March 22, 2021 – From its humble beginning last year, DepEd Commons, the Department’s Open Educational Resources (OER) platform, has now served more than 9.6 million unique users nationwide in support of the learning and teaching process amidst the pandemic.
Undersecretary for Administration and DepEd Commons’ main proponent Alain Del Pascua reflected on the journey of the platform, which became fourth in the overall trending Google searches and ranked number 1 in the most searched topic under the education category in the Philippines in 2020.
“The start was not that easy. There was lack of much-needed support and the training of teachers in the use of Open Educational Resources, which is the heart of the DepEd Commons,” Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua said.
The proposal of making all teacher-made quality-assured OERs available online was first put forward in the second quarter of 2019, as part of the Department’s response to UNESCO’s 2021 Paris OER Declaration.
Though not yet set up for large-scale implementation, the platform was officially announced live on March 17, 2020, in support of the implementation of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP).
“But through the Bayanihan spirit of everyone involved in the DepEd Commons, we have now reached over 9.6 million plus unique users who are diverse coming not only from public schools but also from the Alternative Learning System (ALS), Special Education (SpEd) and from private schools,” Usec. Pascua noted.
Pascua recognized the teams behind the platform, including the Educational Technology Unit (EdTech), Solutions Development Division (SDD), Technology Infrastructure Division (TID), and User Support Division (USD) which are all under the Information and Communications Technology Service-Education Technology Unit (ICTS-EdTech) headed by Director Abram Y.C. Abanil. The ICTS is under the Administration Strand led by Usec. Pascua and Assistant Secretary Salvador Malana III. DepEd Commons is part of the Public Schools of the Future (PSOF) Framework’s Digital Rise Program of the Administration Strand under the leadership of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones.
Pascua also shared that the Department is still eyeing to expand the features of DepEd Commons, including certification of teachers, legal vetting, curation, and rating of content.
“DepEd Commons will continue to be relevant as another phase in the pandemic with vaccinations come in, as well as the talks of the resumptions of face-to-face classes in the future,” he said.
“One thing’s for sure, DepEd Commons will continue to move forward and will evolve to cater to the needs of the Filipino learners in times of pandemic, natural calamities, or even social unrest,” Usec. Pascua emphasized.
The DepEd Commons (commons.deped.gov.ph) can be accessed free of data charge in cooperation with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Smart, and Globe.