi-media presentation—among students and teachers to showcase the importance of technology in learning and teaching.
Five winners were chosen out of the 300 students and educators who participated.: Tormaica Blas 2nd grade, William S. Reyes Elementary School; Jaden Pangelinan. 4th grade, William S. Reyes Elementary School; Sky Gusteen Palacios, 6th grade, Francisco M. Sablan Middle School; Mary Heather Jingco, 12 grade, Dr. Rita H. Inos Jr. Sr. High School; and Riya Nathrani, 3rd grade teacher, William S. Reyes Elementary School.
“It is truly something to hear from the younger generation their vision of 21st century teaching and learning, to life on our home islands. …Their vision will undoubtedly help make changes for the better,” Cruz said.
Education Commissioner Glen Muña said that PSS has been improving its system for uninterrupted online education.
“We recently released a total of 1,044 iPads to schools and we plan to add more units in the future. We are currently adding WiFi and direct lines to schools,” he said. “This is one of the reasons why the supplemental budget and federal grants are important for us.”