SPU Surigao is first to tap Smart?s e-learning platform

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Called InfoBoard Online (Ibol), the solution is a content-management system provided for free by Smart to SPUS, to allow teachers to upload and conduct tutorial activities and exams, and enable students to accomplish homework via the Web. Ibol is an enhanced iteration of the InfoBoard service offered by Smart, which allows community ?managers? ? in this case, the SPUS school administration ? to use any Internet-connected computer to broadcast class advisories and other announcements straight to the mobile phones of students, via SMS. In an event held recently at the SPUS Surigao campus, representatives from Smart and SPUS officials jointly launched the Ibol suite of Web and SMS services for SPUS. SPUS, an ISO-certified Catholic university, is the first school in the country to sign up for the Ibol system. According to Sr. Marie Rosanne Mallillin, SPUS president, Smart?s Ibol complements the school?s direction to integrate the use of technology to foster learning in and outside the classroom. Earlier this year, SPUS became the first school in Mindanao to have ?paperless classrooms? where some 300 students enrolled in a pilot e-learning program learn from e-books loaded on the iPad, instead of lugging around the hardbound textbooks of old, added Sr. Marie Rosanne. With Ibol, the paperless e-learning program of SPUS is expected to become even more effective in getting students informed and connected. Using Ibol, SPUS teachers simply need to use any computer with Internet connectivity to log on to www.infoboard.ph/spus, to start uploading exam questions, tutorial modules or homework, for students to learn from or complete. SPUS students, in turn, need to register their Smart mobile or broadband SIM number to the Ibol system with their ID number. Once registered, the students can start accessing the Ibol site through their iPad or any other Internet-enabled device, to complete their homework or answer exams. Additionally, Smart?s secure Ibol system allows SPUS administrators to log on to www.theinfoboard-smart.net, and use InfoBoard to promptly ?blast? important advisories like enrollment schedules or class suspensions, that as many as 10,000 students will receive on their cellphone via SMS, wherever they are and at any time of the day, and for free. In turn, SPUS students can use InfoBoard with their Ibol-registered mobile SIM to send feedback, comments, and suggestions to the school, and ?pull? important information like grades and class schedules for only P1.00 per message. To date, Smart has partnered with more than 239 colleges and universities with more than 497 campuses nationwide for the InfoBoard service, and the telco hopes to expand and bring the entire Ibol system to the same number of communities. ?The Ibol solution supports our vision to connect and enable academic communities through unique and relevant services offered exclusively by Smart,? shared James Bernas, head of Smart?s Community Solutions team. To SPUS administrators, the Ibol system takes them one step closer to their goal of a university-wide, ?paperless classroom? policy. ?All these technologies are geared toward increasing the level of learning and participation among our students, boosting their aptitude in all areas, and helping them, eventually, succeed in their chosen professions,? Sr. Marie Rosanne said. ]]>

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