Imagine you, a humble, yet driven high school student in a faraway town - the kind of faraway that has yet to see a triple-w address. You've just been given an assignment, and you, being as driven as you are, would like to gather more data for your research on developing, say, GMO tomatoes for your community.
Without internet connection or a decent library in the area, how can you? That's easy: STARBOOKS.
Developed by the DOST-STII (Science and Technology Information Institute), Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosk Station or STARBOOKS, allows users access to over 500,000 local and foreign S&T resources in text, video, and audio formats including journals, investigatory materials, and livelihood videos - and does so even without internet connectivity.
What really makes STARBOOKS shine is its user-friendly interface - which is an absolute must, if you'd want to easily wrap your brain around the numerous dissertations and directories of DOST-STII’s library materials.
The Tech in Tungawan
On December 5, 2016, six public schools in the municipality of Tungawan in Zamboanga Sibugay received STARBOOKS from the DOST Region IX as part of the agency's program on Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST).
The said program is geared toward the empowerment of depressed communities in the country via S&T interventions - in this case, the schools of Tungawan Central Elementary School, Tungawan National High School, Sisay National High School, San Isidro National High School, San Pedro National High School, and Pioneer National High School each received a unit of the STARBOOKS tech.
Students of the said schools are now treated to the STARBOOKS' extensive built-in collection of resource materials, plus the entire Britannica Encyclopedia 9.0 edition - which is basically just the icing on the cake.
What's Next for the Tech
Seems like the people behind the tech aren't through with the project - and that's a good thing. Super STARBOOKS, which, from the name itself, is an upgrade that's soon to be deployed to existing units around the country.
Aside from its original content, the "Super" version will carry some 20,000 materials of the Tamang DOSTKarte Livelihood ideal for students, professionals and housewives who might wish to delve into the world of entrepreneurship. It includes 120 full-length livelihood “how-to” videos on income-generating projects like food processing and gift and decor manufacturing - just to name a few.
Super STARBOOKS will also be made available online, with a mobile application already in the works.
Those interested with STARBOOKS will be pleased to know that the installation of STARBOOKS is free; local government units, non-government organizations, and educational institutions need only send to DOST IX a request letter and provide their own computer units for the installation of the software.