Learning Resources Management and Development System (LRMDS): The DepEd Learning Portal
With so many teaching and learning resources available online, it’s easy to overlook the materials that are right within our own “cyber backyard.” Take, for instance, The Department of Education (DepED) Learning Resources Management and Development System (LRMDS). The LRMDS is an online library of downloadable and free teaching and learning materials that are tied with the national curriculum to ensure relevance and appropriateness to the Filipino experience.
Learning becomes meaningful when the lessons are framed in situations that are familiar to the learner. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been let down by some of the free learning resources I have found on the Web. While the materials might be well-organized and thoroughly explained, they sometimes lack the relevance that would allow the students to observe and apply what they have just learned to their environment. This is especially true for science and social studies. For example, a lesson about the ecosystem would be more meaningful if it talks about the interdependence of living things in the mangrove forests in Palawan instead of the Florida Everglades. Lessons about nationalism and civic duty are more significant when they focus on the sacrifices of the Filipino police force than, say, New York City firefighters. But ready-made lessons and modules for the Philippine setting are hard to find online. DepEd’s LRMDS portal might change all that.
You don’t need to register or log in to access all the learning resources and modules on DepEd’s LRMDS. Registration allows you to post on the forums as well as share any learning materials that you have created yourself. The home page has a search box and graphical menu for finding resources. There are two ways to search for learning resources. One is by Learning Area (Araling Panlipunan, English, Mathematics, Mother Tongue, Science, etc.) which you can access by clicking on The Catalogue. Another is by grade level by clicking the K to 12 menu. Currently there are learning resources for K-10.
On the home page are options that will let you create your own learning materials using more than 5000 photos, illustrations, video and audio files using the Media Gallery (“Create), access Open Education Resources and online learning programs (“Learn”), and share ideas with other educators and provide feedback (“Share”). Only the Create and Share areas are accessible at the moment. Clicking on Share will take you to an online forum. There is not a lot of discussion going on, and some topic folders are flooded with spam. The DepEd tech guys might want to look into that.
The Video and Audio sections of the Media Gallery look woefully empty, save for a couple of videos (one of which is a tutorial on navigating the LRMDS site) and a lone audio book. The Images section is only a little better; frankly I can’t imagine how the images would come up to five thousand. To navigate the images, you will need to click on the categories on the left side of the screen, with subcategories appearing on the right. Some categories will have way more images than others. Under the Business and Enterprise and Humanities categories you’ll have your pick of 200-plus illustrations, while History has a paltry three. Nonetheless, it’s convenient to find images that are pertinent to Filipino culture, such as drawings of bukayo, puso (hanging rice), vinta boats, and illustrations that depict Filipino traditions like pagmamano and pangangaluluwa.
The learning modules are where the LRMDS portal holds real promise. For each grade level from K-10, there are curriculum guides for each subject area, as well as complete modules for topics covered in the guides. I can only surmise (and I could be spectacularly mistaken) that the modules here are the same ones handed out to students who are under the DepEd’s Home Study or Alternative Learning System programs. The modules are available for download as PDF files. I downloaded a few modules and taken screenshots to give you an idea of their content. The modules appear to the complete and comprehensive. Each module contains a description of the module, learning objectives, activities or experiments (in the case of science modules), and pre- and post-tests. Photos and illustrations add visual appeal and help explain abstract concepts.
I whole-heartedly endorse the free resources provided by the DepEd’s LMRDS portal. Granted, the site may seem like a work-in-progress, but I appreciate all the effort that’s been put to create a free online resource that’s accessible to anyone with an Internet-capable device. Unless otherwise specified, all media files, learning modules, and other content on the LRMDS site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Philippines License.