Text2Teach: What we've learned from a decade of mobile learning in primary schools in the Philippines
Yolanda Cristano | Presentation (PDF)
Globe Telecom, Inc.
For nearly a decade, Globe Telecom, in a successful multi-stakeholder partnership for mobile education, has helped to deliver the Text2Teach initiative to primary school teachers and students in the Philippines. With the joint effort of the public, private and civil society sectors, Text2Teach has helped make a significant contribution to the quality of teaching and learning in the country through use of advanced mobile communications technology.
Text2Teach, through the power of mobile learning, has trained more than 3,555 teachers and school administrators; it has touched the lives of almost half a million students studying in over 941 schools across the Philippines. This extensive reach and impact of Text2Teach was made possible by Globe Telecom’s GSM network infrastructure. In addition, Globe Telecom now hosts the 400 educational videos for downloading. Continuing partners with Globe Telecom include: The Department of Education, Nokia, the Pearson Foundation and the Ayala Foundation. The program was pilot-tested in the Philippines because of the robust mobile technology infrastructure and Filipinos’ extensive use of mobile phones.
Text2Teach has taken a two-pronged approach to the use of mobile technology to support education in the country: Firstly, by improving pedagogy and strengthening education quality by facilitating access to engaging, locally relevant instructional materials and secondly, by training educators to utilize mobile technology to improve teaching and learning.
Initially, teachers were equipped with a television set, mobile phone and some 100 short Science videos developed by Pearson that included teachers’ guides. The videos were stored in a central server managed by Nokia, accessed by the schools by placing an order via SMS on the mobile phone, and then viewed on the TV. The process and equipment has since been streamlined through use of the Nokia Education Delivery platform, delivered via mobile data through Globe Telecom’s 3G network.
Key to the success of the program has been extensive teacher training for the use of the mobile technology to effectively and efficiently integrate the tool into their classroom practice. Teacher-focused testimonials on the initiative include: ‘Our pupils in the public schools are now updated with the latest trends/innovations in education, making and building self-confidence in them to be globally competitive.’ And secondly, ‘the grade 5 and 6 teachers are now finding it easier to motivate, explain and enrich their English, Math and Science lessons.’
Text2Teach has been externally evaluated on three separate occasions. An external evaluation of Text2Teach in three provinces in 2007 found the following from the students’ test results when compared to control groups: ‘Exposure to Text2Teach as an intervention leads to significantly higher learning gains in English, Math and Science at both grade levels,’ (Natividad, 2007).
This presentation will provide interactive examples of the Text2Teach process in action and will share best practices that have helped the Text2Teach model be replicated in 10 other countries, including Tanzania, India, Vietnam and Colombia. The importance of partnering with mobile telecommunications companies for large-scale mobile learning initiatives will be highlighted for sustainability and project reach implications.
Yolanda C. Crisanto is a marketing and corporate communications executive with over 20 years of solid experience in corporate social responsibility and integrated marketing communications. As the current Head of Corporate Communications for Globe Telecom, Inc., she takes charge of four departments including External Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility Internal Communication Strategy and Corporate Brand Management. As part of the strategic management team, Ms. Crisanto is a member of the Senior Executive Group, Management Committee and is the company’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
Under her leadership, Globe Telecom, Inc. has managed to bring 21st century learning to primary and secondary public schools in the Philippines. Initially, by connecting more than 2,000 secondary public schools to the internet, Ms. Crisanto spearheaded the expansion of mobile and ICT based education programs such as Text2Teach and Global Filipino Schools which now benefit over one million public school students in over 2,800 schools across the Philippines.
A strong advocate for teacher training, she initiated the Global Filipino Teachers program wherein public school teachers become proficient in project-based learning to introduce relevant educational content and integrate the use of ICT in their pedagogy. She is also the President of the Public Relations Society of the Philippines where she instituted a program that trains almost five thousand tertiary-level students annually to make use of public relation tools to solve pressing social issues. Currently, Ms. Crisanto is leading the development of mobile education programs for Globe Telecom, Inc. to provide out-of-school youth opportunities for gainful employment or higher education.