Educational app develops essential thinking skills among childrenParents using iOS-powered smartphones and tablets can now download for free the Batibot mobile application, an interactive version of the beloved TV show that helps enhance learning among children. Earlier launched on the Android platform, the app features fun games that teach kids basic learning concepts like matching, sorting, and grouping. The app also lets children practice tracing letters with the proper strokes, and helps them identify shapes, colors, numbers, and letter sounds. The app’s “Awiting Batibot” feature enables kids to sing along to Batibot songs, while “Kuwentong Batibot” contains local stories that promote good values. What makes the Batibot app stand out from other educational apps is that it is the only app in the Filipino language that is aligned with the kindergarten curriculum of the Department of Education. The Batibot app is the product of a collaboration among Smart Communications, Community of Learners Foundation, and developer startup OrangeFix. The app jumpstarted Smart’s efforts to work with various communities and organizations to create literacy apps in local languages. Smart public affairs head Mon Isberto said that since the Batibot app was launched on the Android platform, a lot of parents had inquired as to when it would be downloadable on iOS devices. “Many parents based here and abroad said their kids had grown up speaking English, and that they wanted their children to be proficient in the Filipino language too. The Batibot app will certainly help them brush up on Filipino in a fun, interactive way,” he said. “When you search for educational content online, you’ll find that most of them are in English. There is a need for digital learning content that promotes the Filipino language as well as Filipino values. The Batibot app addresses that need,” Isberto added. To bring the Batibot app to remote, underserved communities, Smart installs the app in the tablets it donates to public schools under the TechnoCart and School-in-a-Bag programs. Smart TechnoCart, which is donated to public schools with electricity, is a 2x2 ft mobile laboratory containing 20 tablets for students, as well as a laptop, projector, and mobile Wi-Fi with starter load for the teacher. The School-in-a-Bag, which is meant for remote public schools without electricity, is a backpack containing a solar panel, a laptop, five tablets, a mobile phone, a pocket Wi-Fi with starter load, LED TV, and learning modules. Smart as well as individual and corporate sponsors have so far donated TechnoCarts to 40 schools, and School-in-a-Bag units to 18 schools all over the Philippines. Teachers of the recipient schools are given training on tablet basics and on child and curriculum development. “Combined with guidance from elders, mobile devices and the internet can be powerful tools in enhancing learning among children,” Isberto said. “Batibot helped shape a generation of Filipinos, many of whom are now parents and teachers. They now have an opportunity to share the Batibot learning experience with their children and students through the Batibot app,” he added.
To know more about Smart’s initiatives to use technology for the development of different social sectors like education, please follow the Smart Communities page on Facebook. Those interested to sponsor Smart TechnoCarts or School-in-a-Bag units may send an email to TechnoCart@smart.com.ph for more information.