Microsoft Devices continues support for Text2Teach
At the recent 10th anniversary celebration of Text2Teach, Microsoft Devices re-established its support for education with an upgrade of the Microsoft Education Delivery (MED) technology that will continue to inspire teachers and improve the students’ quality of learning.
MED, conceptualized in 2003, is a mobile software that enables the delivery of educational videos to remote, hard-to-reach areas with data stored in Lumia and other Windows Phone devices. Teachers and trainers can access and download over 300 tailored content for Grade 5 and 6 Math, Science, English and Values Education from a constantly updated catalog over a mobile network. These are used as teaching aids for classroom viewing via a television screen or a video projector.
After signing an agreement together with the Ayala Foundation, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Education (DepEd), Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), Globe Telecom that will mainstream Text2Teach, implementing it in 38,000 public schools nationwide, Sanna Eskelinen, Global Lead for Social Investment at Microsoft Devices shared that “local partners are important because it is instrumental in the success of the education program. Aside from allowing you to customize content, they also help in the implementation especially when faced with local issues such as electricity or natural calamity.”
MED has evolved since its inception 10 years ago. Now approaching Phase 5, the system now enjoys the additional convenience of projecting the Lumia 630 Dual Sim’s screen to the TV via WiFi. Equipped with Windows Phone 8.1OS that brings the ability to project a handset’s screen on to a larger screen wirelessly, Lumia allows teachers to show downloaded videos effortlessly without the trouble of connecting wires.
Part of the upgrade is also an updated MED that will allow teachers to easily browse, comment and ask questions on content provided by the DepEd and download files and videos through an intuitive and user-friendly interface. The encouragement of interactivity among teachers allows better feedback, ensuring that teaching materials are constantly improved and crafted to better suit the needs of classrooms. Eskelinen says, “this mechanism will allow partner developers to continuously improve the technology and content to better suit its target teachers and students.”
Text2Teach is the Filipino name given to the global program called BridgeIT conceptualized by Nokia, Pearson, the International Youth Foundation and the United Nations Development Program and is the longest-running out of the 12 countries that have implemented it since 2004 including other developing countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh.
Reaching over 700,000 students and 16,000 teachers throughout 2,500 schools in the Philippines, Text2Teach has received global recognition, being dubbed “one of the 100 most inspiring social tech innovations” by Nominet Trust. It was also identified as one of the ten “Exemplary Information Communications Technology Innovations for Education” at the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Forum on ICT in Education, last 2013.
The use of the MED technology has shown improvement in student’s performance and National Achievement Test scores, fostering positive attitudes towards learning and using technology for teaching and the improvement of classroom environments.
“The rapid advancement of technology is something that we need to take advantage of, especially for education programs, where the need for constant improvement, renewal and updating is essential, ” said Eskelinen.
Metrobank Card Corporation Launches Dramatic Reading Series with G. Töngi at Century City Mall
Media celebrity G Töngi, newly appointed Artistic Director of Upstart Productions, spearheads Upstart Soundstage, a series of bi-weekly dramatic readings presented by Metrobank Card Corporation at Century City Mall at 7:00 pm on Sunday, June 15, 2014. Upstart Soundstage will present a different full-length drama, comedy, or musical every two weeks, each show featuring well-known theater personalities and stage directors. No props, no sets, no costumes—just pure performance.
Local Media Celebrity and now Upstart Artistic Director, G. Töngi.
“Readings like this are very popular in L.A and New York,” declares Töngi, who has timed her birthday celebration to coincide with the first play in the series. “We want to do the same thing over here.” To that end, Upstart has lined up an impressive array of actors for the project: noted stage and screen personalities Audie Gemora, Noel Trinidad (one of Upstart’s board members), and Töngi herself, along with renowned directors like Anton Juan and Bobby Garcia.
Upstart Founder and Son of well-respected Noel Trinidad, Joel Trinidad
But will Manila audiences take to the concept of stage shows without any staging? Apparently, they already have: Töngi and her partners have conducted quite a few informal readings of this type, and they’ve all been very well-received. Upstart founder Joel Trinidad, Noel’s son, is not at all surprised. “I’ve always loved dramatic readings, “ he shares. “When you take away the sounds and lights and costumes, you force people to really pay attention.” Upstart Managing Director Onyl Torres, who doubles as the company’s Musical Director and Composer, likens the medium to a radio play. “You get the same emotions, the same human drama,” he says. “It’s very powerful.” Töngi concurs: “In our last few readings, people were in tears—the actors and the audience.”
Upstart Soundstage kicks off with Töngi’s birthday celebration: a reading of Jane Anderson’s The Baby Dance, an emotionally charged drama about a suburban couple adopting the unborn baby of a poor couple. Other proposed shows in the series—which will run continuously, every two weeks, in three-month blocks—include Pippin by Stephen Schwartz, Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet, The Seagull by Anton Chekov, Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton, and many others. “A different show every two weeks, at a fraction of the cost of a regular show,” notes Töngi. “Where else can you experience that?”
Upstart Soundstage: The Dramatic Readings. Starting Sunday, June 15, at 7:00 pm at the event space on the 5th floor of Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati, and playing continuously every other Sunday from then on. Show schedule may change based on availability of performance rights and other factors. Tickets at P300 each, available at the door. Presented by Metrobank Card Corporation in cooperation with Century City Mall. From Upstart Productions.