Focusing on addressing the emerging knowledge gap brought about by the complexity of digital information, Acer Academy, a membership program of Acer Philippines that is exclusive for colleges and universities, enhances the teaching methods in school not just by providing its products but also helping students as well as teachers be connected to each other.
“Although we are an IT company, we cannot just sell them our products, we also focus on developing even the skills of faculties and students of our member-schools,” said Carren Garcia, senior commercial sales manager of Acer Philippines.
Kevin Chuang, business development manager, Asia-Pacific and Pan-American Market at Acer, said the Academy promotes computing lessons for kids, the STEAM education which is Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics by putting hardware, software and Cloud in one multi-functional study kit.
“We help students how to understand coding, the architecture and the technology, which is the most essential thing, for them to explore its potentials, and excel in their own career and future plans,” Chuang said.
Established five years ago, the Acer Academy currently has 110 member-schools nationwide. Majority or about 80% of these schools came from Metro Manila, and the rest are from the Visayas and Mindanao. The schools are a mixture of higher education like colleges and universities but with the government’s direction for the K to 12 basic education program, we’ve seen a lot of demands and inquiries in terms of IT requirements and improvements in K to 12.
To be eligible as member of the Acer Academy, a school has to purchase a minimum of P1-million worth of Acer products to become a Gold member, or P2-million to be a Platinum member. The said amount is not for a one-time purchase – the school is given a one-year period to complete the procurement. The program is also open to public schools but is limited to state colleges and universities with procurement power. Once a school becomes a member, its membership is valid for two years and after that, it enters the Academy’s Loyalty program.
University of Santo Tomas, De La Salle University Main, Adamson University, and Ateneo de Manila University were some of the first schools to become a member of the Acer Academy.
A member-school will be given Sponsorship Fund in the amount of Php30,000 for Platinum member and Php10,000 for Gold member, which can be used in any school-driven activities. Aside from hardware, the Academy also provides software services. It prioritizes applicants for internship from member-schools where it trains them the latest software including the Acer Classroom Manager, a software where teachers have control over students as to what Web sites they can access.
“We do force training. It needs to be hands-on like how teachers and administrators will manage the software,” said Garcia. “We actually installed Classroom Manager in De La Salle Lipa, De La Salle Main, OB Montessori, and Ateneo but not in all member-schools as they have not adopted the technology yet. There are instances that we can give it for free like if they buy for one laboratory and the unit they bought comes with an OS (operating system). It’s the only time that we can pre-load the Classroom Manager.”
Garcia said Acer also has the CloudProfessor, a simplified cloud technology which was launched in 2016 to improve the educational experience of lecturers and students. The most promising software for the academe, CloudProfessor, which offers a set of learning tools for Cloud education, is now being ordered by some schools.
“We’re actually piloting in five schools in the Philippines. We’re looking forward to working with them next year. This year, trainings have started. They are now ordering a few packs of Acer CloudProfessor for testing in their respective schools,” said Garcia.
Another benefit a member-school can avail from the Academy is the dressing up of its computer laboratory for free, where the design is co-approved by both Acer and the member-school.
Garcia announced that the Academy will come up with a centralized portal soon to allow for a smooth or streamlined collaboration with different IT administrators and faculties all over Asia-Pacific.
Garcia said the Philippines-based Acer Academy currently does not have specific programs for students with special needs although its Headquarters has products for education of these students.
“Not entirely but the CloudProfessor can touch it because it can connect to smartphone, tablets or maybe laptop. Those products, which specially designed for special needs, can be used for coding through CloudProfessor,” Chuang noted.
Garcia said that they have plans to develop products that can adapt to special needs. “It is something that we can explore. Although we do have member-schools with that program, I am not familiar on how they adopt the product to their kids with special needs,” said Garcia.