Modern hub for today’s learnersBy Stephen Norries A. Padilla
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LEARNING today is becoming more fun, thanks to high technology.
Now, one of the country’s biggest educational materials developers is offering an interactive hub that aims to “make learning more interesting.”
Vibal Publishing House Inc. has formally opened its iPlay iLearn Hub at the Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
The hub features innovations in creating and delivering different educational contents and systems to help improve both teaching and learning.
“We want to make it possible for school kids to learn anything in an engaging manner,” said Vibal president Esther A. Vibal.
iPlay iLearn has four offerings so far. Touchscreen personal computers let kids learn concepts and lessons on their favorite subjects through games, drills and quizzes.
Through storybook applications on iPad and Android tablets, children get to enjoy their favorite Chikiting Books, Vibal’s children’s book line, in digital format. The books also come with games and exercises to improve a child’s reading comprehension.
In the information and photo booth, kids can take pictures and share them with friends online while learning about exciting careers in science and technology.
The electronic and traditional library allows visitors to read printed books and magazines on different subjects like science and technology, history, literature, and many more.
Visitors can also browse “Starbooks” at the Department of Science and Technology’s information kiosk that contains thousands of articles, journals and digitized resources in various formats.
The goal, according to the people behind the hub, is to “simplify the library and make it more attractive (to learners).”
One digital book children can read at the hub is the “Yummy Fly Pie,” written and illustrated by Jomike Tejido. It tells the story of Mr. Frog who baked his favorite snack, a fly pie, and offered it to other animals.
But the other animals declined the offer because they did not eat flies. In the end, Mr. Frog shared his pie with his frog friends.
“Yummy Fly Pie” is one of five titles from Vibal’s Chikiting Books that have been converted into digital interactive format. The other titles are “Mariang Sinukuan: The Goddess and Keeper of Mount Arayat,” “Pagpapagayuk: The Magical Bird of Bukidnon,” “Amansinaya: The Goddess of the Sea,” and “The Magical Shirt.” All four were penned by award-winning children’s book writer Eugene Evasco. They are also available on the Apple Appstore.
“The move to digitize printed materials is not just a big leap for us but also for education,” Vibal said.
The creation of iPlay iLearn is part of the Vibal Digital campaign that aims to integrate digital content into the Filipino’s learning experience and “introduce technology to education.”
“We think that, with these innovations, learning will be different and pedagogy will change,” said Vibal vice president Nila Vibal-Mata.
Even before the hub’s opening, Vibal had started to venture into the Internet world, having founded WikiPilipinas.org and Filipiniana.net.
Aside from the local research websites, it also set up these microsites that offer various resources to students, teachers and parents: i-Learn for students (i-learn.
vibalpublishing.com), which allows students to access supplementary digital materials for any subject, i-Teach for teachers (i-teach.vibalpublishing.com), which gives teachers e-learning and teaching resources that they can use in the classroom, and i-Guide for parents (i-guide.vibalpublishing.com), which allows parents to be involved in their children’s learning and to serve as teacher-at-home.
The Vibal iPlay iLearn hub is located at the second floor of the Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center and is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekends.