Aboitiz Tech Space unveiled at AIM: The classroom of the future

Aboitiz Tech Space unveiled at AIM: The classroom of the future

BEYOND FOUR WALLS. The Aboitiz Tech Room is fitted with state of the art technology for the most conducive learning environment. There are five panels, three in front and two at the back, a smart board, ceiling-mounted microphones and speakers, smart cameras that follow the faculty or speakers as they move or when students raise their hands, among other features.

The learning environment for a student goes far beyond the traditional four walls of a room. It is the world that the student is surrounded in, and should reflect the larger world that they will apply their new knowledge and skills to improving. On Monday, November 28, the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) unveiled the Aboitiz Tech Space, the first smart caseroom and largest audio-visual caseroom of the school. As its newest learning environment, it will immerse future business leaders in high-tech surroundings to supplement their education.

The unveiling of the Aboitiz Tech Space was witnessed by Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer Sabin Aboitiz. With a trailblazing approach to strategic growth, Aboitiz is leading the Group through its Great Transformation to become the Philippines’ first techglomerate. This means leveraging technology and a renewed entrepreneurial spirit.

“A most integral part of this transformation is not just opening the minds of our own team members to the fantastic possibilities of innovation, experimentation, and next-generation technology trends – but to also provide these possibilities and opportunities to students here at AIM, to spread this knowledge around for anyone to learn,” said Sabin Aboitiz.

PROVIDING POSSIBILITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES. Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz stressed that the Group’s Great Transformation is in part about providing opportunities through education.

“As a techglomerate, it is very much our responsibility to drive change for a better world by driving change for a better education. In these halls and classrooms, we hope to live up to that responsibility, by harnessing the skills, talent, and knowledge needed to truly transform and advance our society towards the brave new world of the future,” he added.

Three years ago, the Aboitiz Group, through its social responsibility arm the Aboitiz Foundation, made a US$10 million donation to AIM, marked as the Aboitiz 100th Anniversary Commitment Fund. The said fund is being used to address the local and regional gap in data science and innovation. With this donation, AIM’s Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (ASITE) conducts world-class teaching and research with real-world applications with data science professionals and leaders.

SCHOOL’S IN SESSION. At the unveiling of the Aboitiz Tech Space, Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz (right) gave some remarks to the esteemed guests.

US$1 million of the historic donation went to building the Aboitiz Tech Space, which was AIM’s flagship project of the year.  Half of the donation goes to interest-free loans for students. The choice to use the US$5 million for 0% interest loans ensures that it would be sustainable and self perpetuating, providing educational opportunities to as many talented young people as possible.

Since the donation, there have been 67 zero-interest student loan grantees taking a Masters of Science in Data Science (MSDS) and 75 students taking a Master of Science in Innovation and Business at ASITE. Through the program’s strategic partnerships, students become data science consultants even while studying, helping organizations innovate through data science and machine learning. In 2020, the MSDS program realized 15 real world cases, partners and stakeholders estimated a total potential revenue of US$40 million from these projects. For the MSDS Batch of 2021, graduates saw an average salary increase of 170 percent.

“On behalf of the Aboitiz Foundation, we are happy to have been able to assist AIM in their efforts to expand their curriculum and facilities towards the direction of a bold future, and the skills and education it will require. We celebrate with you all as we mark this new crossroads of innovation, technology, and education. And we look forward to a whole new generation of innovators, data scientists, IT specialists, and engineers that will be graduating from this school and leading the way towards great discovery and progress for all,” said Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) Director Erramon Aboitiz.

AN INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION. At the unveiling of the Aboitiz marker at the Asian Institute of Management to commemorate the US$10 million donation made by the Aboitiz Group. In photo (from left): Aboitiz Equity Ventures Director Erramon Aboitiz and Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz.

“One of the tipping points for AIM was when we received a US$10 million gift from Aboitiz. It was the single largest cash donation in the history of Philippine higher education. And so, during the pandemic, we took advantage of the fact that the campus was shut in order to continue this journey of adding new, innovative programs and educating quality students. We could also improve our infrastructure to be able to better support our academic programs, students, and faculty,” exclaimed AIM President and Dean Dr. Jikyeong Kang.

The Aboitiz Tech Space features state of the art technology and has been expertly designed to be the most conducive learning environment for students.

With the international student base of AIM, it is particularly important that the space is suitable for both onsite and online students. The smart cameras track the faculty or speaker as they move around the room, and automatically zoom in on any student that raises their hand, ensuring that students joining online are not missing out. Other features include ceiling-mounted microphones and speakers, and a smartboard that faculty can use and which is automatically reflected on the panels that surround the room.

By pushing the boundaries of what a classroom looks and feels like, the Aboitiz Tech Space challenges students to innovate and think differently. For these future movers, shakers, and leaders of industry, the lesson has already begun. #

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