Grants/SnT in a Box V2.0
Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences.
SnT in a Box is a compilation of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Applications and Open Learning Content that aims to aid the teaching of math and basic sciences as well as encourage a healthy culture of scientific research in the elementary and secondary public schools in the Philippines.
The previous implementation produced an offline-accessible toolkit containing different FOSS applications and science & math-oriented wikis that help illustrate and demonstrate scientific concepts especially to classes that have no access to laboratories and other high-end facilities.
SnT in a Box V2.0 aims to reconvene the consultative network formed in the previous project that constituted of primary and secondary level public school teachers to update the trends in science and math education, whose assessments will serve as basis for the necessary updates in the pool of applications and resources compiled, as well as for the web portal development which serves as the online community of the network.
With SnT in a Box V2.0, relevant materials under the creative commons license will be integrated in the DVD toolkit in addition to the wikis, based on consultations with the pool of educators. The output will then be distributed to the schools of participants in the consultative network where implementers will be trained in the use of the DVD toolkit.
Detail the tangible project output (e.g., paper, blog post, written materials, video/film, etc.; this would be in addition to the final written report that successful grant recipients will be expected to deliver to CC at the conclusion of the project).
SnT in a Box aims for the following outputs:
1. A national consultation of public educators on the latest trends in the teaching of mathematics and the basic sciences to improve and update the existing content of the project.
2. Further development of Basic SnT in a Box's V2.0 compilation based on the suggestions given by the participants of the national consultation.
3. Updating the collection of free and open resources on math and the basic sciences such as wikis, images, diagrams, videos, etc. with relevant materials under creative commons licenses, as well as streamlining the instructional guide in using SnT in a Box.
4. A seminar to train participating teachers on the use of SnT in a Box and its content.
Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community?
Public elementary and high school teachers do not enjoy the privilege of high-end facilities and updated reference publications that private learning institutions have. Thus, they have a difficult time teaching scientific concepts which require expensive illustrations and practical demonstrations in laboratories.
SnT in a Box V2.0 seeks to aid public elementary and high school teachers by providing them regualrly upgraded FOSS teaching aid applications and learning modules developed by the teaching community itself. ICT is commonly used in education to provide access to limited traditional resources; like books, journals and other materials. This compilation of FOSS tools is an innovative way of enabling teachers in presenting science concepts creatively. Basic SnT in a Box can also be easily reproduced.
SnT in a Box V2.0 will also provide educators new skills in using computer programs already common in research institutes. The main challenge on this initiative, however, is training teachers in using the FOSS tool included in the compilation. But once appreciated, this set of tools can be used not only in teaching but in actual research works of teachers.
With available ICT tools, the culture of scientific research can hopefully be enhanced among high school and elementary teachers. Students will greatly benefit from this tool. Early on they will be exposed to scientific methods (through the tools) which are the key to understanding science concepts.br />
CPU has already conducted extensive consultations with public school teachers in the pilot year of the SnT in a Box project. With the informal network formed from these consultations that could further expand, and a core group of ICT professionals and advocates highly motivated to engage in social concerns, CPU has already established itself as a credible technical development institution to the education sector.
How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact - on your main participants? Other contributors? On the larger community?
Impact of the project on the teachers will be measured per objective:
1. The success of the nation-wide consultation will be measured on a qualitative basis. Were we able to consult teachers, covering all math and basic science subjects taught in elementary and high school? Were we able to consult teachers both from urban centers and rural communities?
2. The impact of the SnT in a Box V2.0 compilation will be measured based on the teachers’ assessment of its effectivity and accessibility.
3. The success of the further development of open modules and content will be gauged on the teachers’ assessment of user-friendliness and data accuracy.
Impact of the project on participating ICT professionals will be based on how motivated they are to participate in different social movements. This will be assessed through a pre and post-diagnostic focus group discussions.
Impact on the entire education sector will be assessed on the local scale of the participating educational institutions through a pre and post-diagnostic test of students’ concrete learning performances, and through an assessment of the appropriate integration of the tool in the educational institutions’ learning systems.
How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement?
For the consultation, SnT in a Box V2.0 aims to tap the same teachers and ICT professionals who participated in the previous project. Slots will be limited to a maximum of 50 elementary and 50 high school teachers. For the software and content development, a core group of at least 3 ICT professionals will collaborate with at least 1 teacher from each subject. Teacher collaborators will come from the teachers participating in the consultations.
Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons".
The tools and content gathered and developed in SnT in a Box is drawn from contemporary experiences in Philippine science and math education. Making this comprehensive educational compilation accessible for free distribution will help benefit students regardless of their limited access to educational equipment and facilities. Making this a yearly effort will help contribute to stimulating interest in science and math education, and encourage a strategic burgeoning of scientific research and development in the education sector.
Describe what technologies and tools your project will use. What kinds of technical skills and expertise do you bring to the project? What are your technical needs?
The SnT in a Box toolkit is a DVD that contains a Drupal-based content management system where one can access various FOSS applications used for scientific education and research, such as Google Earth, Geoalgebra, Graphcalc, etc. This will also contain a localized and open user’s guide to the practical application of these tools.
Also integrated in this system are collected and reviewed Wikipedia articles for the teacher as well as the student’s reference.
What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them?
Public educational institutions are never without technology and capacity limitations, and this is especially true with those in the rural setting. Integrating SnT in a Box in these schools will require a complete package of appropriate technology, ranging from teaching basic computer literacy to helping find support in needed equipment and infrastructure.
Initial implementation will therefore need coordination with both government and non-government institutions in locating fitting educational institutions to pilot-test SnT in a Box’s implementation. Future ventures will also be geared into providing for the minimum technology and capacity building requirements for schools in the most depressed areas; such as providing electricity, computers and other equipment, training, etc.
How do you plan to sustain your project after the Creative Commons funding has ended? Detail specific plans. How do you plan to raise revenue to continue your efforts in the future?
The previous project has already engaged in initial talks with the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) on their adoption of the toolkit as the software counterpart of their iSchools program that deploys hardware and other infrastructure in different public schools.
For future training partnerships, proponents have also talked with the Diliman Interactive Learning Center (DILC), an institution based on the premier University of the Philippines – Diliman Campus that offers training and technical support for interactive learning, produces and disseminates digital materials.
Popular support and possibilities of both public and private parternships are indicative of the project’s long-term sustainability. Education is a stress development goal that most stakeholders in society are willing to invest in.
How can this project be scalable, or have a scalable impact?
SnT in a Box’s strategic aim is to eventually be integrated in the majority of Philippine public school system. As the toolkit improves at least annually, case studies with partner educational institutions and organizations borne every year will help convince all stakeholders to push for the integration of SnT in a Box in their schools, and will serve as a guide in implementing it in their differing localities.
What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)?
Aside from the funding for the aforementioned consultation, software and content development, SnT in a Box would like to request leads from Creative Commons on open resources on basic science and math education that can be included in the resources. CC can also help us link to other organizations and institutions that can fund or partner with this project.
Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)
SnT in a Box maintains contact with all participants and partners in the previous project primarily through email and online groups. CPU has maintained regular contact with its network of supporting IT professionals in activities outside the project. SnT in a Box seeks to reinvent its online web portal to accommodate the possibility of constant communications and coordination through the participants’ personal social networking sites.