Tuesday, February 28, 2012

14th PSITE National Convention (feb 23-25, 2012, Country Homes and Convention Center, General Santos City)


Thank you for that kind introduction. Magandang GENSAN!.

Ladies and gentlemen, before anything else, I would like to enjoin everybody for a minute of silent prayer for our PSITE members and all those who were affected by typhoon Sendong. May those who have lost homes and properties find shelter, enough food and clean water.  May the Lord comfort those who are traumatized and those who are grieving for the loss of their families, neighbors and friends.  May our great Healer bless those who are sick and injured that their health may be restored.

Let me start by saying thank you to the PSITE National Board for having been very supportive and active these past years.  We couldn’t have achieved what we achieved now if not for their willingness to serve the organization.  As you may have already known, our thrust for this year was OD or organizational development.  So, this is a presentation and presidents report-rolled into one.

PSITE, as a national organization, is a growing organization.  Winston Churchill once said “the farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see”.  So let me bring you to memory lane when PSITE was conceptualized up to the present.  Therefore the outline of my presentation is as follows.

History of PSITE
PSITE was born out of the prodding of the Technical Panel for Information Technology Education (TPITE) headed by Dr. Paulino Y. Tan to organize a professional group of Information Technology Educators (ITE) in 1996.

Bounded by a common dream for quality IT education in the country, the group had enduring series of planning workshops and meetings.  Finally, PSITE became a formal organization of IT Educators in 1997.  Ms. Fe Ferriols became the President of the pioneering PSITE group.  Monthly Seminars and workshops were offered to IT Educators through the generosity of donors and sponsors.  Recognizing the difficulty of many higher education institutions to sponsor quality trainings in IT education, the organization offers free if not highly subsidized workshop and training.  With the overwhelming response of educators in the country and able to benefit more educators in the different parts of the country, chaptering was inevitable. Guidelines on chaptering were formulated in year 2000. Davao was the first recognized regional chapter in the same year.

Years after, several chapters were formed.  Monthly seminars and workshops were held by the regional chapters.  National conventions were then organized every year.  These were mostly the activities of PSITE.  The PSITE family has grown, as now it has its presence in almost all regions in the country, thereby making PSITE as the biggest IT organization in the country today.

2009 – Setting a Direction
Having been elected as President in 2009, I accepted the big responsibility because I know it will be such a challenging role that I will play.  In my own little way, I was hoping to contribute to PSITE’s goal of furthering IT education in the country.  Education is not an easy task, especially in these modern times when rapid changes happen at the blink of an eye.  I saw that PSITE will face many more and bigger challenges.  It is for this reason that I said we should all PReParE. According to American author H. Jackson Brown Jr., the best preparation for tomorrow is doing the best today.

By the word PReParE, I did not only mean getting ready for something. I coined this as an acronym which will reflect the thrust and framework of PSITE. Prepare is P-Re-Par-E. P stands for Professionalism. Re for Research.Par stands for Partnership.  And E for the very purpose of our organization, which is Education. So PReParE means Professionalism, Research, Partnership and Education. 

2010 – Setting a Direction
In 2010. I was re-elected as President.  Now that we are PReParEd, PSITE went Peer-to- PEER.  2010 was anchored on a Peer-to- PEER principle.  It is like a small brother – big brother concept. Like the PReParE agenda, the second PEER is a mnemonic.  It stands for Partnership, Education, Extension and Research. The Peer-to- PEER agenda addresses our triad function of Research, Curriculum and Instruction,  and Extension and Linkages. 

So PReParE and Peer-to- PEER became PSITE’s thrust for 2009 and 2010, respectively, in which the regional chapters also adopted.   This developed a culture change in PSITE and paradigm shift in the thrusts and activities.

