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Using Mobile Phones as "Teachers" in The Philippines

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Twenty public elementary schools in Ilagan, Isabela, Philippines are now capable of accessing interactive, multimedia educational videos through the use of mobile phones.

Text2Teach is a program that makes use of mobile technology so that schools can have access to rich multi media videos. It aims to improve the quality of teaching in grades 5 and 6 in public elementary schools by providing highly interactive, easy to use multi media packages designed to help make learning more exciting and meaningful among students.

With the partnership of Ayala Foundation, Nokia, Department of Education, Globe Telecom, and SEAMEO-INNOTECH, Text2Teach now begins to reach more schools in the country, with the Municipality of Ilagan, Isabela as one of the recipients of the second phase of the project.

"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," HTML clipboardEducation Secretary Jesli Lapus said.

Using a Nokia N95 8GB mobile phone, 387 interactive, educational videos in math, science, and English are pre-loaded into the phones for the teachers to choose from. 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 from.

The 3 to 5-minute educational videos created for the project bring these 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. In the future, additional educational videos will be developed and these will be accessed by the schools using Globe's 3G technology.

In a turnover ceremony at Ilagan's Provincial Capitol, text2teach was introduced and launched among the 20 school beneficiaries. Gov. Grace Padaca and Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Corazon Barrientos, formally sealed the partnership by signing a memorandum of agreement with the text2teach alliance. Text2teach representatives who participated in the event included Mr. Mario Deriquito of Ayala Foundation; Mr. Simo Hoikka of Nokia; Mr. Jeffrey Tarayao of Globe Telecom; and Ms. Carol Rodriguez of SEAMEO INNOTECH.

Heads of the schools were also present to receive the text2teach package, composed of a mobile phone, pre-paid SIM card, a 29-inch colored television set, a TV rack, and teachers' guides for each school. Prior to the event, 77 school heads, teachers, and supervisors already attended an intensive training late last year to ensure standard quality of teaching using text2teach.

Since 2003, more than 700,000 public elementary students in 203 schools in selected areas all over the country have been enjoying the text2teach technology. Over the next 2 years, text2teach will be implemented in additional 350 schools nationwide.

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