DepEd goes Google
“When do we start a revolution?” For Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro, FSC, the answer is now.
As the leader of a workforce that is “two or three times bigger” than the entire Armed Forces of the Philippines, Luistro has urged Department of Education (DepEd) teachers, staff and administrators to join a “revolution” and reform the education system by supporting the agency’s new information and communication technology project.
With Google, DepEd recently launched an online program that would allow all its employees free access to the different services of Google Apps for Education.
“IT (Information Technology) can actually become a real partner in learning,” Luistro said. He stressed the “limitless possibilities that technology offers in terms of education itself.”
Education Assistant Secretary Reynaldo Laguda said in a press statement, “With 200 divisions and 45,000 schools, we [are constantly searching] for a way to streamline communications to draw the organization closer together. Engaging an e-mail or web-mail service will address many of these communication and collaboration challenges.”
He added, “With this collaboration with Google, we will significantly reduce our IT costs.”
Google Apps will provide the DepEd teaching and nonteaching personnel the tools needed to communicate and collaborate with each other anytime and anywhere in the world, from sending e-mail and chatting to sharing teaching materials and editing reports.
“We don’t want to be limited,” Laguda said. “We want this [program] to go viral.”
Luistro expressed the hope that the new program would help in addressing five key shortages in Philippine education, namely, printed textbooks, armchairs, teachers, classrooms and toilets.
He said these could be dealt with more easily and efficiently if DepEd personnel across the archipelago would maximize the use of the Internet and other available technology in communicating their concerns, no matter how petty, particularly through Google Apps.
The online program also gives the almost 600,000 DepEd employees the opportunity to join more than 16 million teachers and students worldwide who are already Google Apps users.
“Google is delighted to [help] DepEd harness the power of the Web to work more efficiently and collaboratively,” Samuel Cheung, Google Apps supporting program regional manager for Southeast Asia, said in a statement.
“Providing access to information and education is central to what we do, so it’s very exciting to see this happening at scale in the Philippines with this national project,” he added.
DepEd employees just have to register online at http://depedverify.appspot.com, making sure to provide the information needed. Upon successful registration, the employee gets a username and password for logging in to the Google Apps page.
If unsuccessful, a verification officer will check the prospective user’s details and employment status in the DepEd and contact him/her.
For other questions and problems that may later arise, such as forgotten passwords or access failure, the user can send a message to [email protected]
Google hosts free of charge all services, which are readily available to users via any Internet-enabled computing device, such as desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone.
Google Apps services include Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, Google Video, Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Groups.
To learn about Google Apps, go to www.sites.google.com/a/
For an overview of the use of Google Apps for primary and secondary education, visit www.google.com/apps/intl/
For ideas on how to incorporate these services into the curriculum through classroom-ready lesson plans, visit www.google.com/apps/
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.