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    Building a Digital Education Community to Facilitate High-Quality Education Development

As time goes on, Huawei will leverage our technical advantages in connectivity, cloud, computing, and artificial intelligence as well as the assets of the ICT industry chain to drive the development of the education industry. We will work to advance related upstream and downstream industries and foster a new digital education ecosystem.
Xia Zun
President of the Global Public Sector of Huawei Enterprise BG
author pc

Education is the cornerstone for national strength and economic development, the lighthouse for talent and innovation, and the vessel for cultural exchange and inheritance. The latest round of technological revolution brings precious opportunity to the education industry. Digital resources are more essential than ever to improve teaching quality, efficiency, and experience.

Promoting the Collaborative Development of Digital Education

As we stride boldly into the digital age, nations across the globe are exploring ways to foster the transformation of their education sectors. Applying emerging technologies to drive education digitalization has become commonplace. So, how can this be achieved?

● Connect and aggregate education resources under all scenarios

The development of education requires a well-established infrastructure and advanced digital technologies to integrate services, management, technologies, data, and applications. Digital education should also be "all-scenario-oriented" covering a wide variety of applications. Smart education is empowered by aggregating teaching, research, governance, and services at multiple levels.

● Support all-round openness and collaboration

Digitalization requires cooperation from all parties involved, including governments, schools, enterprises, and the whole society, to eliminate digital barriers, narrow the digital gap, improve crisis response, promote transformation and innovation, and coordinate the in-depth integration of ICT applications. Digital education needs converged connectivity, computing, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and security support, as well as the digitalization of services and management to enable multi-layered and all-round collaboration among network hubs, applications, and connections. If governments, schools, enterprises, and the wider society can shake hands on this concept, nations will be able to bridge the digital divide and make education more accessible than ever.

● Full-lifecycle O&M and continuous evolution

For the digital education to continue evolving, we need to change the idea of emphasizing construction over operation and short-term gains over long-term results. Construction is only the first step. After that, we need to integrate educational data and content resources, devise new service scenarios, and improve the service experience. This calls for cooperation between governments, schools, enterprises, and the public, so that digital education can develop smoothly and sustainably.

A Digital Education Community

Just as people are at the heart of all development efforts, teachers and students lie at the heart of education. With this in mind, Huawei has proposed the concept of the "digital education community", an industry first. We believe that the most important thing to advancement in this space is the experience and feedback of teachers and students. The guidance of government policies, the practices of colleges and universities, and the support of enterprise products and services without the feedback of the people who are entrenched in them risk becoming tone deaf. These elements combined, however, build a digital education community that thrives sustainably. To make constant evolution and optimization possible, digital education should connect physical, digital, and public spaces.

The digital education community aims to make the industry smart. First, we must focus on teachers and students and upgrade intelligent teaching applications to improve teaching quality, efficiency, and experience. This encompasses our core vision. Second, by applying cloud, AI, and computing technologies, we can build an intelligent hub that keeps up with the demands of the industry. Third, through intelligent connections and interaction systems, teaching and research environments and devices can be widely connected. Most importantly, the digital education community requires a consensus on digital education. It needs to come together to push forward with digital transformation across all sectors of education and research. Collaboration is what will bring forth a win-win ecosystem from which all can enjoy the fruits borne of digitalization.

● The iHarbour — Smart Education Town in Shaanxi: Huawei's first launch of the digital education community in China

Smart Education Town in Shaanxi is Huawei's first execution of the digital education community practice in China, set up in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Shaanxi Province, and Xi'an Jiaotong University. It is a four-in-one body that combines "campus, town, industrial campus, and community". Aiming at integrating technologies, services, and industries, it is expected to be a model of higher education reform and urbanization across China.

By providing industry-leading, future-oriented products and solutions, Huawei has built a smart campus featuring cloud-network integration and multi-network convergence to widely apply various services and applications in iHarbour. The Smart Education Town caters to production, education, and research requirements and provides valuable experience and reference for the development of new infrastructure and smart education in China's "new cities".

