With distance learning as norm, robust digital infrastructure for schools an urgent need

September 18, 2020 - 11:58 AM
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File photo of student online learning. (Photo by Vertiv)

The Department of Education and other Philippine schools needs to harness the power of technology for its distance learning needs, according to a US-based provider of digital infrastructure.

Colleges and universities have already started their classes last August 24. Primary and secondary schools, on the other hand, is slated to begin classes on October 5.

Both the DepEd and the Commission on High Education pursued the resumption of classes despite the risks of inequality in access and the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

The two agencies have shifted to distance or flexible learning to ensure that students’ learning will still persist and prevent them from acquiring the deadly virus which COVID-19.

Digital infrastructure provider Vertiv recognized that while distance learning is not a new concept, educational institutions are not used to conduct this new system of teaching to their students.

“Educators must have the capability to innovate and experiment with available online tools to make virtual classes more engaging,” Jason Lim, country manager of Vertiv Philippines said.

“In recent years, modern classrooms have been harnessing the power of technology to equip their learning facilities with necessary digital tools not just to support the teaching-learning process but also to provide a more interactive learning experience, especially for distance learning approach,” he added.

The DepEd said there are various modules or modalities that parents and teachers could employ to their students, which are:

  1. Online digital modules for those equipped with the right devices and internet connection
  2. Offline digital modules for those not equipped
  3. Modules delivered through the television, radio and in print
  4. Home-schooling

The agency also has a special platform for public schools called DepEd Commons, a project aimed at supporting the continuous delivery of basic education to Filipino learners through open education resources (OER).

This comprehensive project is part of the Public Schools of the Future’s Digital Rise Program, an initiative “to make teaching and learning accessible anytime and anywhere, in whatever situation or environment.”

For Vertiv’s part, the company offers various digital solutions to help schools and campuses try to adapt with the new environment of learning.

  1. Uninterrupted power supply or UPS solutions—ensures the availability of the school’s critical data center, so access of vital records online remain unhampered.
  2. Smart Cabinet—an integrated, micro data center solution, helps provide an intelligent and integrated infrastructure that allows them to quickly deploy a data center even in tight locations.

The digital infrastructure emphasized that these assets must also be protected in its entirety, from hardware to software.