Monday, 11 July 2011

Cellphone used as teaching tool

Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of students in 850 public elementary schools throughout the country are expected to perform well in core subjects including English, Math, and Science through the innovative mobile teaching program called “Text2Teach.”

In partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Phase 4 of the program will kick off soon as the proponents work to bring Text2Teach to Visayas and Mindanao and to upgrade the 205 satellite schools from the earlier

The plan was announced at the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with signatories include Education Undersecretary Yolanda Quijano, Ayala Foundation Co-Vice Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Nokia Director for Community Involvement Gregory Elphinston, and Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu.

According to Cu, by the time Phase 3 ends in August, the total number of Text2Teach-enabled schools will have reached 555, benefiting about 40,000 pupils, and almost 1,800 school heads, teachers and DepEd officials.

Quijano said Phase 4 also marks the beginning of a stronger partnership with the local government units. “DepEd regional offices will play a vital role in teachers training while LGUs will provide bigger counterpart funding for the program,” she said.

Phase 4 also sees Pearson Foundation returning to the program as a key component in developing new downloadable educational materials for English, Science and Mathematics.

Text2Teach has been helping improve the performance of students all over the country, particularly in the three basic subjects through downloadable educational videos using Nokia mobile phones and Globe internet connection since its Philippine launch in 2004.

Using mobile technology, Grades 5 and 6 students can watch any of the almost 400 educational audio and video materials loaded in the Nokia N86 8MP phones and equipped with the Nokia Education Delivery (NED) application.

“NED allows teachers to download and easily access educational audios and videos on Math, Science and English specifically designed for the project, providing a highly effective visual aid for teachers,” said Cu. “It also creates an interactive, student-focused learning environment in the classroom which makes the students eager to go to school,” he added.

Aside from the Nokia N86 8MP phone and educational videos, Text2Teach recipient schools also get a Globe SIM card provided with P150 worth of free pre-paid load monthly for one year, a color TV, and three-day teacher training and teachers’ guides.

According to Alma Fernandez, a teacher at Carael Elementary School in Dagupan City, the effectiveness of the program is evident in helping students appreciate a complex subject like science. “Before we had Text2Teach, I had to
rely on my imagination. I gave a lot of examples and used a lot of visual aids to make sure they understand the subject,” she said.

With Text2Teach, Fernandez said there is a better appreciation of what is being discussed.

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