Ng: The 17th Education Summit

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Thursday, May 8, 2014


EVERY year since the 1990s, our company, Ng Khai, holds a yearly event dubbed the Education Summit. This year will be our 17th straight. While we used to have about 30 or 40 attendees at the start, it has grown This year, we expect over 300 attendees from over 130 schools. Over a dozen will be coming from outside Cebu. After a few days, we will do the same in Davao, where we are expecting about 100 attendees. I think that although I am a techie and a businessman, I have always been a teacher at heart and I always relish this yearly gathering to talk to educators.

This is our usual get-together with schools where we are able to introduce to them what the new technologies are in the field that would help the academe. This year there are a lot.

It is obvious that this will include the growing importance of social media, the importance of mobile and ubiquitous computing (wireless and wired networks), the BYOD (bring your own device) phenomena in which workers, and now students, are expected to be using their smartphones and tablets to do part of their jobs and the rise of MOOC (massive open online course) in which the Internet and the cloud are now hosting various educational materials to be learned anytime, anywhere.

We are also fortunate to have Efren Peñaflorida, the CNN Hero of the Year 2009 as our guest speaker. He will talk about his kariton classroom, and other innovative ways to bring education to the masses.

The other obvious development is the growth of the cloud. One of the key players in this is Microsoft, which is now introducing their line of Microsoft Office products into the Internet called Office 365. This allows you to have Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint and collaboration products like Lync, OneDrive, Exchange and Sharepointvia by subscription or monthly usage payments, instead of buying them.

The significant development of this is that there is a product, especially for academe, which they can have for free. In short, all students can now use the office web apps, as well as get 25 gigabytes of email, 25 gigabytes of drive space and an education material website for free. This also comes with a personalized email address of the school.

Microsoft will also take the opportunity to introduce Microsoft IT Academy, which will offer some schools not only free educational materials to teach Microsoft technologies, but also allow their students to get certification tests on Microsoft systems to enhance their capabilities of being employed.

There will also be presentations on educational solutions from Diwa Learning and Promethean systems. Acer will introduce their Acer Academy and Samsung will introduce their Smart School program. Reminisense, a new company, will introduce their online queuing system called Featherq, a cloud-based queuing system that companies and schools can sign up and use for free. Reminisense is confident that utilities, banks, supermarkets, hospitals, pharmacies, government agencies or any institution that have significant waiting times will all want to sign up and use their technology to give greater convenience to their customers.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 09, 2014.

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