To help schools transition to the new normal and embrace e-learning, Lenovo Philippines, in collaboration with Microsoft, has launched the EdVision program.
Even though classes in the Philippines are scheduled to reopen in August, schools will have to maintain learning through virtual platforms. This is to comply with the community quarantine and social distancing protocols. Under the EdVision program, a number of pioneer schools in the Philippines will get free access to online resources to help them through their education transformation journey. They will also enjoy complimentary or subsidized access to the latest solutions in education tech.
How prepared are schools for distance learning, not only in terms of technology but also teacher training? I posed this question to Lenovo Philippines President and General Manager Michael Ngan at this afternoon’s virtual press briefing.
“There are really some schools that actually were prepared, and there are also some schools that are in the midst of preparing for the new normal. This education program is not just about selling the hardware to these schools. What Lenovo and Microsoft would like to really do is bring our expertise to the schools. To empower teachers, to empower the students, to adapt faster to these technologies around flexible learning. And we see a big portion of the education market today lagging behind in terms of adopting technology. And I think it’s not just going to be Lenovo there, it’s not just going to be Microsoft there. There will be other components, like our telco friends, who will have to play a big part in ensuring that flexible learning or distance learning will be carried out smoothly,” Ngan told Digital Life Asia.
DepEd Learning Continuity Plan
At the EdVision press briefing, Department of Education Director for Information and Communications Technology Service Abram Y.C. Abanil discussed the DepEd Learning Continuity Plan.
He said that this has four main components: self-learning modules, online learning, TV school, and school radio.
Abanil said the self-learning modules consist of printed material such as workbooks that the students will use at home. He also pointed out that online learning is a bit misleading. DepEd actually plans to have the ebooks and other digital material pre-loaded to the devices that the students will use. This way, they can access the material even without an internet connection.
Meanwhile, TV will broadcast the lessons that teachers will record. Schools will also tap radio for delivering lessons, especially in remote areas.
Lenovo and Microsoft collaborate
Lenovo Philippines Marketing Communications Manager Anna Abola gave an overview of the EdVision program. She explained that the goal of EdVision is continuous learning.
On the one hand, it addresses the needs of students. It aims to turn the digital natives of today to the leaders of tomorrow. On the other hand, it also addresses the needs of teachers. EdVision is a platform that allows educators to exchange ideas and learn about the latest technologies that are transforming education.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Philippines Enterprise Channel Manager for Education Paolo Balinas demonstrated the software solutions that will ease the journey of teachers and students towards e-learning.
This includes the unified communication and collaboration platform Microsoft Teams, which many companies are familiar with because they use it for their video meetings. Microsoft Teams, however, is also a powerful tool for schools, which can easily set up collaborative virtual classrooms. Teachers can engage students with virtual face-to-face classes and activities. Students, many of whom are digital natives, will also find this an easier and more fun way to learn and collaborate with their classmates.
Rolling out EdVision
As partners in the program, the pioneer schools will join Lenovo and Microsoft in promoting and driving the widespread adoption of technology in the education space. Selected partner schools will also be invited to join the EdVision Summit. They will also receive a “classroom makeover” and subsidy for Lenovo Smart Classroom deployment and support in faculty education.
The program begins in the Philippines, followed by Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Lenovo and Microsoft offer a complete set of solutions, designed for convenience of use, ease of understanding, flexibility, and collaboration. Specifically, the Lenovo Smart Classroom will offer a combination of Lenovo devices and hardware and software from industry-leading partners. This provides a high level of customization to best match the needs of individual schools.
Building the future
To make it even more exciting, Lenovo Philippines is holding the Traveling Storybook Contest. This will challenge students’ creativity and share their vision of the future of education and the classroom with the world.
The Traveling Storybook Contest invites students across the Philippines to describe using words and visuals their vision of what their school would look like 20, 40, or even 100 years into the future. The public will vote on the shortlisted entries. The school with the most votes will win a smart transformation package sponsored by Lenovo. Full mechanics will be announced soon.
Education is very dear to my heart, as I believe it’s the way to ensure that the younger generation will have a better future and solve society’s problems. That’s why I’m really glad to hear about the EdVision program.
Are schools ready to embrace the future? Through EdVision, Lenovo and Microsoft will work with them to make sure they are.