Schools in China Switching to Online Education Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Schools in China are taking a different teaching tactic as the coronavirus outbreak continues to force people to remain away from public places.
Fabienne Lang

Many universities now offer online courses for students to take part in around the world. High schools, however, haven't employed this method much. That is, up until now. 

Some schools in China are now embracing online learning as a method of teaching. One big motivation for doing so has been the outbreak of the coronavirus.

As so many students have had to remain at home to minimize human to human interaction, schools have been pushing forward these e-teaching tactics.


Learning full time from home

Due to the deadly coronavirus, a number of traditional schools in China have had to postpone the new semester until mid-February, or even the end of March. 

As many students still need to complete their studies in order to move on to university, a solution had to be found. Enter: online teaching. 

Teachers, too, will have to learn something new. Most teachers have never given online teaching classes, so this is a novelty for them too. They have to learn to speak naturally in front of a camera, use digital red pens during presentations, and keep the students engaged online via written comments — not an easy feat with young kids or teenagers. 

Teachers in China have been using Alibaba's DingTalk in order to hold live-streaming classes. This may sound easy for many people, but as teacher Jessie Xie from Chengdu told the South China Morning Post "It’s not easy for some older teachers to learn how to do live-streaming courses. Yesterday one of my colleagues told me she still didn’t know how to use it [even after the coaching session]."

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Last Thursday, China's Ministry of Education issued a statement that encouraged schools to use these online platforms to continue teaching up until the postponed semester starts again. 

Moreover, the Ministry has stated it plans to launch a national internet cloud classroom on February 17th, during which it will share a number of teaching materials and courses for students. 

For some students this may be a blessing, as it means they can work from the comfort of their homes, however, they best not get too used to it as schools will resume as normal at some point in the near future. 

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