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Teachers now using Text2Teach technology

By Philip Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 06:31:00 03/19/2009

Filed Under: Education, mobile phones, Computing & Information Technology, Internet

MANILA, Philippines?While students are banned from using mobile phones during school hours, many public school teachers are using the ubiquitous gadgets in class to serve the ?higher purpose? of ?bringing to life? math, science and English subjects, according to Education Secretary Jesli Lapus.

Elementary teachers in selected areas are using the mobile phones under the Department of Education?s ?Text2Teach? project, which aims to present ?interactive, multimedia educational videos? that enhance the learning experience of students inside the classroom, Lapus said.

The project is part of the department?s ICT4E (Information Communication Technology for Education) program which uses the latest technology, like the Internet and laptop computers, to help improve education in the country.

It seeks to improve the quality of teaching in Grades 5 and 6 in public schools by providing ?highly interactive, easy-to-use multimedia packages designed to help make learning more exciting and meaningful among students,? Lapus said.

?We now experience how ICT can be an effective tool to reach out to more learners and its use elevated to a higher purpose,? he said.

Preloaded

Using a Nokia N95 8GB mobile phone, 387 interactive, educational videos in math, science and English are preloaded into the phones for the teachers to use in class.

A teacher simply plugs the phone into a TV and plays the video lesson for the day in the classroom for the students to enjoy and learn.

According to Lapus, the educational videos created for the project, which would last 3-5 minutes, will ?bring science, math and English subjects to life, illustrating key concepts, skills and competencies that students are expected to master.?

These video lesson plans also help make teachers? lives easier and are compliant with the Basic Education Curriculum, he said.

The education department began the project in 2003 with more than 700,000 public elementary students from 203 schools enjoying Text2Teach technology. It had the cooperation of the Ayala Foundation, Nokia, Globe Telecom and Seameo-Innotech.

Private sector partners

?We salute our partners from the private sector and the local government units who together with DepEd are exhausting all means to make education inclusive and accessible to as many learners,? Lapus said.

He said more educational videos would be developed and accessed by schools using Globe?s 3G technology.

350 schools nationwide

Over the next two years, the project will be implemented in 350 more schools nationwide.

Ilagan town in Isabela province became the latest recipient of the project?s second phase.

In a turnover ceremony at the provincial capitol Wednesday morning, Text2Teach was introduced to 20 school beneficiaries after Gov. Ma. Grace Padaca and schools division superintendent Corazon Barrientos signed an agreement with representatives of the project?s private sector partners.

Lapus said heads of the schools were also present to receive the Text2Teach package, which includes a mobile phone, a prepaid SIM card, a 29-inch color TV, a TV rack and teachers? guides.

A total of 77 school heads, teachers and supervisors in Isabela underwent an intensive training program late last year ?to ensure the quality of teaching using Text2Teach,? he said.



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