ORACLE  THINK.COM  COMES  TO  PAETE, LAGUNA ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 27, 2006
 (Special Release to PHNO) Think.com is a free online service hosted by the Oracle Education Foundation, a non-profit organization for accredited primary and secondary schools. Think.com provides interactive learning tools to thousands of schools around the world in 8 languages.

Think.com is described as: "An online learning community that turns students into multimedia authors for global community and allows peers to think and learn together. Only students and teachers from member schools can enter this password-protected learning community. Once inside, members use websites and interactive tools to publish their ideas, collaborate on projects, and build knowledge together."

The Web site just introduced the latest version of Think.com 4.0 which includes three main tabs -- My Class (teacher view) or My Site (student view), People, and Groups. New subtabs under My Class, My Site, and People allow members to more easily access features. Email, which was a main tab in version 3, has now become a link located on the top right corner of each page. Click here<http://www.think.com/en_us/about/version4.shtml

Think.com project

In October 2005, the 3 elementary schools in Paete, Laguna, Philippines became the very first schools in the Philippines to have Think.com. The schools, Paete Elementary School Central; Paete Elementary School 'Ibaba' (lakeside); Paete Elementary School 'Quinale' (mountainside) will be Think.com Philippines' pilot schools.

On March 24, 2006,
Oracle Think.com executives visited Paete (see photos below) and a Think.com event was held at the Quinale (mountainside) Elementary School computer lab. The Quinale school was awarded an electric fan for the 'Best School Web page'. Arlene Alegre, the Quinale computer school admin, was also awarded by Oracle as "the Best Computer Admin' during the Oracle Day at Paete, Laguna.

Brief history of the Paete Elementary School Think.com project

In 2001, Paete, Laguna's native sons and daughters from all over the world gathered at the Paetenians Home on the Net. Led by Mr. Rey Q. Carolino (Web site moderator of the Paetenians International Inc.) a 'brainstorm' for a project to computerize the elementary schools in their native town began. The project is called the "AlayComputer" (the word 'Alay' means a 'gift' or 'offering') project for 'BatangPaete' (schoolkids of Paete). Main objective of the project is to develop capability of the elementary schools of Paete as a training ground for fast-learner pupils to become computer literate, as well as innovate instructional materials as tools in the teaching-learning process using Information Technology.

Mrs. Anne Lan Kagahastian-Candelaria, a Paetenian from the Ateneo University Center for Educational Development ironed out the project's implementation mechanisms and began an exploration for collaboration with specific groups to achieve the project's goal. As early as May 2002, from her office at Ateneo University Center for Educational Development, groups of trainers came to Paete Elementary School and trained twenty teachers. This was in preparation to the actual implementation of the curriculum in the 3 public elementary schools in Paete. The training project headed by Mrs. Anne Candelaria reached its full implementation in late 2003 and early 2004.

With the help of Paete's Mayor Emmanuel Cadayona, a foundation called PAETECH was readily established. A Board of Directors and Executive Officers is organized composed of a broad range of professionals like university professors, elementary school teachers, certified public accountants, economists, businessmen, engineers, IT persons, homemakers; all of them on a voluntary basis as Paeteños, by birthright or otherwise. Working on a collaborative framework, the foundation is currently working closely with the Municipal Government of Paete through its Local School Board, Civic and Business Groups within Paete, and Paetenians in cyberspace. It is the objective of the Foundation to tap into the resource pool of institutions and foundations interested in developing educational development programs focusing in Information Technology.

Financial contributions started to pour in via the Paetenians Yahoogroups Mailing List. Led by early generous donors, Dr. Angel De Dios, a Chemistry professor at Georgetown University, Washington and Mrs. Mady Madrinan Rivera, through the Auxiliary to the Association of Philippine Physicians of America, all the regional associations of Paetenians International brought in the results of successful fund-raising. To date, the 3 elementary schools of Paete, Laguna (The Woodcarving Capital of the Philippines) are now fully computerized and on the Internet engaged in the Online Learning process of the Oracle's Think.com.

In the group picture at left (Second row seated from left to right) are: Frank Navarro-Paete Elementary School (Central) Think.com Admin; Mrs. Cabisidan-Ibaba Elementary School Think.com Admin; Mrs. Madriñan-'Ibaba' (lakeside) Elementary School Principal; Anne Lan Kagahastian-Candelaria-PAETECH Chairman of the Board; Mr. Yashi Kant, Managing Director of the Oracle (PH) Corp; Hon. Emmnanuel Cadayona-Paete Municipal Mayor; Mr. Krishna Sistla-Asia Pacific Director, Oracle Education Initiatives; Mrs. Warlita Afuang Valdellon-Quinale Elementary School Principal; Judith Rivera-H.R. Director ORACLE (PH); Ms. Arlene Alegre-'Quinale' (mountainside) Elementary School Think.com Admin; Standing behind 2nd row at right are Ms. Janet GarciaMs. Joan Domingo-Oracle (PH) Volunteers.
 


Picture at right: Think.com officials and students awardees (from left to right): Mr. Yashi Kant-Managing Director of the Oracle (PH) Corp;   Philip Cagayat-1st Prize Ibaba; Howell Ico-2nd Ibaba); Reggie Cadapan-2nd PES Central; Hiyas Bagabaldo-1st PES Central; Ariadne M. Bagalso-1st (Quinale); Dominique Grace D. Galanido-2nd Quinale, and Mr. Krishna Sistla-Asia Pacific Director, Oracle Education Initiatives. 


Picture at left: Mr. Mr. Krishna Sistla
presiding and observing the
students online while using
Think.com.

(Photos are courtesy of Frank
Navarro Albert dela Rosa, PES Central,
Think.com admin)


The successful and rapid implementation of the Oracle Think.com was made possible by Dr. Angel de Dios' online facilitation and network of resources. It was also Dr. de Dios' voluntary work with the help of his friends and the technical group of Paetenians International that facilitated the Internet access of the school network in Paete.

On September 2005, Dr. Angel de Dios announced at the BatangPaete Forum that a Computer Donation Program of the World Bank which he personally resourced, will be donating 18 computers to Paete Elementary Schools. An excerpt from the announcement: “The World Bank is happy to donate these computers to community organizations who will use them to provide individuals with better opportunities to thrive and do well,” said Viki Betancourt, Manager of the Community Outreach at the World Bank. “These computers have many good years ahead of them, and it is hoped this technology will help people achieve their full potential,” said Betancourt.

New project: Paete's first public high school

Early last year, the Paetenians International embarked on assisting the newly established and Paete's first public high school. Two sisters who are native daughters of Paete, (Dr. Menchee Q. Fulgado and Mrs. Norie Q. Catiis) donated the land they inherited from their father where the Paete high school building is now under construction. Enrollment began in June 2004 and classes are being held temporarily at the upper floor of the town's 'Palengke' (marketplace). The high school is to be called "Poten & Eliseo Quesada Memorial High School" in honor of Menchee's and Nories's late parents. Through fund-raisings led by a native Paetenian, Mrs. Sonia Adea Paelmo, a successful entrepreneur, her group at Paetenians in Southern California made possible the quick reconstruction of the temporary 'Upper Palengke' (UP!) classrooms for the batch of students, (1st to 3rd year) as well as their contribution of the desktop computers for the school's computer lab. A $20-Scholarship-Club was facilitated by Mrs. Saida Cagandahan Dulay. The first high school of Paete is still under the flagship of the San Juan (Kalayaan, Laguna) public High School.  
(Write-up by PHNO webmaster)


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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