Text2teach Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Mainstream Implementation in the Philippines
It is hard to overstate the power of mobile devices when it comes to global education. On World Book Day this year, we shared a UNESCO report that showed that mobile technology may be turning the tide on illiteracy. In that story, we also shared this unbelievable statistic: of the 7 billion people on Earth, 6 billion have access to a working mobile phone. This means that hundreds of thousands of people in developing countries are using their mobile phones to read and to learn.
The ability to learn wherever, whenever, is one of the most important aspects of ensuring that more students throughout the world have access to a quality education. Here at Daily Edventures, we’ve heard from students, teachers and administrators — near and far — who use mobile phones daily to make learning more relevant. One of these many teachers, Ernani Fernandez, shared how thousands of students and teachers in the Philippines have benefitted from a mobile learning initiative called Text2Teach.
Text2Teach turns 10 years old today, and we at Microsoft are proud to help celebrate by joining the Ayala Foundation, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Education (DepEd), Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), and Globe Telecom in signing a commitment to mainstream Text2Teach, implementing it in all 38,000 public schools across the Philippines. Text2Teach is the Philippine name of the global program BridgeIT conceptualized by Nokia, Pearson, the International Youth Foundation, and the United Nations Development Program. The Philippines has the longest-running Bridge IT program among 12 countries in the world.
The program features a mobile learning package that uses 3G-enabled Microsoft mobile phones to download educational video materials for math (grades 5 and 6), science, English and values education to supplement lessons through visual aid. It comes with a Globe Telecom prepaid SIM and a 32-inch LED Toshiba TV that will play the videos for classroom use.
Last year, Text2Teach was hailed by Nominet Trust, a UK funder for tech projects, as one of the 100 most inspiring social tech innovations. This year, Text2Teach received a Merit Award for Best Community Program at the 6th Annual Global CSR Summit and Awards in Bali, Indonesia.
The use of Text2Teach has shown improvement in student performance and National Achievement Test scores in the Philippines. And Text2Teach says that it has fostered positive attitudes towards learning and the use of technology for teaching. According to their website, “The program’s impact can be seen in disadvantaged schools, thus helping bridge the social gap. To date, Text2Teach has served over 300, 000 students from 1,103 schools nationwide, covering a total of 62 cities and municipalities.”
If you are interested in becoming part of Text2Teach, it is open to groups and organizations who wish to become a partner in mainstreaming the program. For more information on Text2Teach visit http://www.text2teach.org.ph/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations on 10 years, Text2Teach!