Taiwan pushing for 21st century education during virus outbreak

台北美國學校|Taipei American School (Courtesy of Patrick)台北美國學校|Taipei American School (Courtesy of Patrick)
台北美國學校|Taipei American School (Courtesy of Patrick)

After a mandate released by the Ministry of Education, schools in Taiwan have been ordered to postpone the reopening of schools until Feb. 25. The majority of international schools in Taiwan have decided to follow the government’s directives regarding the Coronavirus as a safety precaution.

Taipei American School (TAS), located in Taipei’s Tianmu District, has taken an innovative approach to address the postponement of classes.

Seeing as it is not the norm for TAS to extend the school year, TAS has made student learning during this crisis period its priority. The school aims to use digital learning to cover core content areas usually learned in class and to close learning gaps that this school closure might cause.

The school aims to use digital learning to cover core content areas usually learned in class and to close learning gaps that this school closure might cause. (Courtesy of Patrick)
The school aims to use digital learning to cover core content areas usually learned in class and to close learning gaps that this school closure might cause. (Courtesy of Patrick)

Dr. Sharon D. Hennessy, the Head of School for Taipei American School, has been updating the school community continuously to assist students during this difficult time. She has stressed the school’s dedication to digital learning and its attempts in resolving students’ problems that might arise.

Numerous Upper School students at TAS are enrolled in Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate classes, and it is required for those students to take an external exam toward the end of the school year. The closure of the school’s campus will no doubt affect the absorption of the knowledge needed for the completion of these college-level courses and the preparations for such exams.

Despite such challenges, it is clear that the TAS faculty has been working diligently to keep up with lessons. Students at Taipei American School have been instructed to remain in constant communication with their teachers through the use of personalized learning tools such as Canvas and chat-based services like Google Hangouts.

As alternative solutions to face-to-face education in the classroom, teachers have been able to hold classes online with students and directly answer students’ questions during the video conference calls. These tools have been conducive to a student’s understanding of school materials taught during this digital learning phase.

Teachers have dedicated time and resources to creating hour-long videos for students to watch. They are able to record a video lecture from their homes and edit the videos using simple video-editing software. Through this method, students are able to rewatch the lecture again if they do not understand a specific part.

Taipei American School is not the only international school addressing the postponement of schools using digital learning. Other international schools affected by the Coronavirus like Shanghai American School and The International School of Beijing are also using digital learning to help students remain on track with their academic learning.