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Digital Schoolbags Create a Smart Classroom

Smart classroom, ed tech, AI technology

With the world’s oldest formal school system—dating as far back as the 16th century—China embraces the value of top-quality education more than ever. And with approximately 260 million students and more than 15 million teachers, the government is making significant investments to modernize the country’s sprawling school system.

The question is how China can provide the same quality of education to hundreds of millions of students, in locations ranging from the largest cities to the most rural villages. Deploying advanced technologies, from artificial intelligence to cloud computing, is an essential factor to success.

But at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools, teachers, students, and parents were faced with quickly moving to a home-based, online learning model. And while most teachers and students have returned to the classroom, the government has subsidized digital learning technologies, teaching tools, and course materials.

Transforming the Smart Classroom

One innovative solution that is advancing digital learning in the classroom and in the home is the Electronic Schoolbag from Digital China, an Intel® solutions aggregator. Using edge-to-cloud technology, the solution enables instructors to more easily develop and teach lessons in person and online. It allows schools to fully integrate resources and offer students a high-quality, multidimensional mix of online and offline learning.

With a typical classroom size of 45 students, teachers face a number of challenges in providing instruction that is effective and engaging. The Electronic Schoolbag solution greatly reduces their course preparation time while increasing overall quality.

To improve efficiency, teachers can access and download a wide range of lesson plans and courses, reducing the burden of having to create their own. It also provides a consistent curriculum across instructors, schools, and municipalities.

Students gain access to everything they need in a single computing device: courses, assignments, and materials. With this access to an abundance of education resources, every student and teacher benefits from instruction that is convenient, efficient, and vivid.

Given the country’s laser focus on education, it’s no surprise that teaching is both a well-respected and very demanding profession in China. The continuous development of teaching proficiency starts from the day a teacher begins working at a school. To enable ongoing training and evaluation, the Digital China solution can provide classroom information to central education departments for ongoing instruction and learning data analytics. This in turn provides the ability to develop better teaching policies and materials—and make them available through the cloud

At present, AI uses recording and broadcasting as a means to capture students’ classroom behaviors, and then analyze this data to make students’ learning more personalized. Teachers can use this data to adjust teaching methods in accordance with their aptitude. At the same time, administrators can take targeted measures to improve the quality of teaching.

Students gain access to everything they need in a single computing device: courses, assignments, and materials.

The Elements of an Ed Tech Solution

The Electronic Schoolbag solution, based on Intel processors, comprise three interconnected elements that provide the “cloud classroom” experience—helping students complete learning tasks and smart lessons assigned by their teacher (Figure 1).

  • The Educational Resource Cloud is a central hub where all teaching and learning resources can be easily accessed.
  • The Learning Preparation AIO (all-in-one) system gives teachers the ability to develop more engaging lessons, monitor student progress, and communicate remotely.
  • The Electronic Schoolbag itself is a thin client that allows for a variety of digital learning resources in a single lightweight device.
The Electronic Schoolbag solution includes cloud-based resources and tools, for students, teachers, schools.
Figure 1. The Electronic Schoolbag solution includes education resources for students, teachers, and schools. (Source: Digital China)

What the Future Holds

Digital China is making it easier for systems integrators to take advantage of new business opportunities. The Electronic Schoolbag is just one example where SIs can serve their education customers with new technologies, products, and services—all from one supplier.

Overall, the company sees the Electronic Schoolbag leading to three positive outcomes:

  • Strong classroom collaboration with simplified communication tools and a shared cloud-based resource system
  • Impactful curriculum through actionable data and insights around student performance
  • Empowered students who enjoy access to shared educational resources, information, and tools anytime, anywhere

And with China’s continuous investment in education, imagine what can be accomplished if every student is equipped with a digital schoolbag and every teacher has access to centralized education resources. The possibilities for innovation in the classroom seem almost endless.

About the Author

Thomas Lee is a freelance writer, author, and former business journalist. He has previously written for the San Francisco Chronicle, Star Tribune (Minneapolis), St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and World Politics Review. He is author of “Rebuilding Empires,” (St. Martin's Press), his book on the future of big box retail in the digital age.

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