We are Generation NextBy David K. Ongchoco, Student contributor Xavier School
Philippine Daily Inquirer
In Xavier’s School (XS) bid to mold its students into catalysts of social change, the school constantly tries to offer an innovative curriculum both inside and outside the classroom.
In keeping up with the 21st century technological boom, the school has, for the past three years, undergone several revolutionary changes like the One2One program, where students are required to bring either MacBooks or iPads to further enhance their learning experience.
With these gadgets, students are able to take their learning to the next level. When a foreign term or topic is discussed in class, students harness the power of the Internet to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. They also have quick access to Google, Wikis YouTube, and other websites that supplement information in class discussion.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) program, in which independent learning is pushed, was also introduced to third and fourth year high school students on an optional basis.
An influx of novel clubs like the Xavier School Next Lab was launched to help cater to the students’ learning interests.
Last Thursday marked the start of the third year of the XS Next Lab. This club is a venue for students to learn more about the arts, sciences, technology, and design. Students are encouraged to turn their dreams into reality in the XS Next Lab.
According Martin Gomez, moderator of XS Next Lab and a Xavier School alumnus who did research with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), “the vision of XS Next Lab is to enable students to become independent tech learners, to express themselves freely with computing (programming) and learn about electronics/hardware/robotics, so they may make things for the future.”
Bringing imagination to life
From learning how to create games, to making robots to assist in household chores, XS Next Lab inspires students to bring their imagination to life through technology.
Xaverians are very enthusiastic about technology and learning the ins and outs of computer programming. As I stepped into the first Next Lab club meeting for this school year, I was surprised at the number of students who were so keen on learning how to build things and programs.
In fact, I found out later that 100 students had to be turned down to limit the club membership to a more manageable 50.
As I got to talk to my fellow members, I was bowled over by an eighth grader who was already creating his own computer game. I also got a chance to chat with a ninth grader who was working on building his own computer. How these kids are able to do these things is beyond me.
When I was 12, I wouldn’t even dare tinker with my gadgets, let alone open them up like what another ninth grader said he routinely does.
To cap off the first club meeting for this school year, our moderator also invited a company called Big Pix Graphics to demonstrate how a 3D printer works. We were all amazed at what the 3D printer could do. From making prototypes to creating life-sized cars, 3D printing is something that will definitely change the way we live.
The moment 3D printers are further developed and mass marketed, the possibilities will be endless, so you better watch out or you won’t know what hit you!
We truly live in the technology age, and I’m glad that Xavier School isn’t getting left behind and is even at the forefront of this revolution. With all these innovations and opportunities, along with an enthusiastic bunch of students, I can only imagine greater things ahead.
During my conversation with XS Next Lab President and high school junior King Alandy Dy, he talked about how he wants to bring all the innovative concepts and ideas of students to life through XS Next Lab.
Aside from that, he also hopes that students will join technology and programming competitions and bring pride to Xavier School through XS Next Lab.
Through the XS Next Lab, Xavier School is taking the right steps in persuading their students to think out of the box. And as an XS Next Lab member myself, I am really fortunate to witness the magic right before my very eyes in my final year at Xavier!