Another factor could be the parents’ lack of interest in how theirchildren were faring in school, said Bermejo. Frustration reading level is a stage where “readers find readingmaterials so difficult that they cannot successfully respond to them.” According to Bermejo, majority of the frustration level readers inIloilo were between Grade 1 and Grade 6. In the Philippine Informal Reading Inventory Manual – a readingassessment tool of the Department of Education (DepEd) – there are threereading levels. These are the frustration level, instructional level andindependent level. How? The family’s socioeconomic status may also be a factor, saidBermejo. Learners from poor families were likely to miss classes more often tohelp their parents make a living. ILOILO – In this province which has almost half a millionlearners, an estimated 42,000 from kindergarten to high school are considered“frustration level” readers. “They can recognize some words but they lackcomprehension,” according to Dr. Roel Bermejo, superintendent of the IloiloSchools Division. “Posible indimatutokan sang teacher ang mga kabataanilabi pa kon madamo sila sa classroom,” said Defensor./PN Some of these learners may be special children with special needsbut enrolled in regular classes. Under the instructional reading level, readers profit the mostfrom teacher-directed instruction in reading while under the independentreading level, readers function on their own with almost perfect oral readingand excellent comprehension. DepEd’s goal is to improve the reading comprehension of these learners. There are 987 public elementary schools and 179 public secondaryschools in the province. READING BLUES. Majority of the frustration level readers in Iloilo are between Grade 1 and Grade 6. Some of these learners may be special children with special needs. The family’s socioeconomic status may also be a factor. Learners from poor families are likely to miss classes more often to help their parents make a living. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. said the provincial government is readyto help the Iloilo Schools Division improve the reading comprehension oflearners such as getting more remedial reading teachers. There were many factors why this was so, he stressed. He also did not discount the possibility that overcrowding inclassrooms may also be a factor in the poor reading comprehension of learners. The frustration level readers must become instructional levelreaders and eventually independent level readers. According to Bermejo, they are starting with the teachers both inelementary and high school – they are being trained how to conduct remedialreading classes.
The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in collaboration with MediaShift — a virtual media company and online magazine that covers how traditional media is changing due to technologies like podcasting, blogs and social media — organized a women’s hackathon over the weekend in Wallis Annenberg Hall to provide opportunities and spaces for women to turn their ideas into viable businesses.The winner of the hackathon was the team with the idea for Habitat, an environmental news startup that uses virtual reality storytelling. Honorable mention was given to LikelyMedia, which would use virtual reality and real data to make projections about the future and VRacity Media, which would provide virtual reality journalism content via a subscription service and supported by sponsored content.“It’s really important for journalists to explore this area because it’s growing so rapidly; it’s a very powerful form of storytelling,” said Amara Aguilar, assistant professor of professional practice in digital journalism at USC Annenberg and one of the judges of the hackathon. “It’s especially important for women to be involved in this industry because women are greatly underrepresented in these industries, and we really need that diversity to lead and to tell powerful stories.”Publisher and founder of MediaShift Mark Glaser said Hack the Gender Gap came from West Virginia Reed College of Media, one of the sponsors of the event. Glaser worked with school to host a similar hackathon in October 2014. Glaser said he visited USC last January and discussed the possibility of hosting a hackathon at USC with Willow Bay, director of the school of journalism.“The idea is how can we give women and students a chance and space that they might not get and feel empowered to be in teams, creating things on their own, and having great support network,” he said. “The goal has always been [to] get women to do what they might not be able to do under circumstances and [to] give them a unique experience they wouldn’t get otherwise especially in schools where they don’t have things like this.”The hackathon, attended by 75 students and participants and 15 mentors from the fields of technology, marketing and media who served as facilitators, started Friday night with a panel discussion.The talk hosted female technology and business leaders that focused on how women in technology and media are achieving success, breaking down barriers and making a difference.The panel included Sara Christenson from the investment company Raptor Group; Alex Schaffert, managing director of digital strategy and innovation at KPCC: Carrie Southworth, cofounder of Twigtale, a platform for personalized children’s books; Potsie Rivera, former UI UX designer for dating app Grindr; and Jennifer de la Fuente, web designer and Annenberg adjunct professor.Bay, the moderator of the panel asked the panelists, “Is tech a boys’ club?” Schaffert answered.“The world is a boys’ club. But change is around the corner. There are free coding classes in libraries in Los Angeles. Girls are already going to the libraries,” she said. “We just have to make sure that these skills are available [and accessible] in public spaces.”Bay added that women are heavy users of social media and the key audience in that marketplace, yet companies are not hiring the majority of their user base.“That’s what our research has shown as well — the majority of users of social media are women,” said Jean Truelson, Annenberg alumna, CEO and founder of the San Francisco-based company Dogpatch and a mentor for the hackathon. “For me as founder, I want to be able to build enough of that space and support in social media. I know the majority of my potential users are women. I’m here to support them because I want to be able to hire them later, or support their company and future startups that are going to get out of this group.”Truelson said the best advice for women interested in entrepreneurship is to get started.“Don’t get too stuck in just doing research, or ‘I need more education,’” she said. “You can go and get an MBA if you want to work for a major company but if you want to learn how to start a company. Start a company. That’s when you really learn everything you need to do and make all the mistakes — it’s truly a good job training. If you have an idea, and you’re truly passionate about it, go and do it.”Students who attended this hackathon echoed this enthusiasm and interest. After the opening panel, the students formed teams to come up with startup ideas utilizing immersive journalism and virtual reality.“I like the opportunity to collaborate, and it’s an interesting environment where folks from across the country, with different skill sets, different years as well as experience, just to be able to work together and collaborate on a project is a really interesting proposition,” Monica Castillo, a graduate student in journalism said. “I don’t know much about [virtual reality], and I learned a lot already so far, whatever its limitations, whatever we can make [out of] it. This is kinda like a classroom.”Jordyn Holman, a senior majoring in print and digital journalism and a columnist for the Daily Trojan, said the hackathon challenged her team to think outside of the box because virtual reality is so different from traditional print and digital journalism.“Technology is the future,” she said. “You need to get these technical skills, but conferences like this shows you exactly what skills you need and exactly how they can be used for reporting specifically [with] virtual reality — which takes people right there — that’s kinda the whole point of journalism, to make people understand. Virtual reality is the biggest gift in making people understand what’s happening.”