Tsz-Shiou Senior High School is located in Sansia. The school was founded by Mr. Chen, Lu-An to commemorate his father, the deceased Vice President Chen Cheng (aka Mr. Tsz-Shiou) in 1971. In 1996, the school opened its junior high school department. Currently, there are approximately 1,550 students in Tsz-Shiou and around 40 percent of them live in the dorm. The faculty in Tsz-Shiou is well-experienced and has great interaction with the students. The school takes pride in itself as a “utopia for learning” and received recognition in the 2017 New Taipei City School Evaluation. What’s worth mentioning is that the professional development of teachers in both departments as well as our senior high school counseling program were all highly praised in the evaluation, making Tsz-Shiou Senior High School the one and only private school in New Taipei City to receive the accolade.
We establish our first smart classroom in 2015; however, back then, we lacked the experience to launch appropriate research in teaching and training program and the use rate of the classroom did not meet our expectation. In 2016, Mrs. Li, Mei-Yu entered Tsz-Shiou as the principal; Mrs. Li is of the persuasion that smart education is an unstoppable force and Tsz-Shiou must speed up its pace to be in sync with the development of it. Meanwhile, it is also her vision that we can incorporate digital technology into teaching to track the learning condition of students to boost both teaching and learning and ultimately increase the college enrollment rate. To fulfill this goal, Tsz-Shiou began applying for incentive subsidies for private school from 2017 and tried to earn the right to mount several contest programs and school investments. We have established smart classrooms for first graders in both junior and senior school departments and second graders in the junior high school department. By 2018, we already had 27 smart classrooms in place in Tsz-Shiou. The school also boasts 18 TBL systems, 9 IRS (interactive response system), 42 tablets and Wi-Fi that covers the whole campus.
Tsz-Shiou embarked on an industry-academia cooperation with Taiwan Technology Leadership and Instructional Technology Association in September 2018, a measure that helped Tsz-Shiou use its smart classrooms in an even smarter way. Besides drafting short-, medium-, and long-term goals, we also enthusiastically promote smart research in teaching as a response to the long-term goal of the school-orientation model to make lesson discussion more efficient and record the students’ growth.
To encourage teachers of different subjects to join in the community of seeding teachers in smart classrooms, Tsz-Shiou spares no expense by inviting experienced teachers and experts from the outside to elevate the competence of teachers in the community. Their goal is to lead teachers of different subjects to learn how to operate all functions of the smart classroom. In a bid to evoke the teacher s’ motivation, the community of seeding teachers and our Tsz-Shiou’s administrative staff joined forces to roll out “Smart and Exceptional: The Blue Magpie Program.” The blue magpie is the mascot of Tsz-Shiou, and the five growing processes of a blue magpie represent the process where teachers learn to how to utilize the smart classroom: The nestling, the fledging, the showcasing, the turning point, and finally the bird takes wing. The teachers’ competence to use the smart classroom, according to these growing processes, is divided into five evaluation stages, starting from the simple/easy/basic to complicated/difficult/advanced. Teachers of different subjects will use their time to learn, practice, and help each other out. After they finish each stage, they can apply for a certificate, which will be granted to them after the verification process conducted by an administrative team composed of the seeding teachers of other subjects and the principal. The teacher who completes each stage will be given a sweepstake ticket. The teachers’ council or the teaching-research council will draw the ticket periodically and the winner will get a coupon for convenience stores. If teachers of the same subject all pass the highest verification call “the magpie takes wing,” then the first three teachers who pass the verification will receive respectively an NTD800, NTD 500, and NTD 300 coupon for afternoon tea. As for teachers who applied their acquired skills to the smart classroom and finish an open class observation, they might even win an iPhone X in a lucky draw. Teachers in Tsz-Shiou are all blessed with the chance to help one another, learn new stuff, get conversant with the use of the smart classroom, improve their teaching skills, and receive physical rewards.
With the presence of the principal in every class observation, the support of administrative equipment, and the assistance from the community of seeding teachers of all subjects, all teachers in Tsz-Shiou have passed the verification of “the Blue Magpie Program.” Starting from the concept of developing collective lesson preparation with the community, we are eager to promote open class observation project to prompt teachers to develop their professional skills and help Tsz-Shiou take another step to bring it closer to its long-term goal. In the collective lesson preparation day before the school started, teachers of different subjects began preparing their lessons together by combining them with the smart classroom. We planned to hold class observation sessions that are open to all faculty. During the open class observation, we collected five major data, including electronic notes, teaching materials, learning process, diagnostic report, and videos of remedial teaching. After the open class observation, we proceeded to play Socrates videos to conduct a smart research in teaching. With the data produced by the Socrates system, we are able to abstract a “student-oriented” teaching model that contains Tsz-Shiou’s characteristics.
Starting from the middle of September, the past four weeks have seen 22 teachers, which translated to a quarter of the school’s whole teachers, using smart classrooms to collect electronic notes for 137 classes. These trailblazers are some of the senior teachers of the schools who thoroughly probe into their Socrates reports and adjust their teaching strategies according to the statistics shown on the reports. They have all managed to roll out more efficient teaching models. For example, Zheng, Jian-Ying, a teacher of language arts, is able to incorporate science and technology into home economics education in less than one month and score 91 in technology utilization. With technologies as the foundation of changes, these teachers reflect on their teaching through technologies, make decisions based on statistics, teach each student accordingly via synchronized discrepancies, and develop teaching models that help them teach more efficiently.
This year, three teachers from language arts, English, and mathematics take the initiative to form a team called “Tsz-Shiou Rocks” and participated in the “2018 Master’s Cup of Smart Classes Competition.” As the team’s leading teacher, Zheng, Jian-Ying, puts it, “Fusing the smart classroom with my teaching makes me reflect on my teaching and changes my teacher-oriented perspective. Now, I begin to use the real-time response system to realize my students’ shortages and needs and stimulate their thinking. I am designing my teaching based on the students.” The proactive participation and growth of students are surely a drive for teachers to improve their teaching.
“The road to success is never a straight one, and you may not see your destination from the outset. Your destination will gradually exhibit itself so long as you take the first step.” During our effort to become a smart school, Tsz-Shiou has successfully taken its first step. It is our hope that the introduction of software (resources) and hardware (equipment) can take place in tandem with the development of teaching models and strategies that are “student-oriented.” By cultivating the students, we wish to achieve the following goals:
|Learning with the community：||Through mutual learning and assistance among teachers of different subjects, we hope to boost teachers’ professional knowledge and enhance their teaching quality.|
|Collective lesson preparation：||By promoting collective lesson preparation, class observation, and lesson discussion, teachers will be able to adjust their teaching strategies and models to enhance students’ learning outcome.|
|Resource sharing：||The lesson plans and teaching materials designed by teachers of different subjects can be shared to and used by teachers of the same subject. The electric motes and curricular content are provided to students for homeschooling or remedial teaching.|
All of our efforts are dedicated to elevating students’ confidence in learning, giving teachers a sense of pride, building a quality living and learning environment, and making the public know that Tsz-Shiou is indeed the “utopia for learning.” Our goal is to become the first one and the number one smart senior high school in New Taipei City.