Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Smart training may produce Guimaras online ambassadors

Smart training may produce Guimaras online ambassadors
Sun.Star Iloilo
November 2, 2010

The island province of Guimaras in Western Visayas, which enjoys a reputation of producing the sweetest mangoes in the world, may get a boost in its efforts to become the preferred tourism and investment destination for agriculture, fishery and tourism, now that 90 teachers and students from 22 of its public schools have the skills to promote the island online.

Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), in partnership with Petron Foundation and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), recently conducted a Content Generation and Web Development training as part of its efforts to encourage online content generation under its Doon Po Sa Amin (DPSA) project.

The five-day training held at the Central Philippine University in Jaro, Iloilo, also drew representatives from the Department of Education-Guimaras division office.

Participants were given lectures and exercises on research methods, writing for the Web, image editing, photo journalism, blogging, fundamentals of Web design, websites and web servers, website development, publishing and uploading website and underwent a DPSA workshop.

At the end of the training, the 22 schools and the DepEd Guimaras division office were able to upload their websites via Smart’s free website hosting. The participating seven public elementary schools and 15 public high schools are also now considered SSP online associates, which means they can join any of three competitions under Smart’s DPSA.

DPSA is a four-year content generation project where teachers and students of Smart Schools Program (SSP) partner schools are encouraged to use Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to generate and share web-based information and educational materials about their respective communities.

The project includes teacher trainings, website hosting and web development support, access to learning resources, a sustainable incentive system for participation, and three contests which recognize student groups and school teams which uploaded the richest local content or most unique information on the worldwide web.

These contests include the DPSA Learning Challenge, “Ano ang Kwento Mo? (What’s your story?)” and DPSA Quest.

Now on its third consecutive year, the DPSA Learning Challenge draws on high school teams from SSP partners and online associates to perform basic community mapping exercises to generate local content which will help their respective communities be educated about and/or address pertinent local problems or issues. Final output of the competition is the website designed and developed by the teacher-student team.

"Ano ang Kwento Mo?", which is open to all private and public high school students nationwide, requires student teams, headed by a teacher coach, to create video blogs that feature a distinct characteristic, place, or culture in their communities.   Teams are asked to upload their videos in a video hosting site, then create a blog site where the hosted videos will be embedded.

The DPSA Quest engages grade school SSP partners and online associates to research unique stories about their respective communities and narrate these stories online through their blog sites in alignment with the contest theme “Our Community, Our Pride: Rediscovering our Hometown”.
Cash prizes and items are in store for the winners of the three competitions, details of which can be accessed via www.doonposaamin.ph.
With much encouragement from Smart’s DPSA contests, these 22 public schools may very well become Guimaras’ newest online ambassadors as they post stories and images unique to the island province online and enable a global audience to know more about Guimaras.

Smart’s efforts to encourage online content contribution from public school partners are part of its efforts to make the Web relevant to more people under its ‘Internet for All’ advocacy. (PR)