SHANGHAI, June 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- On June 19th, DaDa's Vice President Joyce Shen spoke at the Fifth Annual EdTech X Europe in London, UK. This year's theme was "Eternally Learning," something that Mrs.Shen is well equipped to handle, as DaDa, formerly DaDaABC, lays the educational foundation for students across China. In an interview, she stated, "Learning is not limited to your age: we can learn anytime, anywhere. Learning is a lifetime pursuit, with more diverse access points thanks to technology and the internet. As an edtech company, we play an important role in making learning possible." Mrs. Shen's speech was the highlight of EdTech's "Ideation Lab" track, where she was among top innovators in the edtech space.
Founded in 2013, DaDa, China's leading online education platform, aims to "empower our children to do more." DaDa connects Chinese students, ages 4-16, to English tutors from around the world. Earlier this year, U.S. investment firm Tiger Global Management and New York Exchange-listed education and technology firm TAL Education invested USD $100 million in DaDa's series C financing.
A selling point for investors and partners alike, is the platform's adherence to a unique "one-on-one" model. Unlike other companies that use a flexible matching system, matching students to a different teacher each time, DaDa's platform uses an exclusive matching algorithm to match students with the most suitable teachers, allowing teachers to cultivate meaningful relationships with students and customize lessons according to student needs.
"Through several years of research and development, we have found the exclusive algorithm to be the most effective way to accurately match students and instructors. This finding has become our technical edge," said Johnny Wang, CTO, DaDa.
DaDa's priority is student learning and, more than the algorithm alone, the cross-screen interactive technology makes these connections possible across all devices. The interactive platform allows students to see teachers in real time, with the virtual space mirroring a classroom environment. The system also uses an AI-powered facial expression recognition system, coupled with big data, to capture students' facial expressions, collecting student feedback and allowing parents and teachers to evaluate lesson effectiveness.
The key to DaDa's success, however, is more than their technology. Exclusive partnerships with leading educational resource providers, such as McGraw-Hill Education, allow DaDa to provide the best English curriculum to their students. The curriculum is also a big selling point for teachers. Each lesson is curated, making them easy to understand and easy to teach.
In fact, the teachers in western countries gain a lot from DaDa's "one-on-one" digital platform, including a flexible schedule, supplemental income, and cultural immersion. DaDa gives students and teachers a peek inside a different culture. This cross-cultural immersion creates lasting bonds and authentic learning experiences that would be hard to replicate in a traditional classroom setting, amplifying the student-teacher engagement and learning retention. These long-lasting relationships have another unintentional benefit: income stability. DaDa can virtually guarantee work for teachers, giving them a reliable source of income.
Visions for the Future
DaDa has always believed in the power of cross-industry and intra-industry collaboration. Cultivating partnerships beyond those with English education companies, DaDa has linked up with National Geographic and Highlights to create integrated learning opportunities for DaDa students. According to Mrs. Shen: "As the Chinese proverb says: When I walk along with two others, they serve as my teachers. At DaDa, we believe in the power of connection. We value our partners, which is strategically important for our development. When we all think of making education better together, we create a huge energy we can all benefit from."
Given DaDa's history, it was no surprise when DaDa dropped the ABC from its name, a symbolic gesture implying further integrated learning offerings and commitment to move beyond English training without losing its core. The company established an R&D center called Brain Spark Lab in Hong Kong last September and recently announced partnerships with the international healthcare brand, United Foundation for China's Health, and STEM learning powerhouse, Mad Science. Blending the online portal with STEM education and optimized pedagogy could launch DaDa to the next frontier of education companies, not just in China, but on the global stage. The platform has the potential to grow internationally, educating students worldwide. With that said, DaDa's key focus has been and will always be refining their technology to provide superior learning experiences irrespective of location.
The Chinese Education Industry
In 2017, education spending exceeded $295 billion and is expected to reach $500 billion by 2020. China's thriving middle class drives this segment boom with their dedication to childhood enrichment. The industry provides everything from foreign language training to application consulting for students looking to study abroad. According to iResearch, the online English tutoring industry is on track to reach $8 billion by 2019.
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