Smart School Alliance on Closing the Gap Between Urban & Rural Schools in Education
Smart School Alliance is an online and offline community creating equal learning rights for the next generation in small and remote schools around the world. Smart School Alliance, founded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and executed by the Innovation Learning Center, Digital Education Institute and Institute for Information Industry in Taiwan, consists of many small schools that become part of one big online and offline (O&O) school. The aim is to let students study locally but learn globally. Smart School Alliance invites top teachers from metropolitan areas to instruct students of outlying islands online, in order to build up their abilities. We caught up with Wang YenYin, Section Manager at Smart School Alliance, to hear how being in the HundrED 2019 Collection has helped them to grow their impact and scale.
What does it mean for Smart School Alliance to be recognised as a leading education innovator in the HundrED 2019 Global Collection?
With the sufficient resources from IDB and the Ministry of Education, Smart School Alliance has been recognized by HundrED for closing the gap between urban and rural schools in education. In fact, SSA(Smart School Alliance) has successfully addressed the imbalance in educational resources by introducing over 100 enterprises’ solutions such as long-distance live broadcast in Asia.
Prior to receiving the recognition by HundrED, language courses offered by SSA used to be accessible to students after school. But now, owing to the increasing number of descendants of new immigrant families, mostly from Southeast Asia, the Ministry of Education is aimed to equip Taiwan’s elementary school students with language courses (including Vietnamese, Indonesian, Burmese, Thai language, Cambodian, Malay language and the Filipino).
The language training will be provided as mandatory courses at school to accommodate new immigrant children from over 100 schools where they will learn about the cultural connotation associated with their parents. Moreover, under Taiwan bilingual country plan in 2020, schools that are struggling to find English teachers in remote areas can benefit from distance learning in this regard. It is a milestone for Taiwan’s educational system to be a part of the HundrED Global Collection in the long run.
What are your biggest takeaways from the HundrED Innovation Summit?
From my observation, the Innovation Summit was more than just educational issues worldwide, but also about how things can be done through information exchange with global experts, professionals, and specialists in the field. Various topics were brought up during the session such as “technology innovation on empathy” and “rural education in developing countries.”
How has the HundrED Summit and global recognition helped progress the impact of Smart School Alliance?
The impact HundrED Summit and global recognition have on SSA is the speed of educational resource integration across the Asia Pacific region. More specifically, on a national level, more than 100 partners including Taiwan’s enterprises, elementary and secondary schools as well as universities have participated in the program. Globally, this initiative has already been introduced into Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines where Memorandum of Understanding is signed in collaboration with over 100 local partners.
SSA serves as an open-source community, mainly divided into Online and Offline, with an intention to offer teaching services, closing the financial educational gaps between urban and rural schools while promoting innovation in education.
We especially appreciate the following for their participation. Without them, we wouldn’t have partnered with HundrED and earned the first prize of digital community services education at APICTA.
- Online education industry (over 12 companies): Cloudpe Corp, Micampus, MiTAC, AVerMedia, HABOOK Information Technology Inc., Prosperity Innovation Inc., Hong Ding Educational Technology, Polycom, Zoom, iKala, LIVEhouse.in, and IMAR Technology Co., Ltd.
- Content publishing industry (over 17 companies): Gjun Information, Mega International, Over-Paradigm, Shuo Yang Digital Technology Co. Ltd., Fresco Logic, Farsail, Knowledge Universe Technology, SmartFun, BAIS Education Technology Co. Ltd, UDN, LiveABC, Love Reading iread.abook.come.tw, Yuan-Liou Publishing Co., Ltd, Sharp Point Press, Rainbow Educational Ltd., and Edutainment Co.
- Teaching device industry (over nine companies): GigoToys.com, HTC Corporation, Foxconn Technology Group, Alchemy Technology Co. Ltd., StudyFun Technology Inc., Shuo Yang Digital Technology Co. Ltd., Wistron Corporation, Elite International Educational Group, EDiversity Ltd., Aidmics Biotechnology, Smart Seeds Union, Nancy Bruin Enterprise LTD., and Thumb.com.
- Educational institutions (over 11 organizations): Taiwan Literacy Association, CommonWealth Education Foundation, NMMBA, PUHU Footwear Co., Ltd., FLOMO Stationary Museum, HuaJin Consulting Co Ltd, Taiwan metal creation museum, Retired Teachers’ Group, National Education Counseling Group, National Taiwan Normal University, and Magic Story Association.
- Training industry (over 19 companies): Air Aviation Academy, ai Think International Education Center, RaiseDigital, Hello Maker, Startmath, Wang Yu Chemistry, SUNNET Science and Technology, Julin Culture and Education Group, Tong-shin Education, Shei Mon Institution of Culture and Education, Sheng Chun Biology, Hormin Math, Chou Shao-Tang Chinese, Han Sheng Maths, Kao Chien History, Hsiung Tai-Yu Earth Science, Lo Wen Civics, Hung Li Geography, and Wu Ti Physics.
So, what is next for Smart School Alliance?
In March of every year, the Smart School Alliance will hold the international Smart City Summit & Expo, which is one of the biggest exhibition in Taiwan. In 2018 we also invited HundrED to take part in and bring global experience to Asia. 2020 Smart City is expected to call for all education organizations around the world to come to Taiwan, participate in our Smart Education to show the innovation in education and smart school application cases. We welcome global education innovation promoters to join us and see emerging energy in Asia and Southeast Asia!
What would you say to innovators who are looking to connect with HundrED? Why should they be part of the global community for change?
Chinese or different languages often become the communication gap between countries, but you don't need to worry about that when you join the HundrED community; it is open and I am glad to see such a wide variety of innovators from all over the world! Take part in HundrED to see global education’s issues, to find inspiration for innovation, and feel what’s happening all around the world. No matter who you are: school, enterprise or innovative educator, you are also welcome to Connect with Smart School Alliance Here or on our Facebook Page Here. (Implemented by Digital Education Institute, Institute for Information Industry) and to communicate and interact with educators in the world!
Learn more about Smart School Alliance on their Innovation Page