written by Alicia Barghout (2016 TCC Guest Blogger)
Dr. Danilo Baylen, who has been living in the United States for the last 25 years, went back home to the Philippines last year. Pressuring Danilo by telling him, “You need to get a Facebook account!” was a popular topic of conversation among his family members. Dr. Baylen finally gave in and created his first account. This was an eye-opening experience for someone who migrated to the U.S. and who had been away from home for so long. Social networking is extremely popular in the Philippines. Besides seeing relatives and other familiar faces during his time home, he was part of an important initiative: Phase One of the Fostering Digital Literacy Project. While there are three phases of this project, he was most heavily involved in Phase One. Dr. Baylen worked at West Visayas State University (WVSU) on the island of Panay in the Philippines.
Phase One involved planning, designing, and delivering training modules on Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) integration skills. Dr. Baylen did not know that he would be a part of this project, so when he got there he was surprised to hear something along the lines of, “Oh, I forgot to tell you…we’d like you to be the consultant for this literacy project.” He agreed, and from his engaging presentation, it is obvious that he had an important role.
During Dr. Danilo’s time in the Philippines he became aware of obstacles that get in the way of integrating technology into the higher education system. He shared about how the average professor teaches 6 courses per semester. This makes their ability to learn new things, such as the integration of different technology resources, very restricted. Another obstacle includes the fact that very few faculty have specialties in educational technology or instructional technology. The available books on technology are old, and updating to get the most recent books and resources is difficult. Even the databases that are available to students and faculty are extremely limited. In fact, ProQuest is the only database that can be accessed. Things that are rarely thought of as hindrances in the U.S., such as electrical power, are more frequently experienced as setbacks in the Philippines. For example, during his most recent time in the Philippines, Dr. Baylen was teaching about technology, and the power went out. That session was definitely over for the day!
Time goes by quickly when viewing Dr. Baylen’s presentation because it is packed with interesting information that is relevant to anybody interested in bettering people’s lives with the use of technology. The highlight of Dr. Danilo Baylen’s session is his passion to use technology to improve the educational system in his sphere of influence, whether in the U.S. or back in the Philippines.
Contact Dr. Danilo M. Baylen
Professor, Instructional Technology Department of Educational Technology and Foundations College of Education, University of West Georgia