DepEd, Microsoft extend partnership for ICT-empowered learning

Published by rudy Date posted on April 2, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) and Microsoft Philippines recently bolstered a partnership to enhance the Philippine educational system through ICT-enabled teaching and learning.

“We want to make sure that Filipino students receive 21st century education anytime, anywhere,” said Education Secretary Jesli Lapus. “We wish to equip them with skills that will make them leaders in the 21st century world. To accomplish this, we must improve our basic education and utilize ICT to transform it.”

Lapus said Partners in Learning increased technology access for public schools throughout the country and enabled school administrators and educators to train in effectively integrating ICT in classroom teaching.

“The first five years of Partners in Learning have given us the amazing opportunity to work together with schools and teachers in changing the way students learn and ensuring an improvement in student performance,” said Rafael Rollan, managing director, Microsoft Philippines.

In the next five years, Partners in Learning will focus on identifying, sharing and scaling practices and behaviors that improve learning outcomes, through three program areas that have the greatest potential to empower and transform education: Innovative Schools, Innovative Teachers and Innovative Students.

• Innovative Schools helps schools around the world to move beyond the limits of the classroom and traditional learning models. Through shared experiences and goals, the program aims to create models that any school, any system, can use in the future, to prepare children for success in an evolving global economy.

• Innovative Teachers connects and empowers educators worldwide. The Innovative Teachers Network enables teachers to learn from one another and work collaboratively on new approaches to learning through national or region-wide portals.  The Innovative Teachers Forums are a set of national, regional, and worldwide events that identify and reward exceptional practices on the use of technology in the classroom.

• Innovative Students aims to provide students with access to programs and curriculum that help fully integrate technology into the learning process, both in school and at home. It also enables qualified governments to increase technology access for underserved primary and secondary student households that aspire to own a PC with affordable and reliable software.

Reaping the results of a strategic partnership for education

“Through our partnership with the Department of Education, we have been able to reach more schools and train more teachers,” said Michelle Casio, academic programs manager, Microsoft Philippines.

More than 20,000 educators have been trained on Digital Literacy and ICT Integration, 21st Century Leadership, and advanced ICT courses. In March 2008, 28 educators graduated from a masteral program in Instructional Design Technology and more Partners in Learning teachers trained abroad on curriculum delivery.

A portal has also been developed to enable teachers to share lesson plans and best practices. The Partners in Learning online community presently has over 40,000 members comprised of teachers, school administrators, principals, ICT coordinators and other education stakeholders.

In addition to training, Partners in Learning has made software available to public schools through Fresh Start, which provides Microsoft Windows licenses for donated computers, and Partners in Learning School Agreement, which offers special pricing on Microsoft Office applications.

Furthermore, DepEd and Microsoft rolled out a platform of services for all DepEd schools nationwide called Microsoft Windows Live@edu initiative. This gives participating schools access to free services which include e-mail hosting, database integration, data repository, and learning resources. Currently, over 20,000 teachers have their own DepEd e-mail accounts. — Philippine Star

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