Smart brings ‘kinder’ learning to the digital life

[29 June 2015] Philippine education gets another digital boost as the undisputed leader in mobile Smart Communications (Smart) formally launched Smart TechnoCart, an innovative mobile digital laboratory designed to facilitate formative learning among kindergarten pupils with the use of mobile devices and applications.

Philippine education gets another digital boost as the undisputed leader in mobile Smart Communications (Smart) formally launched Smart TechnoCart, an innovative mobile digital laboratory designed to facilitate formative learning among kindergarten pupils with the use of mobile devices and applications.

Each Smart TechnoCart contains 25 tablets for the use of students; a tablet, laptop and projector for the use of the teacher; Smart Bro pocket WiFi with load for connectivity; and the Smart One Campus, a learning management system to help administrators and teachers track and measure their students’ academic performance. Its compact and portable design makes it easy for the teacher to transfer the laboratory from one classroom to another.

To help schools optimize the use of the Smart TechnoCart, teachers are also given training on tablet basics as well as on child and curriculum development provided by the Community of Learners Foundation (COLF).

As added value on top of the devices and equipment, the Smart TechnoCart tablets come pre-loaded with the Batibot mobile app, the first localized mobile app aligned with the Kindergarten curriculum based on the hugely popular children’s television show.  Developed with COLF and startup partner OrangeFix, the mobile app makes available educational content from the TV show into the mobile device for mobility and accessibility. Just like the TV show, the Batibot app is also in Filipino.

“Smart believes that digital technologies can help facilitate learning opportunities from pre-school up to college, which is why it has tailored initiatives that are targeted to address the needs of learning communities,” said Ramon R. Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart.  “The Smart TechnoCart is a mobile laboratory designed to address the need of young students for interactive and engaging learning tools to help them better grasp basic concepts. It does make for smarter learning.”

To introduce the initiative, Smart chose 15 public kindergarten schools that have been identified by the Department of Education School Divisions as initial beneficiaries: Batu-Batu Central Elementary School, Datu Halun Laboratory Elementary School, and Yusop Dais Elementary School from Tawi-Tawi; Calasiao Central School and Mangatarem Central School in Pangasinan; Bacacay East Central School, and Polangui South Central School in Albay; Maluso Central Elementary School, and Tipo-Tipo Central Elementary School of Basilan; Antonio L. Jayme Elementary School, Education and Training Center School II, and Rodolfo A. Medel Sr. Elementary School of Bacolod; Banilad Elementary School, and Regino Mercado Elementary School of Cebu; and Parañaque Central Elementary School for Metro Manila.

The Smart TechnoCart project is a product of the company’s years of experience in working with educators for the use of wireless technologies. Smart started its education geared community programs way back in 2004.

In 2013, Smart commissioned a study on the use of tablets for learning among kindergarten students of partner-school, Culiat Elementary School in Quezon City. Tablets loaned by Smart were used by an entire class of Kindergarten pupils for 30 minutes each day.  Learning mobile applications on colors, shapes, alphabets, and numbers were pre-loaded into the devices.  After three months, learning outcomes of pupils have improved significantly compared to the previous quarter when it was only the teacher explaining the concepts to the pupils.

“The favorable results prompted us to design a program that will provide public kindergarten learners access to devices, connectivity and interactive and engaging learning tools using mobile and web technologies,” said Stephanie V. Orlino, senior manager for community partnerships and program lead for education programs at Smart Public Affairs.

Smart believes that education plays a key role in nation building.  Through its LearnSmart program, it has embraced education as a key pillar under its corporate social responsibility program.  It has implemented various initiatives aimed at enhancing Philippine education across the learning stages.  To know more about the telco’s education initiatives, and how to sponsor a Smart TechnoCart for beneficiary schools, click on www.smart.com.ph/learnsmart.