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How Does Text2Teach Help Improve the Quality Education in the Philippines?

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    The text2teach program was adopted the idea from Brazil, where a department of the state of health ministry called the Health Vigilance Foundation (FVS) started monitoring the spread of Dengue Fever. They develop the Nokia Data Gathering (NDG) to conduct household surveys, interviews in local populations and monitor stagnant water, which would help the foundation staff understand mosquito breeding patterns.

    The survey or questionnaires on the NDG server send to the mobile phones in the field where the data can be easily captured. The data they gathered was sent back to the server, where the information can be analyzed, mapped or exported. The benefits are manifolds. It makes gathering data in even the most remote areas quicker, more accurate and more cost-effective. That’s why the idea conceived through BridgeIT to promote equality of education even to far flung schools and communities in the country.

    The BridgeIT in the Philippines was conceptualized in 2003 by Nokia, Pearson, the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The country was chosen as one of the pilot areas because as Philippines has been acclaimed as the text capital of the world (Catangay, 2011). Over the years using mobile phones during school hours were strictly banned in a way the students will not be distracted but now 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.

    This project aims to present interactive, multimedia educational videos that enhance the learning experience of students inside the classroom (Lapus, 2009). With the text2teach program the remotest communities would be benefited and improve the performance of students (Gonzales, 2010). Furthermore, this program seeks to improve the quality of teaching in Grade 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, 2009).

    This was also emphasized during the launching of Text2Teach at Sto. Nino Elementary School, South Cotabato, on January 14, Ma. Rosa Gutierrez, DepEd regional director for Region XII which seeks to raise the quality of public elementary education through mobile technology, and can help improve the performance of students, as well as the implementation of School-Based Management (SBM) practices. Thus, text2teach could be a leeway of students to equip them with lifelong skills in order to prepare them to be globally competitive and be ready to face the challenges of the next millennium (Montelibano, 2013).

    Based on the records, 57,000 grades 5 and 6 students in public elementary schools are now learning using mobile technology to help improve the academic performance, classroom behavior and participation of students in the recipient schools. The parents, school officials and community leaders have also shown positive attitudes towards using mobile technology in teaching. This was based on a consultant monitoring conducted from August to December 2011.

    It is crystallized that the program has proven to be effective as students’ learning was made easy, informative and entertaining while there a noted decrease in the rate of absenteeism and dropouts among pupils (Catangay, 2011). The day will pass but the legacy we leave to the next generation will be remembered forever, for it imprints an indelible mark in every pupil’s heart (Gutierrez, 2013) History of Text2Teach in the Philippines BridgeIT is conceptualized in 2003 by Nokia, Pearson, the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

    It was pilot-tested in the Philippines because of the county’s robust mobile technology infrastructure and the Filipinos extensive use of mobile phones. The Philippine pilot came to be known as text2teach. The first project was in traduced to 81 schools in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in the first two (2) years. In 2005, SEAMEO INNOTECH, a member of the education and Livelihood Skills Alliance (ELSA) and Ayala Foundation introduced text2teach to 124 more public schools in Mindanao. New videos and teachers guides were developed to include English, Math and Science, still for Grades 5 and 6.

    This expansion was funded by USAID. In 2007, Nokia provided a grant to be matched 1:1 by the local alliance, to expand text2teach to 350 new schools. Local project management was transferred to AFI with Nokia, AFI, Globe Telecom, DepEd and SEAMEO INNOTECH composing the local alliance. The Nokia Education Delivery (NED) technology was introduced, replacing the satellite technology of Phase 1. As of April 2012, text2teach Phase 3 reached 352 new schools in Luzon, bringing the total number of schools using the technology to 557 in the country since its inception in 2003.

    More than 1,600 teachers were trained on the technology and almost 57,000 Grades 5 and 6 students are benefiting from the program. Text2teach Phase 4 was launched in June 2011, and covers the following components:

    • review and enhance existing text2teach education materials;
    • develop and produce new videos and teachers guides;
    • train trainers and teachers;
    • expand text2teach to 850 new schools;
    • upgrade the satellite and media master schools to NED
    • program evaluation.

    New downloadable educational materials on English, Math, and Science will be developed, and the old videos either revised or updated. Videos on social values and community living will also be contributed by the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation (RMAF). How does it work? Using a Nokia N95 8GB mobile phone, media master (teacher), television set and some preloaded interactive videos developed by Pearson with teachers’ guides were the main components being distributed to schools.

    The videos are stored in a central server managed by Nokia and accessed via SMS on the mobile phone. The request videos will then deliver to their mobile phone via satellite. A teacher will simply plugs the phone with preloaded videos into a TV and plays the video lesson for the day in the classroom for the students to enjoy and learn. Mission and Objectives The mission of text2teach is to make a significant contribution to the quality of teaching and learning in underserved schools and communities in the Philippines. Its objectives are:

    • use advanced mobile communications technology for education;
    • encourage cooperation among the public, private and civil society sectors at the local and global levels;
    • complement the indigenous curriculum with high quality educational content delivered through a mobile network
    • with integrated teacher training.

    Target Group/Beneficiaries At the minimum, text2teach directly benefits public elementary school students in grade 5 and 6 every year. Additional ancillary beneficiaries include (depending on the particular circumstances of each school) students in grade 4, school heads and teachers in the public school system.

    Nokia Education Delivery NED is a mobile software that enables delivery of educational videos to remote, hard-to-reach areas with data stored in the phone for future use. Teachers and trainers can access and download videos from a constantly updated catalog over Globe’s mobile network Nokia device can be connected to a TV/video projector to play the videos for classroom viewing. There is statistics feature to monitor usage, and search feature for ease of retrieval of desired video while downloaded videos automatically catalogued for ease of access and retrieval. Nokia Data Gathering

    NDG is a mobile based data collection software that enables a fast, accurate and cost-effective manner of collecting data even from remote locations NDG uses a server that creates and sends surveys to mobile phones, receive results of the surveys, administer users, devices, questionnaires and responses and export data to generate reports.

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