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February 21, 2020

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Tech firms give life to education platform

TOP tech firms, including Tencent Education, Dingding and China Mobile, will offer technology and services for Shanghai’s online school platform to supplement television broadcasting.

Schools in the city are closed but will offer online classes beginning in March to ensure student-and-teacher safety during the coronavirus epidemic, local education authorities said.

In addition to TV broadcasts on 12 different channels beginning March 2, the local authority, along with tech firms, has established an official online education platform, covering 1.45 million students in Shanghai.

The platform, dubbed a “Classroom in Air,” features cloud, online-broadcasting and social-platform technologies that optimize the online-learning process.

Classes with interactive content and services can be pushed to students’ or parents’ WeChat accounts, said an official with Tencent Education, which provides cloud and broadcasting services to the platform. Xuhui, Yangpu and Songjiang school districts are currently testing Tencent Education’s services.

“The new platform addresses the urgent need to quickly build an online teaching platform,” said Ren Liju, principal of Rongyi Middle School in Songjiang. “Online classrooms open new avenues to enhance students’ thinking, helping students tap creative value from existing resources and boosting lifelong learning.”

“Tencent hopes to use digital technology to break through the constraints of time, space and region, accelerate the sharing of high-quality resources and release the true value of education,” said Dowson Tong, Tencent’s senior executive vice president.

For users who do not have high-definition service, the company plans to offer subsidies for broadband-upgrade.


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