I started the day thinking our pace would be a little slower, since today marks the beginning of Pam's speeches, but it turns out we met just as many amazing people and feel even more inspired.
Today Pam spoke to an audience of 120 bishops, archbishops, priests and nuns at the Catholic Education Association of the Philippines annual conference, hosted by the Vibal Foundation. These men and women make up the superintendency of the largest private school network in the Philippines. Many of them work in the most remote areas of the Philippines, deep in the forests of the north, or on tiny, hard to reach islands of the south. One sister we met traveled 11 hours by bus to attend the conference.
The topic of the conference was education in the 21st century, and they all had the same question: how do I teach digital natives using technology? Pam gave an excellent speech, and told many amazing stories and made the audience laugh, think and connect. Afterwards many participants came to us and asked about LitWorld's work, and how they might connect it to what they do in their schools.
Tomorrow Pam speaks to their delegation of over 2000 teachers on universalizing the Common Core standards. Amazingly, the Philippines is in the midst of switching from a grades 1-10 school model to a K-12 model, largely based on the US education paradigm. We are witnessing an education revolution and entering the Philippines during a time when LitWorld can make the largest impact. The system is changing from passive to active, compartmentalized to interdisciplinary, local to global. After talking with the educators today all i can think of is, how can we help? What can we do? Can't wait to get back to NYC and share all our thoughts!
After the lecture we went to the Vibal Foundation offices. The foundation is the charitable arm of the Vibal publishing house which was started by Gus Vibal's mother in the 50s during the "golden era" of the Philippines. She is now 90 and still comes to work every day. Sir Gus (as they call him) gave us a tour of his office, including his 50,000 book collection which he expands by 300 books every weekend!!! Gus said his goal in life is to make paper obsolete through the Vibe tablet, a multimedia learning tool that teachers and students can use regardless of internet connectivity. No internet? Use a server. Some internet? Use a server until nighttime when upload speeds are faster and your data can sync to a cloud.
We met a lot of people from Vibal today, and each of them was generous, passionate about the work and incredibly supportive of LitWorld. Every idea we had they were like, let's do it, we'll fund that, we can make that happen. There is so much synergy that I can barely handle it! We also got to tour the manufacturing section of the publishing house. Have you ever SEEN a book being published? Holy cow.
All in all another amazing day! More proof of the thoughtfulness of the people doing good work here, from grassroots feeding programs to huge foundations, everyone is thinking and doing in ways that are highly innovative and much needed.