Chen Yating, a former programmer, has been leading her school’s efforts to introduce students to advanced technology to encourage their own creative thinking using a series of iFLYTEK smart teaching tools.
When Chen Yating started her teaching career at the Xincheng Primary School, a senior teacher told her that to teach well means guiding each student to generate their own ideas. The teacher told Chen that teachers are responsible for creating the conditions that give students the confidence and ability to generate creative ideas and problem-solving skills on their own.
To cultivate independence among her students, Chen and the Xincheng Primary School have utilized cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence integrated solutions in their classrooms. As part of their smart education environment, Chen’s school has introduced a series of iFLYTEK technologies including the Smart Classroom, Smart PE Class tablets, and the Robot Xiaofei to transform traditional methods of teaching.
In Chen’s artificial intelligence class, students learn to reorganize codes to give various commands like speak, walk, read, and translate to Robot Xiaofei. “This is a typical application of artificial intelligence. It shows the kids that with good thinking and innovative ideas, they can create their own unique robots,” Chen said.
During her class, Chen teaches students the basics and then assigns tasks for them to explore independently or in groups. Group projects and collaboration encourage the students to learn theories of artificial intelligence and its many innovative applications through active practice.
Chen shared that she is often amazed by the brilliant ideas her students come up with. For example, when she taught her students how to guide the Robot Xiaofei to recognize local dialects, the students suggested that it should be used to translate the local Wuhan dialect into Mandarin. It is a practical suggestion in a region where language barriers have created hurdles, including in 2020 when more than 20,000 medical workers from around China aided Wuhan in efforts to combat COVID-19.
“I was quite surprised,” Chen said. It shows that through her classes, the students have improved understanding of how advanced technology can solve real life problems. “Kids from families that have no access to such extracurricular education can make use of the school courses to broaden their horizon and tap their potential. And they are getting more confident with what they have learned in the classes.”