Young Students in China React to eLearning Expansion

By Serene Wang, a Dean with the MASIE Center Learning CONSORTIUM

Starting in February 2020, over 200 million employees in China are using Alibaba’s application Ding Talk to work from home. All K-12 schools in China use the same application for virtual classroom and learning management. Cleverly, many K-12 students realized that if they gave the App a one-star rating, the App would be removed from the App Store – and millions of students gave the App a one-star rating overnight, which created an unexpected learning crisis. These young students used this as a way to have a vacation (and avoid having to learn from home), although as many gave a one-star rating of the App, they also left a nice comment about its great functionality and design. Alibaba’s PR group started a new Weibo (biggest Chinese social media platform) account to “beg" these learners to let the App survive. Despite their protest through this incident, the students still need to attend all school classes online.  

China’s schools embrace online learning as new virus forces students to stay at home:

“The health crisis has put the spotlight on China’s online education market, which grew 25.7% year on year in 2018 to 251.7 billion yuan (US$35.9 billion), according to iResearch Consulting Group. The previous forecast of annual growth of between 16% to 24% in the subsequent three to five years may now need to be revised upwards.

For some students, the chance to study from home has other benefits. Xu, who lives in Zhejiang province, used to get up before 5:30 am on school days, but since starting online courses she gets two more hours of sleep each morning. “I like online teaching because I have more freedom at home,” said Xu, who began her all-day courses via DingTalk this week.”