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Empowerment Technologies: A Stepping Stone to Unexpected Maturity of 11th Graders

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    Ever since I was a kid, I was always exposed to using gadgets and different ICT tools. Since my mother was an ICT teacher, she trained my sister and I into using ICT tools and its basics. Whenever she’s busy, I offer help and type her test papers in MS Word or sometimes, encoding the scores of her students in MS Excel. This has given me advantage when doing the school works that require the usage of ICT tools. However, some students, although are also exposed to technology, still have a hard time in using other ICT tools, especially the tools that are used for professional purposes. But schools have introduced their students in using these tools. Even as students, we were introduced to the ICT tools in our schools.
    Now, how would you imagine the student life if there was no technology to give us a helping hand? Some may probably say it would be difficult. Students nowadays are so dependent on technology to help them with their daily activities, homework and other school works that they find it difficult when they cannot use technology. Even the school’s curriculum included training in the usage of different Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools to help the students widen their knowledge in the use of these said tools. Teachers have also trained the students in doing collaborations with their fellow classmates to know how to adjust well to the different environment when working with different students in every activity. Even my own decision-making skills are tested when doing collaborations with my classmates. 

Whenever our teacher gives us a new task and assign the groups, I always think negatively about it. My first thought would be, “who would be the dead weight in the group again?” I’ve been so used to people depending on my help with these tasks that I feel pressure when doing so. I always think of the possible negative outcomes – as a pessimist – that might happen when we do these activities. When we do these tasks, I specifically think about the possible critiques of our teacher. But when you do these projects, there are always new discoveries that you learn about yourself and even about your fellow groupmates. Discoveries like your skills in decision-making will be put to the test as you go by with these projects. Whenever the group encounters laziness, one should not go by it or it might affect the group’s mental state.

    You solve one problem after the other as you do these tasks, but one of the challenging problems that we usually face in our group tasks is the miscommunication. In our school, the Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School, we have different students from all the over world which is sometimes the cause of miscommunication. But this is not the only cause of miscommunication. When there are groupworks, each member always have their own thoughts and ideas, which in one blog or report, will not always be included in the output. All of wish to contribute to the group and have our own ideas included in the output, a friendly competition in a way. 

When doing these kinds of projects, you somehow rediscover yourself. And with this, it became my most powerful learning moment that even though each member has their own differences, through proper planning and communication, we will be able to learn how to work well with each other and have good chemistry. I also learned personally that nothing will ever happen if you always say “mamaya na.” (I’ll do it later.) or “bukas na.” (I’ll do it tomorrow.). I realized that doing things without rushing it will always have a better result rather than cramming everything into the last minute. And when problems surface, it’s best to think rationally and always come up with different plans like a Plan B or even include the other letters of the alphabet.

    Always think of solutions that suits the problem. Because as you step into the real world, coming up with different plans for your life or different solutions can prepare you to deeper and harder adult problems when you step into the real world in the future. Just like a dilemma when working with your friends and working with people you are not particularly close with. When grouped together with friends, chemistry between the groupmates are always at its best. Since you’ve been together with your circle for almost everyday, you soon get to know their likes and dislikes which makes it easier to figure out the things to do and not to do when doing a groupwork together with your friends. However, when working with classmates that you are not exactly close to, it’s harder and it’s a slower process because you still need to figure the things that they like and dislike whilst making the group project. Which sometimes, collaborative communication falls short when ideas between the groupmates don’t match. Since again, it is still a friendly competition between the groupmates, we all wish for our ideas to be written the group task like in the blog, or in the website and to take credit for a part of the group hardwork. 
     With the help of collaborative working, we were able to mix and match ourselves well with our fellow classmates, slowly working ourselves with each other and trying to adapt well to the environment. Though the activities and tasks were quite difficult, I’m still thankful that our teacher has introduced these to us. These activities have become an eye-opener for me and me self-discover lots of things about myself. Truly a wonderful experience for an 11th Grader like me.