Life is a process of continuous self-exploration. We think, learn and act in every flowing melody. In May of early summer, the 2019 Cross-strait Smarter Lecture Contest launched a series of smarter lesson teaching contests in Mount Mogan, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Being a part of the event, we were once worn-out and exhausted, but were always high-spirited and happy to enjoy the special and rich educational feast. No path is taken for nothing and no work is done for nothing. We are always walking down a rugged road and seeing unseen views; what we once worked hard on would always refresh our vision and calm our minds over and over again between gain and loss.
“Smarter classroom: Team Taoyuan training process & Smarter school: Yong-sun Elementary School technology use teaching development”
Zeng Jingyi, teacher of Yong-sun Elementary School, Taoyuan
Yong-Sun Elementary School, Taoyuan City
She graduated from National Taipei University of Education with a Master's degree in Counseling and Psychological Guidance. With 14 years of teaching experience in elementary school, she was rewarded First Prize in the 2019 4th Cross-strait Smarter Lecture Contest. She has focused her expertise on the study of integrative activity learning field, cross-disciplinary innovative teaching, and innovative school administrative management. Currently, she is acting as the director of counseling, where she is committed to educate the concept of love, and hopes that through the efforts exerted by the school, they will be able to let every child be recognized.
Smarter Teaching Allows Students to be Seen
With the progress of the times, digital technology equipment is becoming more popular and more practical. Smarter Classroom applies information technology in teaching, so that the students’ learning process can be recorded, seen and applied, and their real-time feedback allows teachers to know their learning status and give them timely, appropriate and effective guidance. With the system used for this event, answers given by students could be analyzed for statistics immediately; students could even give a second answer after teaching and those who changed their answers made comments and carried out discussions for teachers and other students to understand their thinking context and changing process. Teachers were aware of each student’s learning status and can even implement differentiated teaching through different missions, making it possible to realize the idea of teaching in accordance with aptitude.
Learning Community Allows Teachers to be Supported
The members of the Taoyuan Team were from various schools, but because they had the same belief and goal, they discussed with, observed and shared with each other through the connection of smarter classroom related software and hardware, and they even took actions to support the teaching needs of their partners. Through multiple preparation, observation and observation feedback, the brainstorming, idea emergence, lesson revision and class teaching experiment formed an energized positive cycle. Educators’ course contents are gradually improving and teachers are supporting, encouraging and sharing with each other, so that teaching is no longer a lonely journey but an educational trip with many companies and fun.
Education 2.0 – A little smartness and a little foolishness
Those who understand can guide an elephant with a thin thread, while those who practice without results are like swatting flies with a heavy iron rod. The life of an individual is limited but that of education is not as education is great because it accomplishes man. In addition to good methods, good strategies and smart teaching, to accomplish man requires a little foolishness for being devoted to children and education. A little smartness for teachers’ teaching to be more methodological and efficient, and a little foolishness for education to be more lively and energetic. Each departure is aimed at coming home, and the home of education lies in each child’s progressive learning journey. The innovative teaching of Smarter Classroom allows every child to be seen. In this process, I see myself, the world and the new future of education.
Smarter Classroom 2.0 Epilogue – The Psychological Journey of a Contestant
Taoyuan lesson contest: The Golden Peach Award
Taoyuan lesson contest: The Golden Peach Award
The Smarter Classroom digital school was a bold decision made and assembled by two colleagues. They changed the system from Loi to HiTeach and learned the functions one month before the contest. The course project was amended during each MOOC at least twenty times, and they learned and tried out each function one by one. The team would discuss the course interface and difficulties in operation early in the morning. Studying along with the team, we changed from doubting our capability in combining computer and teaching to loving such new interactive teaching model. The discussion results, pushing, differentiated mission designation, answering, random question asking, answer distribution and pick-out have broken the frame of traditional teaching, increased children’s chance to present, and enhanced the quality of group discussion. The key to the success of the teaching design is the design of question asking as it allows learning to become a stage for children. We appreciate the Department of Education, Taoyuan, for creating a stage of competitive lesson contest model for talents from different schools to compete and exchange with each other, and for allowing us to set foot in the arena for smarter classroom lesson contest so that we can begin realizing our dream of technology.
