We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Taiwan’s Cram Schools Adapting to Digital Technology

Since schools of all levels across Taiwan have been ordered to close and move to remote learning under the Level 3 alert, businesses, including the after-school cram school industry have started to adapt to the new restrictions and remain operating remotely. Taiwan’s Ministry of Education (MOE) has held mandatory workshops aimed to improve teachers’ technological skills.

Some public schools have already prepared remote learning by making every student had a computer or laptop and knew how to use video-communication services for remote learning at home. However, many cram schools are still struggling to adapt to these new challenges. Many of these schools have no standard of practice (SOP) set in place for remote learning.

Impacts of digital technology on teachers

Researchers conducted a survey of cram school teachers concerning the strategies their schools are taking to transition to remote learning, the challenges they are facing, and how much direction or support they are being provided.

The majority of teachers have chosen to use the online platforms to conduct their classes; with a small minority having opted to go the pre-recorded route and even fewer shutting down to restructure their teaching method to adjust to the realities of digitalisation. The first major issue that needs to be addressed is the existence of a learning curve that is inherent to applying modern technology to a seemingly antiquated teaching system.

The cram school industry employs a broad demographic of teachers with their own varied backgrounds and skillsets. While online platforms have been around, not everyone has had the need or inclination to familiarise themselves with them before the pandemic. As technology moves rapidly, a lot of teachers have to learn to use these platforms quickly. This makes training and teacher support an important first step.

The transition to remote learning has not been smooth as both student participation and engagement have become more difficult to ensure in an online setting. Without necessary skill sets, teachers have had to adapt to the online setting. Due to a lack of direction from the main headquarters, there has been a lack of standardisation of both teacher-made videos and materials, as well as the implementation of general policy across branches. However, at the same time, the lack of guidance has brought them the freedom to be creative and have control beyond their normal bounds.

Some teachers have found that they have become the authority on the technological aspects of the transition, often having to explain to their fellow teachers or co-teachers the finer points of their chosen video conferencing platform. They are challenged to come up with creative solutions to make up for a lack of logistical infrastructure, whether limited wi-fi, equipment issues, or troubleshooting video streams. These varied experiences are entirely dependent on individuals’ own resources and ability to adapt.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, digitalisation is no longer an option, but it is a necessity in Taiwan. As face-to-face contact is limited, digitalisation has become crucial not only for businesses but also for schools. Local corporations were prudent about revamping older information technology infrastructure to keep up with the global digitalisation trend, but most office employees still worked in front of desktop computers at their offices.

Taiwan’s small businesses were slow to transform digitally, giving the nation a lower ranking in the “digital observer” category than other Asian countries, according to the Small Business Digitalisation and COVID-19 survey released. Most countries fell in the “digital observer” category, the second of the survey’s four categories. Asia-Pacific small businesses mostly lagged behind those from the U.S. and Europe.

Taiwan’s government agencies and private businesses should keep progressing to address the increasing needs of their citizens and customers.

Send this to a friend