Filipina leaders Maria Beebe, Imelda Parcasio win UNESCO Open Education Awards

Maria Beebe UNESCO Open Education Awards
The two Kaisipan women are among the global community awardees of the UNESCO OER Awards. Kaisipan photos.

Filipina technology leaders Maria Beebe and Imelda Parcasio have won the UNESCO Open Education Awards for their Florida, USA-based Kaisipan digital education project for teachers in the Philippines.

Beebe and Parcasio were named recipients of the UNESCO Open Education Resources (OER) Implementation Award for Excellence for Kaisipan’s three-pronged approach in harmonizing learner-centered pedagogy, leveraged technologies such as OER, and humanizing education to help advance the digital capability of teachers.

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The Filipina educators were among the 294 global community winners announced in March 2022 as recipients of the OE Awards given to all the presenters in the OE Global 2021 conference for their exemplary leadership in advancing the UNESCO OER Recommendation in their own practices.

Kaisipan president Maria Beebe, recognized with the Most Influential Filipina Woman in the World Award in Paris, spoke of how “Kaisipan and Benguet State University are honored to be part of a collective impact. The award validates our work on promoting open education resources without borders, open education for all. OER is an ongoing process that requires collaborative effort where ‘many drops can become an ocean’.

“The ability to think together and work together on OERs as educators to achieve quality learning outcomes is exciting particularly because cooperation is embedded in the Philippine cultural traditions of Bayanihan [cooperative undertaking],” added Beebe in her message for the OEG Voices Podcast.

Kaisipan teaching fellow Parcasio of the Benguet State University College of Teacher Education recounts how OER is used to improve teacher instruction and the curriculum through a continuing online/offline webinar to basic education school teachers.

“As a Teacher Education Institution, BSU intentionally integrates and advocates the use of OER in the various courses that are taught under its Education Program, Bachelor in Secondary Education and Bachelor in Elementary Education. The preservice teachers are trained how to maximize and appreciate the equitable quality of OER which results in their understanding of the importance of knowing how and why they need to enrich their content as they prepare and execute their lessons,” Parcasio said in her the OEG Voices Podcast.

The Kaisipan project facilitates international cooperation between schools in the US and the Philippines and the Philippine diaspora. Teaching fellows help build the capacity of educators from DepEd Manila, Marcos Mariano State University, New Cabalan, and the Association of Private Schools in Benguet, North Luzon to align, curate, access, re-use, adapt, redistribute, and create OER.

Kaisipan also works together with the Department of Science and Technology in experimenting with sustainability models for delivering OER online and offline, such as the deployment of the DOST STARBOOKS or the Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly-Operated Kiosk Stations, a stand-alone information source designed to reach those with limited or no access to information resources.

Beebe says that she and the recipients of the 2021 UNESCO OER Implementation Award for Excellence have started promoting and reinforcing international cooperation. We wish for this to be an ongoing and sustainable effort for collective impact.

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