The Digi-Eskwela Project in the Philippines
Few would disagree that the advent of new technology has the potential to dramatically change educational outcomes for all children. However, children who reside in economically disadvantaged households can still lack access to these vital tools. This is where Skoolbo can help and we are delighted to report on our involvement with a very successful digital learning project in the Philippines called Digi-Eskwela.
We are very excited by the first set of results that have have come in from the project. The data shows excellent improvement across all areas.
This data also shows very clearly how increased usage leads to increased improvement. The students from Bitano Elementary School began playing Skoolbo first and have therefore answered more questions resulting in the greatest improvement of the two schools so far.
Tiwala Kids & Communities and The Patatas set up the project with the aim of increasing access to learning technologies for some of the Philippines most disadvantaged children. It was hoped that this would lead to increased student engagement and academic success. The Patatas donated the hardware needed for the project and Tiwala took responsibility for the implementation of Skoolbo in the chosen schools. The project ran initially from October 2014 to October 2015 and we understand that there is strong desire from everyone involved to extend the project due to its phenomenal success.
Digi-Eskwela involved children from the following school- based urban settings;
- Legazpi Port Elementary School
- Bitano Elementary School
The schools recommended students most in need of assistance and Tiwala held tablet-based tutorials in the partner schools. Thirty students were accommodated in each class with three thirty-minute Skoolbo sessions per week per child.
Of course everyone is delighted with the improvement in essential literacy, numeracy and language skills but these fantastic testimonials from parents, students, and teachers tell us more about the wider benefits of Skoolbo. They reveal increased student engagement in the classrooms and higher motivation to learn at school and at home. The children are really enjoying using both tablets and the Skoolbo platform, which is wonderful!
“I get motivated in always attending Digi-Eskwela because my scores are getting higher and higher. I not only learn Math, Reading, English but also learn Spanish words.” John Carl, Grade 3, Bitano Elementary School
“I look forward to playing with Skoolbo and using the tablets during my tutorial slot. I enjoy the games and the different environment I get to play in. I love Math and also Spelling.” Danica Sevillano, Grade 4, Bitano Elementary School
“What I like about Skoolbo is I learn new words and also I need to do Math quickly. I also like the rewards I receive when I get perfect score. Also I get to compete with others in the class (duelbo).” Reasty Malangan, Grade 3, Bitano Elementary School
“I find Skoolbo enjoyable because I like the graphics and also the reward system. I also get motivated to continue playing because when I get high points, I earn ‘money’ I can use to ‘buy’ stuff. Also I always get highest scores in Math and Reading.” Mark James, Legazpi Port Elementary School
“I learn new words and I can solve Math problems quicker. I also like that I can race in different worlds, and also I enjoy duelbo and being a superhero when I get high scores.” Mabeth Gonzalez, Legazpi Port Elementary School
The enthusiasm from the children is fantastic and they were not the only ones who loved being involved with the project. The parents expressed gratitude that their children were chosen to be part of the class and reported that their children enjoy attending Digi-Eskwela and playing Skoolbo.
“My child always looks forward to attending Digi-Eskwela because she likes playing with the tablet. I don’t have to remind her about it. She goes to school early in order to attend the class and play tablet games. “ Marilyn Sepato, mother of Mary Joy Sepato
“Lyka comes to school early in the morning even if her class is still in the afternoon because she enjoys playing with the tablet. I am happy that she has a chance to have fun while learning. She is very focused and does not want to get interrupted while playing the games.” Richelda Jebulan, mother of Lyka Jebulan
“I am grateful that my child is enrolled in the class. We are poor so we cannot afford to buy a smartphone or tablet. But through this project, my daughter can play and use a tablet and learn.” Aileen Labanda, mother of Jobel Labanda
The classroom teachers attributed much of the increased classroom participation to being part of the project. The teachers believed that this is because children become increasingly confident as they answer more questions in the game.
“The conduct of Digi-Eskwela in Bitano Elementary School is a big help to the children enrolled in the said project. They show interest and willingness to develop their young minds. They have shown improvement in their Mathematics and English subjects. In behalf of our school, we thank you for choosing Bitano Elementary School as one of your Digi-Eskwela pilot program.” Ms. Teresita Barbante, Bitano Elementary School Teacher
“The pupils, especially the girls, have become more participative and excel more in written work activities. They are also active when asked to do board work exercises. I noticed that their vocabulary skills improved. The could easily understand what the teacher was trying to teach.“ Ms. Margie Boticario, Legazpi Port Elementary School Teacher
“Ylaiza Arnaldo has improved in her decoding skills in reading. I could sense that she’s becoming more confident. She actively participates in classroom activities.” Mrs Marino, Bitano Elementary School Teacher
“Heidi Joyce Esquivel has improved in her reading skills. She is now more eager to read aloud in class. She has also become more confident in participating in class discussions and in spelling words.” Mrs. Teresita Barbante, Bitano Elementary School Teacher
“Bea Yape has shown remarkable improvement. She solves Math problems in class easily and shows improved reading fluency. This quarter she received an achiever merit award for doing well in class.” Mrs. Liezel Marino, Bitano Elementary School Teacher
“Jowella has become very active in class discussions. She participates in doing board work in Math and in read-aloud sessions. Her accuracy in calculations and decoding words have significantly improved.” Mrs. Marino, Bitano Elementary School Teacher
The organisers hope to extend the project to involve more children by increasing the number of tablets available. We look forward to writing an update on how the project is progressing in the near future.