Training fields

Digital education thrives in Shanghai classrooms, labs and school playgrounds


Dong Jun / SHINE

Zhang Fengyu, an eighth-grade student at You Ai Experimental Middle School affiliated with the Minhang Education Institute, collects her custom homework from a robot.

Zhang Fengyu, an eighth-grade student at You Ai Experimental Middle School affiliated with the Minhang Education Institute, stood in front of a robot to have her face scanned and received a copy of her custom-made math homework. .

The homework was designed by her math teacher Yu Yunzhou based on her performance in a quiz. During the quiz, all the students used smart pens equipped with mini cameras which recorded not only their answers, but also the process of calculating the answers.

From an app on a phone or computer, Yu can view the performance of an individual student and the whole class to design assignments for them and organize their resulting teaching plans.

Teachers can design their own class questions, or they can also use the system’s large question pool.

After completing their homework, students can put it back into the robot, which will quickly mark it through the digital system.

The teacher can view the results on their smartphone and design the follow-up assignments accordingly.

The digital system can also allow Zhang’s teacher, her parents and herself to see her latest progress in performance and the mistakes she has made, based on which they can design her plan for success. studies for the following period.

“I am happy with the system because I do not have to redo homework on knowledge that I have acquired well and I only have to put into practice what I did not understand well”, has t she declared.

Yu said the system can both reduce the burden on students and teachers while improving efficiency.

“The Ministry of Education has asked us to reduce the burden on students, including homework at school,” he said. “The system can really cut down on time wasted on unnecessary repetitions. During this time, students can better understand their own gaps and make their own study plans to fill them.”

Digital education thrives in Shanghai classrooms, labs and school playgrounds

Dong Jun / SHINE

The school uses a smart pen equipped with mini cameras to record student responses and the process of calculating responses.

Huang Aiqun, principal of the school, said the system is currently being tested in eighth and ninth grade and will soon be extended to all students.

Huang said they started the reform last year, with students’ homework initially scanned and submitted. Later, they cooperated with a company to develop the smart pens to collect information without changing the writing habits of students.

“Currently, smart pens can only be used in school because they need a special device to charge electricity,” he said. “We are working with the production company to upgrade them so that they can be recharged at home like smartphones and collect student homework information wherever they do it.”

Huang said that student performance trajectories can also help detect emotional changes within them and allow teachers and parents to intervene in a timely manner.

These initiatives represent the scenario of digital transformation in school education which is now a major strategy for Shanghai.

According to a plan released by the Shanghai Education Commission last month, the city aims to set a benchmark for the digital transformation of education in China, involving teaching, learning, management, assessment. , research and school-family interaction.

By 2023, the city will have developed 100 reference schools for the application of digital educational technologies. It will explore individualized and exploratory learning models based on artificial intelligence, immersive or experiential learning using virtual reality / augmented reality technologies and multi-point collaborative teaching with 5G support.

Other schools have also started trials to strengthen their education with digital technologies.

Digital education thrives in Shanghai classrooms, labs and school playgrounds

Dong Jun / SHINE

Students from Yan’an Middle School in Jing’an District use electron microscopes in a biology class.

At Yan’an Middle School in Jing’an District, students are also equipped with digital devices in English classes. They can answer questions by pressing buttons on devices or by recording their voice responses with them. Teachers can see and hear responses immediately and display them in the classroom. The system can even assess the pronunciation of their spoken English.

Equipped with digital bracelets, students’ performance in physical education classes can be monitored on a large screen in the playground, along with changes in their heart rate, helping teachers to adjust exercises accordingly.

In a biology class, students were asked to observe yeast structures with electron microscopes.

“Previously, I had to look through individual microscopes to see if the students did it correctly,” teacher Xie Aichun said. “But now all the scenes in their lenses can be seen on the platform screen. I can show them the right ones and give additional instructions to those who need help. It’s more efficient and more. interesting.”

A course on career planning at Yan’an College was broadcast live at Xingwu College, which lacks teachers with such expertise.

“Technology has helped us share quality educational resources with other schools in the district,” said Lu Jiaying, a teacher at Yan’an Secondary School. “Such interactions make our class more interesting and the students also become more active.”

Besides basic education, vocational and higher education levels in Shanghai are becoming digital and smart.

For example, simulation systems are now used at the Vocational and Technical School of the Jiangnan Shipyard Group to teach how to build ships.

It is one of 33 demonstration simulation training studios and bases to cultivate the talent needed in key industries in Shanghai, while reducing costs, losses and possibly risks in real practice.

Digital education thrives in Shanghai classrooms, labs and school playgrounds

Dong Jun / SHINE

An elderly lady learns to drive on a simulation system at Qizhou College in Xuhui District.

Even for seniors, there are courses, some also digitized, to help them adapt to the increasingly digitized life.

At Qizhou College, a branch of the city’s University for the Elderly, seniors can learn to use digital RMB, avoid telecommunications scams, and learn to drive with simulation systems.

The city has set up several platforms for the education of seniors according to individual demands, such as the “Golden School” program jointly established by the Shanghai Education Commission, the Shanghai Radio and Television Station. Shanghai, the Shanghai Media Group and the Oriental Pearl Group. It allows people aged 50 and over to take free lessons on mobile devices and on TV.

After the COVID-19 outbreak, another e-learning platform – “School in the Air” – was launched on the Shanghai Lifelong Learning website. It has offered over 6,000 short video courses and 2,000 long video courses for people to take courses at home. Some of these courses focus on virus prevention. Live streaming lessons were then added. About 1.2 million people have benefited from the platform.

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