Innovating Education

Posted on
July 2, 2020

How do you innovate education in a time of a pandemic? Schools and teachers have to be more student-centered! This is the mission of CIA Bootleg Manila’s newest program for the 120 teachers of MGC New Life (“MGCNL”),a private school in BGC catering to pre-school to grade 12 students.


MGCNL's principal. Ms. Helen Villanueva, welcomes the participants

CIA Bootleg, in partnership with The World of Outbound, developed The MEGA Initiative (MGCNL Educator Growth & Advancement), a program designed to transform MGCNL's teachers into learner-centered educators. The teachers learned concepts such as whole brain teaching, the ideal learning environment (lessons from homeschooling), the clichés of traditional education, the ideal teacher and the principles of multimedia and online learning. CIA Bootleg formed a special team of facilitators, including Prof. Lito Domingo of Ateneo Graduate School of Business, Edric Mendoza of Homeschool Global and Anj Cuyegkeng of Canva for Education.

Prof. Lito discussing the difference between teacher-centered versus student-centered teaching approaches

Teachers were given in-class questions via polls throughout the course
The 120 teachers were divided into 15 groups and regularly met in their own Zoom breakout rooms for facilitated group exercises.

After the breakout sessions, the teachers would present their ideas and concepts to all the participants.

Edric Mendoza on the Ideal Learning Environment

Anj Cuyegkeng presenting "Canva for Education"

Anj Cuyegkeng demonstrating the various features of Canva to help teachers design learning materials.

The online course featured asynchronous and synchronous learning activities – webinars, video screenings, case discussions, creative thinking exercises, breakout sessions, pre and post webinar exercises. As a culminating activity, the teachers were asked to apply all the lessons they learned to redesign their lesson plans to make them more learner-centered.

At the end of the six-session course, the teachers were all equipped with the tools, processes and most importantly, mindset, to become more learner-centered teachers.

As per MGCNL's principal, Mrs. Helen Villanueva:

Thank you to the CIA Bootleg and Outbound team! You were a great and passionate group.  Your enthusiasm and positive spirit helped make our time together both productive and fun. MGCNL teachers only had positive comments about the MEGA Initiative and you helped create a real buzz around the workshop sessions.
I am refreshed as an educator myself. I have not stopped thinking and rethinking so much of what transpired these two weeks. We feel so much more controlled and confident now and certainly have managed that dreaded feeling of doubts and confusion which can really pull us down. We are excited of our future learning journey with you and your team at MGC New Life Christian Academy.
What more can I say about the MEGA Initiatives?
MEGA (MGC New Life Educators’ Growth and Advancement) Initiatives is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!
A   - affirming to our calling as TEACHERS
M  - meaty with CONTENTS to be better FACILITATORS of learning
A   - awesome INNOVATIONS and change of MINDSETS
Z   - zealous, passionate, and energetic SPEAKERS
      (considering it is unholy hour of training sessions, straight 4 hours!!!)
I   -  insightful PROJECTS and collaborative DISCUSSION
N -   nostalgic and personal EXPERIENCE
      (you have made each one felt significant and valued our comments
       and queries)
G -  GOAL-oriented and relevant sessions (no time is wasted and definitely
      will put to practice what we have learned)

Mrs. Michelle Anog, the primary school supervisor, shared:

CIA Bootleg’s The MEGA Initiative Program couldn’t have come at a better time to our school. At a juncture when we were all frantically trying to get our hands on as much as we could because we were transitioning to Distance Learning, we were compelled to momentarily take a breath and a step back. It seemed counter-intuitive initially because we felt like we had no time to lose and a lot of ground to cover. But in doing so, we were “forced” to think through the WHY and HOW of learning instead of merely focusing on the WHAT and WHO of teaching.
Thank you for pushing us to ideate and innovate. Thank you for not just giving us lectures, but prodding us to actively take part in our own learning because “we only get as much as we give”, as you would often say. May God enable you to reach more educators and inspire them as you have inspired us. We look forward to more opportunities to “sharpen our saw” with you in the future.

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