ASSIST, Google.org deliver technology training for tech-voc centers in PH
We believe the best approach to giving more Filipinos socio-economic mobility is to close the digital divide between those who are able to use the Internet efficiently and those who do not. Hence, we primarily focus on youth employment-seekers, women, CSOs/NGOs and academic institutions in the traditionally marginalized regions of the Visayas and Mindanao.
TAGUIG CITY, Philippines – More than 50 educators and staff of technical and vocational education institutions in Metro Manila received technology training on Friday, June 16, through the “Educate Using Technology” event organized by the Asia Society for Social for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) and Google.org, Google’s charitable arm.
As part of the “Google Serve” Volunteering Program, the event mobilized volunteers from Google, who taught members of the Technical Vocational Schools and Associations of the Philippines (TEVSAPHIL) about maximizing the Google productivity tools. TEVSAPHIL is another partner of ASSIST. They were guided through various Google platforms, which they can utilize to make their work easier.
“This is our first formal joint activity with Google.org under ASSIST’s revamped DigiBayanihan project. This collaboration shows the ardent desire of our organizations to contribute to the education and training of Filipinos, by making them more equipped to harvest the benefits of technology,” ASSIST managing director Sreenivas Narayanan relayed during the opening ceremony, at the Google Headquarters in the Philippines.
DigiBayanihan is the flagship program of the social actions unit of ASSIST. Supported by Google.org., it is an “innovative digital empowerment movement, supported by a multi-stakeholder partnership with the aim of providing digitally-enabled literacy and digital inclusion amongst all Filipinos”.
The event was attended by Kenneth Lingan, Google Philippines country manager, and Dr. Alexander Mercado, TEVSAPHIL president.
Digitally empowered nation
After the morning program, the organizers and volunteers did on-site training sessions in two TEVSAPHIL-member institutions in Quezon City and Marikina City.
The trainees were introduced to productivity-related applications, such as Google Docs, Google Slides, and Google Spreadsheets.
“Napaka-useful ng natutunan namin ngayon…malaking tulong [The learnings we acquired are very useful…they would help us greatly],” shared Ian Mer Ceria, an office staff at the Cane Town Colleges of the Philippines.
Though the activity was short, he noted how he learned to maximize the collaborative functionality of the tools.
“Puwede palang tatlo kaming mag-edit sa isang file, at i-share... Mas mabilis [I did not know that it is possible for three people to work on a file at the same time, and then share it with everyone… It makes us work faster],” he added.
Exchange of knowledge
Because of the interactive design of the training, the 20 Google.org volunteers were quick to realize that it was not just a one-way transfer of knowledge.
“I actually learned from the students… They taught me a fair bit. It was great, and it was more of an exchange of information,” one of the volunteers, Alex Suarez, relayed.
She also added the observation shared by other volunteers on how technology opens opportunities for learning.
“There are so many things that you can learn online. Many of them are free and that’s a huge gap that digital word can fill,” she said.
These learning gaps are what DigiBayanihan and Google Serve are working to address.
For its part, DigiBayanihan aims to provide free learning modules to children, out-of-school youths, and near-employment youth, particularly in the Visayas and Mindanao regions of the Philippines.
DigiBayanihan will also feature related platforms, such as an Online Career Academy that will empower trainers and partner organizations to reach out and deliver career readiness content, and an Online Test Preparation Portal that will provide students free access to sample college admissions examinations during its initial implementation.
Photo contest raises awareness of the trials and triumphs of ICT for development
Manila, PHILIPPINES – The development sector is now living in an era where it is necessary to have knowledge of the latest trends and practices in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This knowledge allows the movers or influencers in the sector to implement their tasks and reach their goals with more efficiency.
It is for these reasons that the Digital Strategies for Development Forum (DSDF) 2017, hosted by the Asian Development Bank, was developed, in partnership with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) of the government of the Philippines, the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT), United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST). The event happened on September 7 to 8, 2017.
Established in 2014, the DSDF has become a venue for high-impact discussions on ICT for Development.
In celebration of the forum, ASSIST, supported by the DigiBayanihan program, held the photo competition called, “Ten Photos to Shake the World 2017: Our Digital Life.” The competition invited professional and non-professional photographers in Asia to submit original photos, which captured digital technology and innovation. The themes of the contest were inclusive growth through digital innovation, digital technology in education, and digital technology in smart mobility.
On Facebook, the winners were announced on September 21, 2017. For the non-professional category, the winning photo will receive USD250, and the second prize winner will receive USD100. For the professional category, the winning photo will receive USD400, and the second prize winner will receive USD250.
The awarding ceremony will happen on October 24, 2017, at the Ascott Makati, Makati City, at the official launch of DigiBayanihan.