There were several “firsts” in those times.  Let me line up some of those:
1. In 2009, during the 11th National Convention held in Dipolog, it was the first time that we had plenary session with reactors.
2. It was also the first time that best practices from all over the Philippines were presented in the fields of research, extension and instruction.
3.  We also increased the duration of the sessions to take up organizational matters in order for the national PSITE to further touch base with the different regions. 
4.   In the 2009 convention, there were tarpaulins prepared by different regions to showcase their activities for the past five years.  The Jedi night was held outside the convention area, and that was in Dakak, with all the fireworks and festivity.
  5.    For the first time that we had a pre-NCITE conference in 2009 which is related to our research agenda.  Presented were model research frameworks, advising and manuscript templates for BSCS, BSIT and BSIS, coupled with best practices in those fields.  The NCR research capability building framework was also presented. 
6.    It was also the first time that there was a student presenter during the NCITE conference. 
  7.    In October 2010, the first time that NCITE is held outside the school and still hosted by a school, the Aklan Catholic College.
  8.    Awarding of honorary membership to Naveen Asrani in recognition for his exceptional and unselfish services and support to the PSITE’s vision and mission.
  9. Singapore Benchmarking Activity last January 2011 with the national board and some regional presidents and members.  We were particularly interested in pursuing a “close range” understanding of the Singapore Academic Ecosystems with emphasis in institutions offering computing course and how they established linkage with industries both local and global. Schools visited were Nanyang Polytechnic and National University of Singapore. We also meet with Adobe-Singapore executives for a possible cooperation and partnership.
  10.  During the national convention in 2011, we subsidized the registration fee (P300,000.00)
  11.  We had the President’s night, were we acknowledged the contribution of the former PSITE national presidents (Ms. Fe Ferriols, Sir Glenn Sipin, Sir Leo Querubin, Sir Ben Teehankee, Sir Boogie Boydon, Sir Jimmy Caro, Sir Dio Calumpit, Sir Alex Ybasco and Ms. Nancy Flores)
  12.  First automated election of the PSITE national board
13.  And more significantly, it was the first time that a member outside of Luzon got to be elected as President of PSITE National. The first Garden induction of the PSITE national board was held in UP-Hotel.

As Bill Gates said, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others”.  

With these thrusts as the direction of PSITE, we were able to do the following
ITE Undergraduate Research and Capstone Project Manual
We had series of meetings and workshops toward coming up with a framework for the ITE Undergraduate Thesis and Capstone Project. Our project of coming up with a Framework for practicum was finally finished.  In this convention, institutional members who are present will receive a complimentary copy of the ITE Undergraduate Research and Capstone Project Manual.

PSITE Constitution and By-Laws (CBL)/PSITE Logo and Website
In line with Professionalism is proper documentation.  One of the documents that needed to be reviewed is the PSITE CBL.  Series of meetings were held and at one point, invited Peach Tinio, one of the original framers of the CBL.  The CBL was then ratified in 2010. We also revived our website with a new url(www.psite.ph) and a new face. I encourage you to visit our website. We also made our new logo, customized to depict our coverage.

PSITE as recognized by CHED
PSITE was again recognized as a professional organization and was invited by CHED to endorse IT educators as TPITE members in the pursuit of strengthening the role in assisting them to formulate policies and standards.  It is with great pride that our members will be part of TPITE.  Also, most, if not all of our conventions and conferences were endorsed by CHED.

PSITE Partners
PSITE wouldn’t accomplish much without collaborating efforts with partners. Our partners are the following:
Sun Microsystems, Inc - We had an OpenJive Challenge last July, 2009.  The objective of the challenge is to drive students’ passion and enthusiasm for innovation through the use of Open Source technologies such as Java Technology, JavaFX, NetBeans IDE, OpenSolaris, MySQL, GlassFish, Project Wonderland, Zembly and many others to develop cutting-edge applications for desktop, web or mobile, that will address key issues that organizations face today, while fostering interactivity between communities on the Internet. 
UP-ITTC - We actively participated and shared our expertise and human resources during Y4IT, were some of the PSITE Board Members and Regional Presidents served as Speakers.
DeVcon - We signed a memorandum of agreement with DeVcon.  With the goal of increasing the quality and quantity of the supply of software development engineering talent for the Philippines, Developers Connect (DEVCON) and PSITE agreed to cooperate in conducting nationwide DEVCON activities within the constituents covered by PSITE and its local affiliations.
ADOBE We also partnered with ADOBE.  With this partnership, members of PSITE are given marked down prices of their products and services.  Many of our members benefitted from this partnership.
A MOA Signing was held again with IBM, DEVCON, ADOBE, UP-ITTC,  Microsoft during the 13th national convention in Antipolo last year.

We held a Faculty Development workshops at the Crowne Regency Hotel and Enverga university last October and December of 2009 with Mr. Oliver Malabanan as resource speaker. This is a training workshop on IT course design and teaching strategies.  Other seminar workshops were organized and conducted by the regional chapters. Others might find it very trivial to have this kind of trainings. However, we noted that more or less 80% of the not so matured schools need this kind of trainings.  And this is the essence of Peer-to- PEER, taking cognizance of the concerns of our peers.

