PLDT Enterprise, via their Digital Mobility team, leads innovation in eLearning or digital technology-backed education as it recently launched SMART’s new eLearning Program for the academe and training institutions. This consists of a suite of products that leverage the benefits of internet-based technologies in schools.
This erases the perception that many people have of technology such as gadgets as mere distractions to students’ studies. The products in this suite are specifically developed to benefit not only students and teachers, but also administrators, parents, among many others.
“Our view is that the devices will serve more as effective study aids, and act less as distractions,” said Gio Abaquin, Head of Digital Mobility, Disruptive Business Group (DBG), the emerging technologies business unit of PLDT Enterprise.
“Today’s millennials have learned to accept the role that devices play in their daily lives. It is important to bring in this new technology into the classroom, for both the obvious, physical reasons, such as lighter physical loads versus heavy books and notebooks, as well as for technological benefits,” Abaquin explained.
“Mobile learning supports the learning process rather than being integral to it. Mobile learning can also be a useful add-on tool for students with special needs. It can be used as a ‘hook’ to re-engage disaffected youth,” Chet Alviz, Head of SMACS (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud and Security) added.
For the eLearning App, there will be package options such as app-only, app with SIM, as well as tablet bundles.
More than a Learning Management System (LMS), the SMART eLearning program creates an end-to-end Digital Campus Experience. SMART is set to roll out the eLearning program with select schools.
The whole suite offers PLDT iGate, SMART WiFi, SMART M2M SIMs, SMART Prepaid SIMs, customized website with eCommerce capability to help establish online presence, Vehicle and Personnel trackers for the school transport as well as for student use, customized App, including evolved learning solutions such as SMART’s eLearning LMS and Microsoft Office 365. All these can be accessed by authorized teachers, admin, and students in and out of the campus.
“We are very pleased to have included in our service portfolio an educational digital tool that not only benefits students, but also the entire school ecosystem. Parents, for example, will be able to gain access to their child’s developmental progress. Educators, on the other hand, will be able to freely interact with both students and parents on the more important aspects of today’s learning experience,” added Nico Alcoseba, Head of PLDT’s Disruptive Business Group.
PLDT Enterprise stressed digital technology-backed education is ever more rising and it believes the Philippines has a high potential for growth in eLearning adoption. Ambient Insight, an international market research firm that specializes in eLearning and Mobile Learning, said in a statement that in Asia alone, the market for learning and training programs supported by electronic technology is expected to reach $11.5 billion by 2016, or more than twice the $5.2 billion in 2011.
The two countries with the highest growth rates in the world are Vietnam and Malaysia, respectively at 44.3 percent and 39.4 percent. Also in the top 10 are Romania and China. The Asian region is also known for a high adoption in mobile technology, due to proliferation of low priced mobile devices.
Currently, the Philippines ranks at seventh place in terms of growth rate in e-learning. The country joins Thailand, India,Kenya, Slovakia, and Azerbaijan with growth rates of between 30 percent and 35 percent.
This shows that the Philippines is well on the way towards adapting eLearning for educational institutions – and even in businesses. SMART’s goal is to be at the forefront of that digital change, at home, at work, and even in school.