Text2Teach is an educational program which aims to enable teachers and students to access over 900 multimedia educational materials like video, pictures, text or audio files via Short Message Service (SMS). It is a project the Department of Education (DepEd), initiated by BridgeIT, a global program developed jointly with Nokia Philippines, the International Youth Foundation and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The program is headed by: Ayala Foundation, which plays the lead coordinating role, DepEd, responsible for defining the curriculum-based objectives of the program, Southeast Asian Ministries of Education Organization-Innotech (SEAMEO-Innotech) which acts as the primary local training coordinator and project manager and Globe Telecommunications.
With an aim to present "interactive, multimedia educational videos" that enhance learning experience of students inside the classroom, elementary teachers in selected areas are using the mobile phones under the Text2Teach program.
The project is part of DepEd’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.
The education department began the project in 2003 with more than 700,000 public elementary students from 203 schools enjoying Text2Teach technology. It provided 5th and 6th grade science teachers with content-rich educational resources, including up to 120 science videos. Selected video is downloaded via satellite to a digital video recorder connected to a television set in the classroom. The videos focus on subjects such as space, ecology, geology or human anatomy as part of text2teach lesson plan. Teachers benefit through the training in effective teaching skills and instructional strategies.
Recently, the program extended its service in other subjects providing pre-loaded Nokia N95 8GB mobile phone with 387 interactive educational videos in English, Math and Science. It is considered an effective visual aid for teachers and provides an opportunity to create a new, interactive, student-focused learning environment in the classroom. According to Education secretary, Jesli 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.”
Lesson plans which are part of the teacher's guides are completely integrated with the basic education curriculum and created to meet local education guidelines and standards. Additional video materials can be accessed by the schools through their mobile phones using the 3G technology of Globe.
Nokia Philippines handed over Php27 million for the project, Nokia and Globe provides the monthly prepaid load while the Science, English and Math educational videos are provided by Pearson and SEAMEO-Innotech. Each video is supported by targeted lesson plans that integrate supporting exercises and activities already linked to the curriculum. Over 200 schools have participated in the project which includes public elementary schools from Quezon City, Manila, Batangas, Mindoro, Antique, Cagayan de Oro City, Maguindanao, Cotabato, and Sharif Kabunsuan.
Meanwhile, the provincial government of Isabela provided over nineteen thousand pesos worth of financial assistance consisting of 29-inch color television sets, TV racks, and training materials and modules.
Lessons can be ordered from the library using text messaging (SMS) and then delivered to the ordering school via satellite, and downloaded to a Digital Video Recorder connected to a TV set in the classroom. The Department of Education collects statistics from each DVR on the usage of various lessons.
- More than 120,000 5th and 6th grade Science, Math and English students in more than 200 schools have benefited from the project;
- Reduction of absenteeism;
- Student performance was increased as seen from the high average scores in science, teacher-pupil, pupil-pupil interaction got a boost and there was a generally upbeat classroom environment;
- Around 920 teachers have been trained to use the system including the locally produced video and Teacher's Guide material;
- Teachers have access to a library of over 100 KnowledgeBox and 270 locally produced Science, Math and English videos; and
- Teachers have been provided 480 lesson plans to support these video packages.
- "Text2Teach brings hope to 20 Isabela public schools." Manila Bulletin.
- "Nokia’s Text2Tech Program Expands to Isabela Province" Technograph. (accessed July 09, 2009)
- Yugatech. (accessed July 09, 2009)