How technology is driving education for next-gen Chinese
By Charmaine Mirza
Sit up straight, smarty pants! In Chinese schools, the word “smart” takes on a whole new meaning. The Smart Classroom is the buzzword of the decade, as educational institutions deploy cutting-edge tech to teach Chinese students, across a variety of subjects.
With large tech firms mining Big Data, parents easily consenting to their children being guinea pigs and large money being poured into tech in classrooms edutech is the new mantra in China.
Inchin Closer got smarter too — and is staying ahead of the learning curve! Over the past two years, we have built a mobile application, the Inchin App, which is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and is able to measure a student’s progress in key skills such as pronunciation, listening, reading and character writing. The data from the app is correlated with a student’s performance during class on our Learning Management System (LMS). Data from the LMS gives the teacher detailed information on vocabulary and grammar points understood by each student. By correlating the data from learnt work on the LMS and skills developed on the Inchin app, Inchin Closer’s teachers are able to decipher the areas in which each student needs to improve, and modify their teaching techniques to make the classroom more effective, leading to strong results for all students.
Inspired by the advances in the classroom that China has made, we thought we would share a few examples that have proven successful, and are being used more widely now.
Drifting off into a daydream? Think again. Concentration headbands give teachers a live view of how engaged their students are. Reports are also sent to parents at the end of the day, enabling parents to get an accurate assessment of their child’s behaviour at school.
Tongue-tied? Speech tech like voice recognition and synthesisers are used for language learning and even singing.
Science goes virtual: Gone are the days when science experiments could blow up in your face! With Virtual Reality, students are able to conduct chemistry experiments without burning their brows. Students are also able to internalise biology, by navigating inside a virtual human body to see how various organs function.
Whispering or chewing gum? Your face is a dead giveaway. Facial recognition software helps teachers identify and monitor student behaviour.
Performance anxiety? Students wear wristbands, which monitor cardiac and respiratory parameters to give PE teachers insights into how much each student can be pushed at a game.
Boring homework? AI mostly developed by Baidu and Tencent, is able to map out how a teacher teaches a particular subject, and is able to emulate the material to students with varying learning abilities. The software ascertains how a student learns, what are their weak points and alters content to make the material more suitable for the learner, applying multimedia, adding practice materials and exercises as required. The AI is also able to create personalised homework, targeting a child’s need areas.
AI examiner: Tencent software can automatically grade a student’s test paper, making the correction process fair, objective and precise. The software is able to measure a student’s progress over time and suggest ways for the student to improve.
Technology is here to stay. While putting pen to paper and running around carefree to just enjoy a sport for its sweat factor are integral to a students cognitive development and well being, it will be upto the parents of tomorrow to determine how closely AI and human intelligence intertwine.