The Department of Education of the Philippines (DepEd) is responsible for managing and governing 44,200 schools and 23 million students. DepEd provides students with the foundational education to help them transition to the workforce and become productive citizens. In recent years, DepEd has increased the number of computers in the classroom. To help save money, it deployed OpenOffice.org and the Linux operating system on half of its computers, but school administrators found it difficult to deploy and support computers with open source software. DepEd estimated that computers with Microsoft Office 2010 and the Windows 7 operating system would be 33 percent less expensive to deploy and support. With Office 2010, students are better prepared to join the workforce, teachers save time developing teaching lessons, and school administrators expedite report creation. Situation
Headquartered in Pasig City, Philippines, the Department of Education of the Philippines (DepEd) was originally founded in 1901. It is primarily responsible for providing the school-age population and young adults with skills, knowledge, and values to become caring, self-reliant, productive and patriotic citizens. DepEd manages 23 million students across 37,000 elementary schools and 7,200 secondary schools, and it supports 490,000 teachers.
DepEd prioritized the use of technology in schools to help educate and produce a skilled workforce. With its recent effort to provide computers in schools, the ratio of students to computers has gone from 25,000 to 1 to 40 to 1. Ninety-seven percent of secondary schools have a computer lab with at least 40 computers. As the number of computers continued to grow, DepEd needed both operating systems and office productivity solutions that were cost-effective to administer and could provide graduating students with the computer skills they needed to join the workforce.
||We are preparing our children to be ready for the workforce and providing them with skills they can use after graduation. Office 2010 helps us provide those key skills.
||Mari Paul C. Soriano
Director for Technical Services, Department of Education of the Philippines
DepEd deployed a mix of desktops—about 50 percent with OpenOffice.org and the Linux operating system and the other 50 percent with the Windows operating system and the 2007 Microsoft Office system. DepEd expected the open source desktops to be less expensive, but they were more difficult to support. Mari Paul C. Soriano, Director for Technical Services at the Department of Education of the Philippines, says, “We received feedback from the school IT administrators that the computers running OpenOffice.org had more technical issues, to the point that some computers were unusable.” In addition, many of the school IT administrators were unfamiliar with Linux and OpenOffice.org and were unable to troubleshoot issues with the software even after they attended training. Soriano continues, “With both Linux and OpenOffice.org, IT administrators found it difficult to find support when they had problems.”
DepEd wanted to reduce administration issues, but it also strove to provide tools that help administrators, teachers, and students improve productivity. DepEd works on a limited budget and uses few computer-based solutions nationwide. Individual school administrators have a manual, paper-intensive process for building reports on attendance for the federal government. Teachers in the Philippines are typically responsible for building their own teaching materials, and they needed better tools to develop compelling educational presentations. Because 50 percent of students enter the workforce directly from secondary school, students needed to develop software skills used by businesses. Solution
In 2010, DepEd evaluated its desktop strategy and decided to standardize all of its computers for secondary schools on Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 desktop suite and the Windows 7 operating system. As of May 2011, the Philippines had 70,000 computers running Windows and Office, an increase from 50 percent to 90 percent of total computers.
DepEd concluded that administration and support for Office 2010 was much less than for its previous solution. Soriano says, “It is a larger effort to train people on OpenOffice.org than on Office 2010.” IT administrators found the support provided by Microsoft and its partners for Office was clearer and more helpful compared to OpenOffice.org.
DepEd also believed that Office 2010 was a better choice to help prepare students for jobs after graduation. DepEd estimates that 90 percent of students who enter the workforce will work with companies that use Microsoft Office. DepEd is ensuring that graduating students are skilled in word processing and creating spreadsheets. Students take advantage of free online training for products like Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet software.
School administrators use Microsoft Access 2010 database software to develop databases that capture and report on key information, such as school attendance. They can select and customize prebuilt database templates to develop solutions that eliminate manual processes. With the calculated field feature in Access 2010, administrators can create a field in a table that stores data used in a calculation. They can create a field for percentage of school days attended and store that information in the student data table for reporting and other calculations.