PSITE and NCITE Conventions
The conventions that we held for the past three years are:
  · 11th PSITE National Convention, Febraury 26-28, 2009,Dipolog City
     ·    12th PSITE National Convention, February 24-27, 2010, Bohol
    · 13th PSITE National Convention, February 16-19, 2010, MMLDC, Antipolo
·         NCITE 2009, October 21-23, 2009, Cagayan de Oro City
·         NCITE 2010, October 20-22, 2010 in  Boracay,Malay, Aklan
·         NCITE 2011, October 27-29, 2011, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
      On top of these, we were able to visit other regional chapters (NCR, Regions 1,2,3,4,7 and 12) 

PSITE Social Responsibility
PSITE has not been only very technical.  We also took care of the social needs of our members.  A very noble act by PSITE was the donation of more than sixty thousand pesos (P60,000.00) for the typhoon victims of Ondoy and Pepeng in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, CAR and NCR.  This is the first time that PSITE extended this kind of help to its members.  In December last year, we extended fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) for the victims of Typhoon Sendong in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan Cities. PSITE –NCR and PSITE- XII also did share 10 thousand each. This is the first time that PSITE regional chapters extended this kind of help to its fellow regional members. On December 11, 2011, we had our Joint PSITE National Board and Regional Presidents meeting and  Christmas party coupled with an Outreach program at the Munting Tahanan ng Nazareth (Home for the Poor, Abandoned, Handicapped and Special Children) were we donated fifteen thousand pesos (P15,000.00) aside from food and supplies.

With these PReParE and Peer-to- PEER agenda, at the back of my mind were the PSITE objectives which are found in our constitution and by-laws.  Section 2.1 provides that “the general objective of this Society shall be the promotion of quality information technology (IT) education.  The specific objective is found in Section 2.2 which states that “this Society shall serve as a venue for the optimization and development of faculty members, curricula, projects, research, resources, linkages, and assistance in policy formulation related to IT education.”  

After implementing something new, several firsts, several changes in the organization, we went away from status quo. We embarked into programs and projects which were not done before.  We implemented systems and policies, and changed the mindset of the regional chapters in the formulation of the programs and activities.  We reviewed and amended our very constitution and by-laws.  After analyzing and looking at it on a macro level, the process of change that we did was not systematic.  Though we attained a high level of attainment to most of our projects, we could have done more.  And many could have participated in the process.

With this in mind, we thought of holding an organizational development process or commonly known as OD.  OD is a process of improving our organization and a systematic process of change.  According to Killion and Harrison, organizational development requires a planned approach to change based on meeting the needs of both the people and the organization. So, we underwent an organizational development process facilitated by our interval Vice President, Ms. Grace F. Tyler.  There was a presentation by Ms. Tyler about Organization Development.  This was followed by revisiting what PSITE now has.  Then we did SWOT analysis, did fish bone analysis, and other OD tools. With the OD meetings and workshops, we took a look at our mandate, came up with our vision, mission, values and goals.  We went to the level of identifying the activities, and other details such as the timeframe, responsible persons, etc.)

Hence, the following are the part of the results of the workshop:
The premier national information technology professional organization transforming the academic community that enables and sustains the growth of a knowledge-driven Philippine economy
We are committed in providing opportunities for the development of our members through:
·     Strong community and Partnership involvement with the education providers, industry, government, non-government agencies and international counterparts.
·     Dynamic and responsive Educational initiatives for an enhanced academic standard.
·     Relevant community Extension and immersion programs
·    Aggressive building of Research Capability and effective mentoring system.

With OD in mind, we tried to look at the status of the regional chapters and took note of Regions 1 and 2 who has not been active for years now.  Hence, in August and September we revived these regional chapters.

The time horizon of our plans and programs is three years.  And I hope the leadership of PSITE in the coming three years will align itself to the three-year plan that the group started.

Again, I would like to emphasize that PSITE is here to further IT education in the Philippines.  We strive to be a medium for development and growth of the IT Educators in the country.  With great passion for the formation of the young and updating the not-so-young, PSITE members take the challenge to produce competent and skilful IT professionals who are endowed with social and corporate responsibility at par with other IT graduates in the global world.  The challenge maybe great, but PSITE will take it in stride. 

We have done much, and, together, with our concerted efforts, we, PSITE as a national organization, can do much more, bring our organization to the highest level of service as possible to achieve our mission and vision, and succeed.  As Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

And finally, GenSan is such a wonderful place to live, to have a vacation and also hold convention. Let us make the most of our stay in this beautiful City of GenSan, also known as the home of the best Tuna in the Philippines where residents are proud to say that seafoods are fresher when it comes from their beloved city, so let us pamper ourselves with fresh tuna and other seafoods delight.

Good afternoon.