China's smart learning platform has offered free high-quality digital learning resources to students from primary school to universities and strongly supported students and teachers who cannot attend in-person classes during the COVID-19 epidemic in May.
The Smart Education of China platform-www.smartedu.cn-was launched by the Ministry of Education on March 28. It integrates platforms for primary and secondary school education, vocational education and higher education, and the platform for employment services for college graduates.
"Since its launch in March, more and more high-quality digital resources are provided and the number of views has soared," Xu Mei, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education, said at a news conference on Thursday.
As of Tuesday, the platform attracted 430 million visitors with 3.03 billion visits.
Some 34,000 resources are provided to primary and middle school students. Since the launch of the platform, the average daily visits to those resources are more than 28.9 million.
In May, when the epidemic hit some regions across China and schools were shut down in areas such as Beijing and Shanghai, the record of daily visits to primary and middle school resources was 89.9 million, which served as an online classroom to assist student education during that time, she said.
In May, psychological health sections were added to the platform, which gained popularity among students, Xu said.
The sections-fights against the COVID-19 epidemic and psychological health-gained 162,000 visits and 833,000 visits respectively. Some courses in the section, such as Mental Health for College Students and Academician Showing You the COVID-19, received very high views, ranking top tier of the views among all resources.
Xu noted that as many schools have started summer vacations, more resources in psychological health sections are added to the platform, such as Guidance for Primary and Middle School Students to Fight the Epidemic at Home.
The platform has not only supported students' learning but also helped teachers to improve their teaching skills.
The platform has launched the sections to boost teachers' professional development in basic, vocational and higher education.
China has 18.4 million teachers, and the platform gathered high-quality resources to serve them, said Ren Youqun, director of the ministry's department of teachers.
At the basic education level, good courses and programs are recorded and offered on the platform. Teachers' online workshops are established for teachers and principals to share resources and make teaching plans together.
"We have invited more than 200 renowned and experienced teachers and principals to open online workshops at the platform and encouraged other teachers to join, especially those from less-advantaged areas in central and western China," Ren said.
"China has about 15,000 to 16,000 teachers and principals with the titles of renowned teachers and principals at the provincial level. If each of them has dozens of apprentices and up to a hundred fans, those good teachers and principals can affect millions of teachers," he added.
The platform aims to promote education equality, bridge the digital divide and promote common prosperity with a wide range of education resources and courses. It is also an online classroom for students and teachers who cannot attend in-person courses due to the COVID-19 epidemic.