Instructional Design as Applied in K-12 materials

I’ll give you an overview of what I do for a living. For the past 8 years, I’ve been involved with integrating technology inside the classroom, and then designing digital learning materials that learners, particularly grade school and high school, will consume their entire school life. So at most, I have an idea of how Instructional Design is applied in the K-12 setting.



For starters, Instructional design (ID) is a process of designing learning experiences for your learners. This could mean that an instructional designer takes the information at hand and puts a structure in it in such a way that the learners get the important stuff and digest it in an easier way. This is why ID theories and models are the backbones of such learning experiences. One particular model, the ADDIE model, is commonly used.  ADDIE stands for its five (5) phases, namely: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.




Let’s do a visual role-playing. Assume you are an instructional designer assigned to create a Science e-learning module for grade 3 students. What are you supposed to do?

Using the ADDIE model, you can create the module by following the steps below:


Analysis: In this phase, you identify the key elements you need for your Science e-learning module. What particular Science topic will you tackle? What are the different learning styles of your grade 3 students? What do they need to learn now? In this phase, you gather information about your learners, identify their needs and prepare your learning objectives to meet those needs.


Design: Let’s say you have identified your topic about Properties of Matter. Now, it’s time to plan the content and put a structure to the information you’ve gathered in the analysis phase. As an instructional designer, you’ll use a storyboard to give an overview of the module and its details such as its visual design (how the module will look), interface design (how the module will be interactive), and learning design (what will be discussed, what learning activities, exercises and assessments will be included). Basically, a storyboard is the blueprint of the whole learning module you’ll create.


Development: You’re now happy with your storyboard and you’re ready to develop your e-learning module. How do you start? In this phase, you take your storyboard as reference and start using an authoring tool to create the interactive activities, exercises and graphics. In e-learning, an authoring tool is a software to create engaging and interactive learning objects and content. Some instructional designers I know usually use a particular authoring tool depending on the requirements needed.


Implementation: For several hours or days, you have been developing and testing your e-learning module. Now, you’re ready to distribute it to your learners. If your school has an LMS (learning management system), you can upload it there so the students can access it. Normally, these e-learning modules are accessed via an LMS so teachers can track how these modules are used.


Evaluation: This is now the phase where the teachers and students use the e-learning module you’ve created for a particular topic. Your module can be used by teachers as presentation modules during discussion or recitation. Students can also answer the module you’ve created as a review since it includes activities, exercises and assessments. Once in the field, both teachers and students will be evaluating your content based on the learning objectives. Once you received the feedback, you’ll have to create an updated version of the module. In creating an updated version, that’s when you start over again with ADDIE model. 🙂


So there. You’ve now created your own K-12 material using Addie.  With the above ADDIE model, you have an idea how instructional design is applied in creating K-12 learning materials. There are other ID models that can be used in several K-12 settings. It will just be a matter of exploring what you need to use for your projects. I’ll be posting more about instructional design and e-learning in my next set of posts so watch out. 🙂


VR in the Classroom

Lately, we have been busy going around the Philippines introducing to schools our Diwa Innovation Lab, (Innolab) , consisting of different science laboratory and technologies that can be used in the classroom.

Personally, our Innolab is close to my heart as we are advocating new tools to help teachers and students liven up their discussion, and create in students that creativity and innovativeness.

After five (5) months of going around the country, our team witnessed how these technologies are used in their school programs and classes. It is such a joy to see both teachers and students immerse in virtual reality and use mobile phones for learning.

Personally, I’m seeing my advocacy come to life:

EduTech PH 2018

Last Feb 21-22, 2018, I had the chance to participate as an attendee in an educational technology conference called EduTech Philippines at the SMX Convention Center and listen to various keynote speakers. There were various topics categorized into three (3) namely: K12, Tertiary, and IT Leaders.


Exhibition Hall

Several companies participated as exhibitors, from the K-12 publishing industry, to new technology and innovation startups pushing their agenda for a better educational system in the country.

Robotics Exhibitor


One of the things I’ve observed in the conference hall are the varieties of exhibitors. There were EdTech startups like Makerspace, Lumos VR, Nxidea, Littlebits, VEX and Infobase. There were also LMS providers showcasing their adaptive learning managements system like CypherLearning. Lastly, several K-12 book publishers are also offering their products targeted for the basic education sector with the likes of Rex Digital, Vibal, Phoenix and F&J De Jesus. I was surprised, though, with the booth from The New York Times in Education. From the US, they are now here in the Philippines offering their content for schools not only in the basic education but also in the tertiary sector.

This means that there are overseas educational technology companies seeing the Philippines as a good market for their products. Which also means that in one way or another, our educational landscape is getting the attention to improve and be relevant in the 21st century.

As to the conference’s Agenda:

This conference comprises of inspirational keynotes from across the world, pioneering educators already changing education in their classrooms and technology leaders from education and innovative technology companies.