Teachers use the Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 presentation graphics program to develop teaching materials that include visual aids. Soriano says, “If teachers wanted to insert and edit a picture to help explain a history lesson or other concept, they previously would have used a product like Adobe Photoshop to edit the picture. Now, with PowerPoint 2010, teachers can edit photos and videos directly in the PowerPoint presentation.”
Students use Office 2010 capabilities to produce reports and complete other school projects. For example, students compete at the National Schools Press Conference, where groups of students produce a newspaper. Typically, students would print the manuscript, cut the paper, and paste it to an illustration board or paper, which could take days to complete. With Microsoft Publisher 2010, a part of Office Professional Plus 2010, students can create visually compelling publications easily. Students can design and reorganize pages with object alignment guides, and they can add flair to text with typography options.
||Microsoft helps make technology impactful to the lives and future of the public school teachers and students.
||Mari Paul C. Soriano
Director for Technical Services, Department of Education of the Philippines
In a related effort to provide greater access to computers in a more cost-effective way, DepEd deployed Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, a shared resource computing solution designed for educational institutions. With MultiPoint Server 2010, multiple students can use their own monitor, keyboard, and mouse as independent computing stations while connected to a single host computer. Elmer Guizano, Officer-in-charge Chief of Information Communication Technology Unit at Department of Education of the Philippines says, “Students experience no major change with the user interface or with performance when they use Office 2010 with MultiPoint Server.”Benefits
By deploying Office 2010, DepEd can provide school administrators, IT, students, and teachers with solutions that help improve productivity. DepEd recognizes that license cost savings exist with open source software, but any savings is eliminated by the increase in support costs and increased administration. DepEd believes Office 2010 will help it to reduce costs, better prepare students, and improve educational productivity.
DepEd compared the cost to package and support Office 2010 with the cost to package and support OpenOffice.org. Soriano says, “For us, the cost to deploy and support computers with OpenOffice.org and Linux is about 33 percent more than the cost for Office 2010 with Windows 7.” DepEd believes that training, administration, and support costs are all lower with the Microsoft solution.
Better Prepared Students
Students gain real-life experience by developing professional documents with Office 2010. The majority of students that graduate from secondary school will enter the workforce and work for organizations that use Microsoft Office. Soriano says, “We are preparing our children to be ready for the workforce and providing them with skills they can use after graduation. Office 2010 helps us provide those key skills.”
Businesses are pleased that DepEd has made preparing students for the workforce a priority. Organizations can spend less time training new employees on how to develop Excel 2010 spreadsheets and create Word 2010 documents, because they learned these skills in secondary school.
Improved Teacher and Student Productivity
Students have reduced the time they spend to prepare projects and classroom reports. With Publisher 2010, student groups at the National Schools Press Conference have eliminated the manual steps to produce a newspaper. Guizano says, “Before, it would take students two days to complete the project, and with Publisher 2010 it takes half a day, a 75 percent improvement.”
Teachers can better prepare compelling teaching lessons with tools like PowerPoint 2010. History teachers can build videos and pictures into their teaching presentations in much less time. Teachers use these visual aids to help students learn more effectively.
School administrators have reduced the time to produce reports required by the federal government. Some school administrators have saved hours each month with an Access 2010 solution that can help them produce student attendance reports. School IT administrators have saved time on support for computers by reducing the amount of computer downtime and the time to resolve computer issues.
DepEd believes that Office 2010 is a key part of the overall educational experience for its students, teachers, and administrators. Soriano says, “Microsoft helps make technology impactful to the lives and future of the public school teachers and students.”Microsoft Office system
The Microsoft Office system is the business world’s chosen environment for information work, providing the programs, servers, and services that help you succeed by transforming information into impact.
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