BEIJING, June 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- EEO (Empower Education Online) and Sony Global Education have formed a strategic alliance that will utilise EEO's, and the world's largest interactive online education platform, ClassIn, to build a complete OMO (Online-merge-Offline) teaching framework for Japan's education system.
With the coronavirus pandemic having stabilized in the country, Japan's students have been returning to school since early April. Most schools are now reopened.
Yet the sudden school closures announced at the end of February that plunged the country's schools, teachers, students and their parents into a mad scramble for alternatives, exposed the fact that Japan had fallen behind much of the world in introducing technology into the classroom, regardless of a global reputation for innovation.
Once the restrictions and mass lockdowns intended to stop the spread of Covid-19 began being enforced in China in February, then in Japan, South Korea and other countries, EEO's online learning platform ClassIn witnessed a sudden explosion in usage and business, as schools clutched at new online solutions to keep children in class.
The number of overseas clients, mostly educational institutions in South-East Asia, doubled following the outbreak, while new business continues to emerge from countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore.
ClassIn, with its capacity to be adopted across many different learning environments, is, in fact, tailor-made to a global pandemic.
In a few easy steps, teachers and students are able to set up one-to-many online interactive courses and video communication from a laptop. Thus, it enables schools, even in the midst of a global health crisis, to continue teaching, while at the same time providing students a new experience that will hopefully stimulate and motivate them to learn and communicate more while stuck at home.
Not only that, but teachers and students have been responding increasingly positively to the new online learning format and its fun, functional, and growing, set of interactive tools. The most basic of these include a "raise hand" function for students to answer questions, and 'trophies' for teachers to "hand out" to students as a reward for answering or performing well.
Since its establishment in 2014, Beijing-based EEO has served the education market in China and across the world, with Its ClassIn platform, launched the following year, now used by in excess of 20,000 educational institutions across 70 countries, which includes over 12 million students who spend an average of 4.3 hours on the platform per month.
Clients include some of the world's leading educational companies from both China (New Oriental, TAL Education) and abroad (Udacity, Pearson), while the tertiary sector has also embraced ClassIn, with several world-renowned universities in China (e.g. Peking University, China University of Science of Technology, Shanghai Jiaotong University) and abroad (Roland University and Alcala University) adopting the platform. Meanwhile, EEO has partnered with The British Council.
The company has improved the efficacy of the platform over several interactions based on R&D and feedback from educational institutions.
With schools back, many of them adopting an OMO approach, ClassIn is hosting a maximum number of students per day of 2.6 million, with about 500 institutions coming on board each month.
For its part, Sony, which continues to expand technologies for online learning in partnership with Japan's government under the national GIGA (Global Information and Governance Academic) School Initiative, believes the platform co-developed with ClassIn can provide Japan the best long-distance learning program in the world, while also helping solve other problems such as lack of access to education or imbalanced teacher resources once the pandemic ends.
Sony and EEO plan for an official platform release this year. Both companies plan to explore more in-depth applications of online education after the pandemic, hoping to establish a bridge between online education industries in China and Japan.
In the meantime, EEO continues to work closely with educational organizations across the globe to reduce the pandemic's impact on education systems.