The conference held last February was their 2nd year in the country. I believe that educators in the country can learn more by participating in such event.


Conference Sessions

Blended Learning
Blended Learning



Once I got the feel of exploring the exhibition hall, I started going inside for the keynote sessions. There were lots of speakers addressing the need for the improvement of our educational strategies, both in the K-12 and tertiary sector. On the IT Leaders conference room, keynotes on how barriers to effectively use technology were addressed.

Some of the topics discussed for the sessions (which included presentations, forums and group discussions):

  • New Pedagogical Approaches
  • Content Development for Blended Learning
  • Blended Learning
  • Adapting to new Technology for Digital Transformation
  • Approaches to Implementation of Digital Library
  • Technology implementation and using LMS in schools
  • Roles of the Educators in the 21st century classroom
  • Developing Training models


All in all, I learned new things about the Philippines’ educational landscape. Attending such conference like this allows educators to gain new insights as to implementation of new strategies in their own schools.


I’m looking forward to attending more conferences like these in the future. 🙂

What is DIWA Innovation Lab? 

In celebration for our 35th year in the industry of providing quality educational resources in the Philippines, we have started this week our nationwide implementation of the Diwa Innovation Lab.


What is DIWA Innovation Lab? 

It is a pop up science showcase implemented by Diwa Learning Systems that features the use of new technologies to encourage the love for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).


Why is Diwa conducting the Innovation Lab? 

Diwa upholds its battlecry: Innovation in Education. We wanted the students to elevate the student’s learning experiences and enhance their creativity and critical thinking skills. We wanted to make innovation our way of life and do things differently so that in one way or another, we can make an impact to the lives of our teachers and students and make teaching better.


Where are you implementing Diwa Innovation Lab? 

We are going around the Philippines — North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao! We wanted to share these new technologies and how to use it inside the classroom with the teachers and students as our immediate audience.

How do teachers and students benefit from participating in the Diwa Innovation Lab?

Both the teachers and students will learn about how to use the new technologies showcased in the Innovation Lab. Also, they are encouraged to share what they learn to their classmates once they go back to their schools.


So now, I’m sharing to you our photos for the day:

Design Thinking in the Classroom

We just started our nationwide Innovator’s Congress (ICon)  here in Metro Manila. We have gathered educators from different subject areas to train them with new skills and techniques for their teaching strategies. This year, our theme focused on design thinking.

You may be asking, what is design thinking, especially once applied in education?

Design Thinking is a dynamic problem-solving approach to help educators become creators, innovators and emphatic beings. Imagine you have a problem you want to solve. Let’s say you have a problem of frequently forgetting things. Your initial approach is to immediately brainstorm for a solution. In design thinking, however, you look deeper into the problem first. You think of the root causes, the context and the people involved. In this case, if you always forget things, you will look into the whole picture — the why, the how, and the who would benefit when a solution is delivered for a problem.


How can design thinking be applied in education? Abesamis & Robles (2017) shares three key points:

  • As a teaching strategy

You can engage students with design thinking projects. With this, students can go beyond the “learning by doing” approach in doing their final projects.

  • As a mindset or solving problems in school

As educators, you are in a unique position to solve school problems being in constant contact with your students. Because of this, you can create a team and address school issues using the design thinking approach and engage a community in the decision-making process.

  • As a process for lesson planning and designing materials

In preparing school materials, you can use a logbook to create a student profile, that in effect, can be used as a primary resource while drafting your lesson plans. With each student profile, you can log any feedback gathered after an activity; thus, it will be easier for you to gain ownership of your student’s learning progress and become a better teacher.


As an educator, you can also be a designer. As a designer,  you start with the people and focus on their needs, understanding the context of their problem. Armed with insights, you then start designing ideas and solutions. You iteratively refine these solutions by gathering high-quality feedback before finalizing your output. With this process, a teacher and school leader like you can create an authentic learning experience for your students.


How to let your students experience the design thinking process? Here’s how:


  • Encourage your students to look, listen and learn. Let them ask questions about the people, or about the circumstance. Let them explore all possible scenarios.


  • Here, the students will generate and narrow down the data they’ve gathered based on their questions. They can now create their design challenge statement. A design challenge statement is the similar to the problem you want to address.


  • The students here “go all out” with their solutions. They can just down all the ideas for their solution as many as they can.


  • Once they have a chosen feasible solution, your students can start building tangible prototypes. It can be a mini-version of the product they want to build using scrap materials, or if it is a process or strategy, students can document their prototype through role-playing and videos.


  • If students have built a prototype, it is now necessary to show it to their target audience for feedback. This feedback will serve as a springboard for improving their work and building a better solution to the problem. The final work can then be their reference once they decided to implement these prototypes into bigger and better solution to the problem they wanted to address.


