Use cloud infrastructure for more resources, schools told

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

BOTH private and public schools are encouraged to adopt cloud infrastructure in the teaching process, advised technology leaders during the 17th Education Summit hosted by Ng Khai Development Corp.

Wilson Ng of Ng Khai, who spearheaded last week’s summit, said in an interview that the adoption of cloud infrastructure would enable a “better collaboration among teachers and students.”

For one, Microsoft has been active with its Office 365, among its other offers, said Microsoft Philippines Education Lead David Tapang. Office 365 is an online office and software plus services suite, which offers access to various services and software built around the Microsoft Office platform.


Tapang dubbed it as the “office in the cloud.”

Ng explained that Office 365 would allow users to have Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Power Point and other “collaboration products” like Lync, OneDrive, Exchange and Sharepointvia by subscription or monthly usage payments, instead of buying them.

With the office web apps, users can get 25 gigabytes of email and 25 gigabytes of drive space for free.

“Today, there is a large number of resources available for everyone,” said Ng, adding that not only business establishments should be adopting them, but also the academe.

However, Ng noted that at present only a few of the schools in Cebu have adopted this system. If there are, most of them are international schools whose students have better access to technology.

He added that it is “not expensive” to avail of a cloud storage system since these are subscription-based and the basic models are even offered for free.

Also during the summit, Microsoft introduced the Microsoft IT Academy, which will offer schools not only free educational materials to teach Microsoft technologies but also allow students to get certification tests on Microsoft systems.

Tapang said being Microsoft-certified would increase the chances of students being hired. He said “MS Office skills” ranked top three on the top 20 Core Skills and Competencies. Leading the ranking are communication skills.

“Microsoft technology skills are in demand in the market,” Tapang said.

Efren Peñaflorida, the CNN Hero of the Year in 2009, served as this year’s guest speaker.

Known for his “kariton” (pushcart) classroom, Peñaflorida said that innovation in education should not just be about using the latest gadgets but about using other effective means to bring education to the masses.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 12, 2014.


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