The iTitser is a web diary that aims to help teachers, students, parents, principals and other stakeholders of education system by providing information about the Internet, free and open source software (FOSS) programs, and how to use them to improve classroom activities, school projects and other methods of instructions. The articles were written such that the target audience are the teachers, but students and other stakeholders will also find the articles here useful.
This web diary will record only those that you can obtain or you can use for free. These include FOSS and freeware programs (free to use, copy and distribute but not to modify) that you can easily download from the internet and use to aid in your lessons as well as websites that provide free content and tools about different academic subjects.
History of iTitser
The iTitser was conceived not necessarily to promote the use of FOSS programs, freewares, internet, and free content websites, but as an e-learning blog with focus on basic education (thus e-learning as used in company trainings is not included).
I started iTitser at around January 2012 to catalog what I learned during my tenure as E-Learning Specialist for Science and Mathematics in one of the largest textbook publishing house in the Philippines. I get to know how technologies like interactive games and tablet computer applications can aid in the learning experience of students. During this time, I have long list of topics that I would like to cover including the used of iPad and Flash games.
I had Ubuntu OS installed in my computer as I'm foreseeing that it would be best to use FOSS programs in the future but I had it dual-boot with Windows XP because most of the programs that I use on regular basis run only in Windows. I was still using Windows XP most of the time but I would gradually increase the frequency that I use Ubuntu to get used to it.
I noticed that the application menu of Ubuntu includes categories like "Education" and "Science". So I decided to use the Ubuntu Software Center and found KAlgebra, Step Physics and Stellarium. I installed them in my computer. With enough free software that can be used for educational purposes, I decided to change the main topic of iTitser into FOSS and web based applications that can be used in education.
If you are one of those few who visited this blog last year, you will notice that the earlier versions of my articles about spreadsheet problem generator include XLS file download and mention of Macintosh character set. With the new direction this blog is taking, I opted to remove those XLS files and the mention of Macintosh character set. I also abandoned plans about discussing iPad applications and Flash games, but this site will still cover free iPad applications and free web-based educational Flash games.
The best things in the world are free. There are more than enough FOSS, freeware and free websites that can help teachers in providing a better quality instruction. I would suggest you think twice before purchasing that expensive piece of software or availing that paid subscription of online video tutorials. Would this really help your students? Can you not obtain something similar for free?
The name iTitser
The word titser is a Filipino word which means "teacher". If you notice the similarity in pronounciation, it is because the word titser is actually a direct loanword from English. It's simply the word "teacher" being forced to spell using the spelling rules of Filipino language. The Filipino language contains many loanwords from Sanskrit, Malay, Chinese, Spanish, Arab and English languages, and titser happens to be one of those words borrowed from the English language.
The "i" part was actually taken from the common trend of adding "i" in new products or concepts to imply timeliness or being technology-related. Combining the two, we can think of the term as referring to a teacher that is updated with the flow of technology and its use in education, a.k.a. an iTitser.
I am currently contemplating of changing the name iTitser considering the recent move of this website to focus on FOSS and free content websites. The iNaming trend is commonly associated to, even though was not necessarily started by, a certain computer manufacturing and software company that are so into choking tight End User Agreement and implemented means to control the device you already bought from them, whose name I will no longer mention. Moreover, the small "i" followed by a capital letter without space is a horrible grammar violation and I could not even start a sentence with the name of my website. The only reason I am keeping the iTitser name is that I could not yet think of a catchy name that would reflect the shift in philosophy.
Who's the person behind iTitser
The author and webmaster of iTitser is yours truly, Greten Vicke S. Estella. I'm a graduate of De La Salle University with Bachelor's Degree in Physics. Even though I didn't really practice teaching in actual school setup, I've been working in education-related industry for more than five years.
- one year in conducting classes and one-on-one tutorial session in a tutorial center with branches in cities of Manila and San Juan
- two years in developing courseware materials for science and mathematics in a well-known IT school with several branches the Philippines
- more than two years in developing e-learning modules and interactive games as supplement to textbooks being published by one of the largest textbook publishing companies in the Philippines
I did not mention the companies where I work because I want this web diary to stand in its own merit instead of name-dropping, but information about where I work is not really a secret. I might have mentioned their names in few of my articles.
I took-up 18 units of education subjects but certain changes in Department of Education's standards prevented me from taking-up the licensure exam for teachers. I also work as freelance website developer/designer from time-to-time
My hobbies include making websites, blogging, programming, reading stuff from the Internet, and looking for ways to make money. Yup! Total nerdness I know, but I suppose such stereotypical set of traits are common to those whose livelihood include web programming and science education.