In our ICon event, our teacher-participants became students for a day and used design thinking in their activities:


By using design thinking, both Filipino teachers and the students can create better and feasible solutions to problems at hand. Not only that, using this approach can make inventors and effective problem-solvers in no time. In a world where innovation is the new norm, you have to constantly be curious and update your skillset so you can always have something exciting to share inside the classroom. 🙂



Abesamis, G. & Robles, K. (2017). Design Thinking. Quality Teacher Magazine Vol. 14 No. 2, Diwa Learning Systems and Bato Balani Foundation Inc.


Pangalangan, A. (2017). Prepare Learners to Become Effective Problem Solvers. Quality Teacher Magazine Vol. 14 No. 2, Diwa Learning Systems and Bato Balani Foundation Inc.

What I Like About Genyo eLearning

Recently, we had product display during the CEAP convention in Davao, and I had the chance to interact with some school coordinator, administrators and some teachers. I got the chance to explain about our books, magazines and our e-Learning product. What’s more, I got the chance to appreciate fully our products because it is one in the market that offers much more than our competitors.


So, as an e-Learning advocate and a Genyo supporter since 2010, what do I like about Genyo e-Learning?


  1. Training and Technology Integration

    • With Genyo, teachers are trained to use the e-Learning platform at the start of the school year and at other dates as needed all year round. The teachers and the students not only gets trained about the system, but really, how to integrate its use inside the classroom, and during school events. There are schools who used Genyo for their quizzes, and others for their online quarterly examinations. There are also who used the platform for school-wide election, and others who use it for survey, or any other subject-related event such as Buwan ng Wika, English Month, or any even the World Teacher’s day.
    • Technology Integration is one standard required in the Philippine K-12 curriculum of the Department of Education, so with Genyo, it would be seamless to apply this standard for schools. There are also several schools who use Genyo for their PAASCU accreditation.
    • Malate Catholic School who has implemented their hybrid program with integrating technology in their curriculum is already a testament to how the training and technology integration can be successful for e-Learning implementation. Also, forums for training the administrators are provided so these schools can be at par in their e-Learning implementation with the global standards. You can read more on this article.
    • Lastly, the help of Learning Integration Specialists assigned in schools all-year-round makes it a better opportunity for the schools to move forward with e-Learning.
  2. Curriculum-Aligned Content

    • Genyo already has content housed inside its platform — with topics for English, Math, Science, Araling Panlipunan and Filipino. These content are animated, and ready-made. What’s more, our team already developed contents that are aligned with the learning competencies of the Philippine K-12 curriculum guide. One thing you just need to do is search the thousand contents that we have for your topic.
    • What if the contents are not aligned in your school curriculum? Don’t worry. There are options for the contents in Genyo to be mapped out to your curriculum, just ask the Learning Integration Specialist how to do it.
    • Last but not the least, aside from the lessons, there are also quizzes, games and interactive activities inside the platform that both teachers and students can take advantage of. These quizzes are either aligned with the lessons, or stand-alone. If you opt to customize a game that you can do for your lesson, no problem! That is possible too with our platform.
  3. Customizable Modules

    • Suppose you are a teacher, do you have less time for yourself because you need to do several administrative tasks as add-on for your lessons? With Genyo, you can just customize and create your own lesson packages from our own content, your own PowerPoint file, or just a link from your references list. You can also create quizzes and allow these to be assigned to your students as reviewer for an exam, or just a quiz included in your lesson. These lessons and quizzes also give you immediate feedback (if you opt it), so on your end, you can immediately analyze if your students did well for the quiz you’ve assigned. So, if you’re a teacher, tracking your student’s progress is very very important.
    • Announcements are also important especially if the school don’t have classes (maybe because of class suspension) yet teachers want the students to work on their homework. Instead of having the students just check social media, why not take advantage of technology to shout out those school requirements? For the past years, Genyo has been used as an announcement platform during on-the-spot suspension of classes because of provincial events, or even natural disasters coming their way.


So there. For the past years, I have worked as a Genyo advocate so I have an idea of how Genyo works and how it helps students, teachers and schools in integrating technology into their lessons and their school curriculum. I think these are also the reasons our partner schools have taken advantage since they have started their e-Learning journey with us. 🙂

DIWA Innovation Lab

For this week, we have been tapped as one of the sponsor exhibitor for the annual Convention of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP). Since we wanted to also promote Diwa’s 35th year in the publishing industry, we have come up with a showcase of the DIWA products, ranging from books, magazines and e-learning. Also, in line with our tagline “Innovation in Education” in the 21st century, we are promoting an all-in-one classroom experience for Philippine educators with the use of not only our existing products but also new technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). We call this our very own Diwa Innovation Lab

For this week, we are showcasing these technologies and you can see here how these educators are exploring these new tech. Bringing these tech to Philippine educators and really, inside the classroom where Filipino students are playing around and learning from it is something we can look forward to in the next few years. 🙂 
Booth Exhibit