Taoyuan MOOC: Training skills, mentality and sustainability
I am honored to be a member of the Taoyuan Team in the astonishing endurance competition. Colleagues would often see the Principal, Ms. Rong-Mei (the Assistant) and I dragging our luggage and carrying our tablets and feedback devices to go to different MOOC contests. “MOOC” is a term unfamiliar to people. Over a dozen open courses with different student background and teaching environment are tested for situations that may occur when competing in China. The nature of children is different among schools. I once heard from previous contestants that changing the lesson plan dozens of time was normal. When I entered the MOOC System, I immediately understood what they were saying. The courses presented in the end were results redesigned by combining and integrating the opinions and thoughts from many experts, course experts, observation and observation feedback.
I was once satisfied with the lesson presentation because the children were very cooperative in learning, and I once had doubts about whether I could do it. When you are feeling exhausted both mentally and physically, you must be able to take on overlapping administrative affairs on campus. You have to tell yourself often that you are accompanied and helped by so many people in each class, so slacking off is not allowed; you can only plan time more efficiently, handle school affairs, take care of you family, organize your thoughts and correct a good lesson, because there are no regrets. Once the doors are opened, there is no turning back.
Cross-strait exchange: Student meeting
In the cross-strait exchange of teaching experience, there was significant difference between the learning background and life background of Chinese and Taiwanese children. The children from China were not afraid of speaking, and the logic of what they say can clearly express their thoughts and opinions, particularly in discussions. I took time exchanging experience with the children one day before the lesson contest.
Cross-strait exchange: Good Smarter Lesson Contest
In my general class, I lead the children in experiencing the attitude, skill and reflection of “teamwork” by arranging dynamic activities, active discussions, static thinking and discussion presentation. From paired teamwork in block games to group teamwork in hexagonal ball games, I have combined the 4F thinking method for children to experience and reflect the four aspects, i.e. fact, feeling, finding and future, so that they could understand the expression of facts, realize their own feelings, find opportunity for teamwork, and apply what they have learned in life. Through the technology application of Smarter Classroom, the collage teaching model is used by designating differentiated missions according to group performance for each child to receive and accomplish a mission before returning to their group to finish the collaborative work.
The teachers and leaders provided a number of assistance:
1. Opportunity for MOOC on foreign land: contact and make arrangements for schools, prepare the environment, student affair, etc.
2. Method for combining classroom lesson plans and technology: teaching orientation and quality
3. An environment prepared collaboratively for educators to feel happy and safe
※ The benefits of using Sokrates for teaching:
In a TEAM Model Smarter Classroom, the integration of the Sokrates System with “robotic learning” abilities allows the feedback technology interaction, teaching method application and teaching material implementation index to help teachers self-reflect, investigate, work together and share. It is just like an AI smart coach for teachers. Making good use of the AI smart coach can help teachers apply adequately the TEAM Model smarter teaching technology. Through the Sokrates reports, videos, platforms and channels generated by the “AI Sokrates Plan”, teachers can read their own teaching reports and watch videos of their classes, receive guidance from experts for self-adjustment, or observe and learn other teachers’ teaching plans and design of teaching process. The Plan helps accomplish teacher professional development in every aspect.
“Wisdom” requires the precipitation and accumulation of time. Cross-strait educational partners are working hard in their own fields, and such competition that allows for observation, sharing and exchange can create additional effects, because its contents are diversified and rich and its energy is enormous. I am very honored and glad to be a part of this grand event. Thanks to Mr. Zhao-Bao Yan, Principal, Yong-Sun Elementary School, Taoyuan City, for his professional assistance and course guidance; Ms. Rong-Mei Xu, Assistant, for working together in lesson amendment and teaching aid making to accomplish this mission.
I am grateful for everything and very happy to serve as a teacher in Taoyuan. Under the leadership of Director General Gao, Department of Education, Division Chief Jenny Wu has led the Smarter Classroom Technology Team in flourishing education in Taoyuan. Not only have school features and student capabilities been enhanced, but teachers have also changed their teaching model to improve students’ interest in learning and problem solving ability. The dream of education is no longer far out of reach.
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