Boosting hybrid learning through DOST's Starbooks and Project REIINN

Published July 1, 2022, 2:45 PM

by Dhel Nazario

The Department of and Technology-Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII) and Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) has inked a partnership in an aim to continuously improve hybrid learning in areas that are unserviceable by local telcos and internet providers.

DOST-STII Information Resources and Analysis Division Chief Alan Taule (from left) DOST-STII Director Richard P. Burgos, DOST-ASTI Director Franz A. de Leon and Engr. Philip A. Martinez, representing DOST-ASTI Research and Development Division Chief Peter Antonio B. Banzon, show the signed memorandum of agreement that will bring science information to the countryside through the use of community-based networks to enhance hybrid learning. (Photo courtesy of DOST-STII)

DOST’s two attached agencies signed the Memorandum of Agreement in time for the anniversary of Starbooks on June 24. The partnership seeks to utilize its developed technologies to help provide scientific information within reach in the countryside.

For its part, DOST-STII will bring its Science and Technology Academic-Research Based Openly Operated Kiosks or STARBOOKS—a standalone digital offline library that contains hundreds of thousands of digitized science and technology information and reference materials aimed at providing library information to communities with no internet connection.

On the other hand, Project Resilient Education Information Infrastructure for the New Normal (REIINN) of DOST-ASTI, is currently focusing on developing application frameworks and infrastructure to support the shift to remote learning to bridge the digital divide in the country.

Among the responsibilities under the agreement is that DOST-ASTI will make available the STARBOOKS resources through Project REIINN’s technology demonstrators, LokaLTE and RuralCasting, to selected pilot public schools.

LokaLTE, or the Local Development and Deployment of Community LTE Networks in the Philippines, is a small-scale, community-based network designed to provide LTE mobile broadband service in previously unserved areas, where a dedicated cell site tower will be established in areas with no cellular data service.

Project REIINN has recently started construction of the first LokaLTE in San Andres Elementary School, Tanay, Rizal.

On the other hand, the Interactive Learning and Distributing Educational Resources through Data Casting or RuralCasting exploits the use of data broadcasting (datacasting) mechanisms through digital TV, based on ISDB-T, the technical standard adopted by the Philippines.

RuralCasting taps the same mechanism of delivering content through digital TV but improves on it by embedding additional data to the broadcast, hence the term datacasting.