Acer Academy seeks safe, nurturing online environment for students

By Edd K. Usman

An academic initiative of Taiwanese computer maker Acer wants to bring 21st century education to Filipino students while at the same time making them safe from online threats.

Acer executive Kevin Chuang (left) and Carren Garcia

Acer executive Kevin Chuang (left) and Carren Garcia

Acer Academy, which is now on its 5th year, has so far accepted 110 schools nationwide, some of them the country’s top universities/colleges.

Among its pioneer members are Adamson University, University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo de Manila University, and De La Salle University.

On Tuesday, Dec. 12, the company hosted its biggest members night yet – the Acer Academy Summit — attracting over 200 educators, both from member and non-member educational institutions.

To achieve its goal, Acer Academy is “preparing the digital classroom for a new breed of learners.”

Carren Garcia, Acer Philippines business partner lead for corporate accounts, told journalists that joining Acer Academy requires schools to purchase company products worth from P1 million to P 2 million for Gold and Platinum membership.

She said member schools are entitled to funding support from P10,000 to P30,000 for any of their school-driven activities, be they simple board meeting, foundation day celebration, etc.

Another important benefit, Garcia said, is that members are given priority in the selection of on-the-job training (OJT).

She said 80 percent of the members of Acer Academy come from Metro Manila and the remaining 20 percent from the Visayas and Mindanao.

Garcia said most SUCs (state universities and colleges) can also become members as long as they can complete the purchase of the equipment in a year’s time. Membership is for two years.

At the summit, Kevin Chuang of Acer Asia Pacific introduced the educators to Acer CloudProfessor service where children can learn coding, cloud architecture, among others.

Garcia said: “At Acer Academy it has always been our mission to break the barriers between people and technology. We want to enhance the method of teaching in schools, not just through our products but also keeping them connected with each and everyone.”

Acers said educators usually have a hard time adapting to the new ways of imparting knowledge to their students who are digital natives.

New technology and the Internet are pushing the boundaries of learning, reshaping the education landscape, and being integrated in learning’s standard, it noted.

“Technology and the Internet empower education,” said Manuel Wong, managing director of Acer Philippines. “But powerful tools can do both good and harm, and it’s our responsibility to stay vigilant to protect the students’ welfare online.”

Acer Philippines also partnered recently with the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI).

The partnership aims at educating the academe on cloud technology through an event dubbed Switch — Students Workshop on Innovative Technologies Challenge — with grade and high school students receiving lectures on the field of technology and innovation to encourage them to go into the field of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (Steam).

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