Text2Teach connects 10 schools in Taytay, Palawan
Students in Taytay, Palawan, can now enjoy innovative ways of learning through Text2Teach, as the project was launched in 10 public elementary schools in the municipality.
In a community launch held on January 16 near the Taytay Municipal Hall, the Text2Teach Alliance ceremonially turned over 10 Text2Teach packages to the recipient elementary schools. Other Text2Teach-enabled areas in Palawan include the towns of Roxas, Quezon, and Bataraza.
Text2Teach is a comprehensive mobile learning package that uses Nokia mobile phones, which can download more than 300 educational video materials on grade 5 and 6 Math, Science, English, and Values Education. It comes with a Globe Telecom BridgeComprepaid SIM card and a 32-inch LED Toshiba television. It allows teachers even in remote areas to access educational materials to supplement their lessons. To date, the program has reached 897 public elementary schools all over the country.
For its part, the Taytay local government provided counterpart funding amounting to PhP476,385.00, which covered 38 percent of the total cost of bringing Text2Teach to each of the 10 schools.
Mayor Romy Salvame officially turned over the check for their counterpart funds for the program to the Text2Teach alliance represented by Ayala Foundation’s Senior Associate Elisabeth Baumgart. DepEd-Schools Division of Palawan District Supervisors Lilian San Jose and Rowena Gaviana, DepEd Schools Division Education Program Supervisor Pedro Dandal and Hon. Linda Ambasa witnessed the turnover. The implementation of Text2Teach in Taytay is on a cost-sharing basis between the private and public sectors. Nokia provided the bulk of the private-sector funding for Text2Teach.
The 10 Taytay schools that received the Text2Teach mobile learning packages were Taytay West Elementary School, Debangan Elementary School, Bantulan Elementary School, Casian Elementary School, Banbanan Elementary School, Tumbod Elementary School, Sigpit Elementary School, Old Guinto Elementary School, and Binuan Elementary School.
Text2Teach makes use of a full cellular platform using a 3G-enabled device such as the Nokia mobile phone equipped with an application called Nokia Education Delivery (NED). NED allows teachers to download and choose educational videos on Math, Science, English, and Values specifically developed for the project, providing a highly effective visual aid for teachers and creating an interactive, student-focused learning environment in the classroom. New videos, funded by Pearson Foundation, were produced for the Text2Teach project, which is now on its fourth phase.
Students watch the videos using television sets, which are part of the Text2Teach package. The lesson plans were created to meet local education guidelines and standards, and are fully integrated with the DepEd basic education curriculum.
The Text2Teach mobile phones are also configured with another Nokia technology called Nokia Data Gathering (NDG). NDG enables Ayala Foundation to design, send, receive, and analyze surveys sent to the Text2Teach-recipient schools’ mobile phones, to be used to gather data on the usage and effects of Text2Teach, for monitoring and evaluation purposes.
Globe Telecom provides free PhP300 monthly load allowance for one year to be used for helpdesk and technical support concerns, and to download new videos on Math, Science, English, and Values Education using their network.
Text2Teach is the Philippine name of the global BridgeIT program conceptualized in 2002 by Nokia, Pearson, the United Nations Development Programme, and the International Youth Foundation. It is being implemented locally by an alliance composed of Nokia, Globe Telecom, the Department of Education, Pearson Foundation, and Ayala Foundation.
“There are today 11 countries all over the world that actually have a Text2Teach program under a mother program called Bridged IT. And the Philippinesisconsidered a model country by UNESCO for having best practices in the use of mobile technology in education. So if we can mainstream this and make it happen to all of our public elementary school that would be a dream come true,” said LuliHeras-de Leon, President of Ayala Foundation, Inc.
Significant steps have been taken to mainstream the program. Phase 4 of the project is scheduled for completion in June 2014. Phase 5 will be geared toward mainstreaming the program.
Text2Teach does not only demonstrate how mobile technology can be used for education; it also shows how the private and public sectors can work together in bridging the educational and digital divide for students around the world. And with the private-public partnership strategy employed by the project, Text2Teach is reaching more schools in the country, with a target of 850 new schools by 2014.
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