(UPDATED) An American software company is offering the Department of Education (DepEd) in MIMAROPA the free use of a learning software it has developed to facilitate online and distance learning, in lieu of face-to-face classes.
The company RightSize Education Technologies, Inc., which has been operating in the Philippines for 14 years, said it is offering the free use of its SPLAT or Supporting Parents, Learners, Administrators, and Teachers platform as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program.
Christopher Hancock, president of RightSize Education Technologies, Inc., said that SPLAT School Information System (SIS) and SPLAT Courses are designed to support the Philippine Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) of the Department of Education in response to the challenges brought about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hancock, in an online press conference Monday, said that SPLAT is being used in 30 pilot schools before COVID 19-hit the country. More than just a software to aid remote learning, SPLAT is a School Information System that offers a positive behavior recognition module. One of its core strengths is that it enables the involvement of the parent and guardians in the education of the learners.
The US firm said they want to help in making sure that students will be able to get the support they need in undertaking distance learning.
Hancock said that they have designed their software to allow educators to send out information to their learners including textbooks, presentations, and audio tracks which students could listen to in their choice of language.
He said that all a student will need is a smartphone to be able to access the learning materials sent to them through the system, and will rely on the cellular signal to transfer data.
“We believe that is what they really have, which is in general, a smartphone,” he said. “They don’t have always internet with an unlimited number of kilobits per week, they have gadgets with maybe no data.
Hancock said the SPLAT can engage the parents themselves so that they are able to guide their children to complete their learning requirements.
The company is hoping to roll out its project to areas with no internet and only have electricity in certain parts of the day, and has proposed to undertake it in MIMAROPA.
“When we rolled this out to a lot of schools who had no internet and only electricity in certain parts of the day, which is also true for some of your mountainous regions and some of your island regions. we had very good success,” he said.
To address the difference of language and dialects of every school in different parts of the country, Hancock said they developed a feature in the software that would give three choices to the learner and educator of the language they prefer to use.
Currently, Hancock said that there are a number of areas that are getting in touch with the company that is interested in SPLAT. There had been a number of educators and school administrators who had been attending the free webinar every Tuesday via Zoom that he conducts from the US.
“We are getting ready that just in case we are widely successful and lots of places implement this, we are ready,” he said.
“This is really a CSR and we want to help kids in public schools first and once we’re good to that, then private (school) but we just opened it up,” he added.
He said they are not in the driver’s seat on this, they are service providers, who have software that helps schools with student information systems (SIS). The LMS part, or learning management system, is a small piece of this, he said.
“We’d like to roll this out somewhat slowly just so we get better at it,” he added.
RightSize is a team of 40 talented professionals who design, develop, and deploy custom software solutions that have over 25 years of experience, including 13 years in the Philippines.