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Results Announcement of Network Application & Service Center

Results Announcement of Network Application & Service Center

Bringing Technology into Human Concerns
Results Announcement of Network Application & Service Center

The Network Application & Service Center was established in 2006 by the National Chi Nan University with support from the Ministry of Education. With the expertise from the Computer Network Center of National Chi Nan University, network teaching platforms of one-to-one and one-to-many were deployed to provide homework tutoring to aboriginal students at elementary and secondary schools in remote areas such as Renai Township and Shini, Nantou County, and students from financially disadvantaged families in Taichung City and Taichung County.

The one-to-many teaching platform was targeted at students from the 3rd through the 6th grades in Chuenyang Elementary School, Renan Township, Nantou County. Every Wednesday afternoon, these students would sit in the computer classrooms and receive long-distance lectures in basic computer skills from post-graduate students of National Chin Nan University from their laboratories. The one-to-one platform assisted the pupils at Gangyuan Elementary School, Guoshing Township, by allowing students of National Chi Nan University to tutor these pupils via the Internet from the university dormitories.

This project utilizes information technology equipment to provide homework tutoring to students in remote areas by breaking down the limitations of time and space. The project has been a great success as it increases the learning hours for students in the form of after-hour tutoring and consultation. The Ministry of Education held a result-announcement seminar on March 8 by presenting the tutoring model over the Internet to schools in elementary and secondary schools in remote areas. A summary was given to illustrate how the combined efforts from volunteer workers from universities, public interests groups and retired teachers spread the seeds of education. The teachers and students participating in the homework tutoring scheme over the Internet were also present to share their experiences.

The education of students in remote areas and from disadvantageous backgrounds has always been on the Ministry of Education's priority agenda. In addition to schemes such as the Education Priority Area and the Hand in Hand scheme to create equal education opportunities, the Ministry of Education is leveraging Internet technologies to provide homework tutoring to pupils in remote areas and from disadvantageous backgrounds in order to eliminate the educational divide between cities and townships. It is Minister Tu's wish that there will be more universities helping to deploy network application and service centers to help more pupils from disadvantageous backgrounds.

Student Hsu of the Gangyuan Elementary School was one of the students that benefited from ths project. To obtain basic equipment required for long-distance learning, he used an old computer donated by the National Chi Nan University and obtained access to the Internet. Every evening, students from National Chi Nan University use the Internet and scanners to provide real-time tutoring.

Student Hsu's supervisor indicated that, after Hsu started to receive homework tutoring over the Internet, not only did he solve problems in his schoolwork, but he also became interested in computers. Hsu is now able to use the Internet to look for relevant information for his schoolwork. Principal Yeh of Gangyuan Elementary School emphasized that interaction between students is weaker in remote areas due to the differences between cities and towns. The overall economic abilities of parents in remote areas are not favourable to motivate students either. Not only does this project solve schoolwork problems for students, It also allows them to access new technology and new information; the benefits are immense.

To resolve the problem of a lack of teachers in remote areas, this project is also supported by local volunteer worker groups. It is worth noting that a large number of retired teachers are more than willing to become volunteer workers. Cheng Chin-fu, and Lee Chia-tung, former principal of the National Chi Nan University, called for help and within six months, recruited a total of 23 retired teachers to join force by contributing their extensive knowledge and teaching experiences. Meanwhile, local public interests groups provided onsite tutoring. It is estimated that a total of 700 pupils or so benefited from the project.

Education is the only hope for children in poverty. The Network Application & Service Center plans to establish a new model for the provision of homework tutoring, via the Internet, to students in elementary and secondary schools in remote areas. In 2006, the Ministry of Education intends to extend the scope of this project by offering tutoring to students in northern, central and southern Taiwan. The plan is to leverage digital learning facilities deployed by Digital Opportunity Center and combine the efforts from retired teachers, volunteer workers from universities and public interests groups to promote online homework tutoring to students in remote areas or from disadvantageous backgrounds. It is hoped that they are offered greater learning opportunities and more care via technology while they grow up.

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