● Macau University of Science and Technology: Synergy between campus environment, teaching, and research

Macau University of Science and Technology is the largest comprehensive university in Macao. It houses three national research platforms, multiple research institutes, modern teaching buildings, and several well-equipped teaching laboratories. With its State Key Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Sciences, the university was the first to participate and remained the most involved in Hong Kong and Macao in China's national moon exploration projects. However, Macau University of Science and Technology also encountered problems including insufficient computing power, limited information sharing, and inflexible resource support. It chose to cooperate with Huawei to provide lightweight, elastic, high-performance, and highly reliable infrastructure under centralized management for data centers by combining virtualized software and ICT hardware. In terms of talent cultivation, Macau University of Science and Technology attaches equal importance to teaching and scientific research and also actively cooperates with enterprises in related industries. It signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Huawei, set up a Huawei ICT Academy, and developed training plans for cloud computing, big data, IoT, and artificial intelligence specialists to send excellent ICT talent for the Greater Bay Area. To improve operation and management efficiency, the university uses an intelligent O&M platform with big data analysis and machine learning algorithms to transform passive O&M into proactive O&M fashioned on scenario-based learning and expert experience. This platform realizes real-time network status sensing, minute-level automatic fault locating, and real-time network-wide application experience visualization, upping the performance of the entire network by 80%. In addition to cloud classrooms, the university also introduced HUAWEI Vision to build smart classrooms to better utilize high-quality teaching resources and promote student-centric learning.

Campuses and classrooms are the homes of the teaching and learning experience. As Macau University of Science and Technology has discovered, people-centered campus management and service system built by all that benefits all allows synergy between the campus environment, teaching and scientific research, and teacher and student services.

● Join hands with other countries and regions to explore the digitalization of education

In Hasseris Middle School, Denmark, Huawei built a next-generation wireless network covering all scenarios, including classrooms, auditoriums, and offices. The wireless network realizes virtual network planning and deployment and also supports automatic and intelligent network management as well as minute-level service rollout, greatly simplifying network construction and deployment.

In Honduras, Huawei has built an intelligent next-generation digital campus network for the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras (National Autonomous University of Honduras). The network connects the university's nine campuses and provides wireless coverage so that teachers and students can access high-speed network services anytime, anywhere. Wired and wireless networks are integrated to ensure online education for the university's eight regional centers, five remote centers, and eight remote learning resource centers.

In Paraguay, Huawei helped the Ministry of Education and Sciences provide broadband access and wireless network coverage for over 3000 primary and secondary schools. This supports education resource sharing and narrows the gap between urban and rural education nationwide.

More and more practices show that digital education requires the support of a robust and shared community where participants across the education industry, services, technologies, management, funds, and talent are centrally planned as a whole.

New Advantages in High-Quality Education

The digital education community boasts the following advantages when it comes to promoting the high-quality development of the education industry:

● Drive the construction of new infrastructure and build a novel basis for education fairness

To promote fair education, we need to interconnect digital devices efficiently and share high-quality education resources in a timely manner. This is exactly why connection, computing, cloud, and artificial intelligence are key technical elements for building a digital world and are also the cornerstone for developing digital education. High-speed networks are used to implement cross-school and cross-region sharing and learning. This feature enables people in different countries, regions, and environments to enjoy high-quality education resources through wired and wireless networks.

● Improve education quality, efficiency, and experience

Digital technologies are inseparable from modern teaching and learning activities. Through information aggregation, mining, analysis, supervision, and evaluation, teaching results and student growth can be accurately and precisely reflected to provide teachers with data-based teaching feedback and students with personalized learning solution suggestions. In this way, teachers can tailor their teaching approaches and students can learn based on their needs anytime, anywhere. In addition, digital technologies backed up with the support of data helps government education management departments scientifically evaluate and improve teaching across regions. All these things will significantly improve education quality.

● Facilitate talent cultivation, scientific research, and industry innovation and transformation

The digitalization of teaching and scientific research environments like campuses, classrooms, libraries, and labs is gradually coming to support applications in scenarios such as learning analysis, teaching evaluation, online and offline hybrid learning, and teaching and scientific research linkage. This is improving the experience and results of teaching, scientific research, management, and service processes. Data allows more precise teaching method analysis, education management and evaluation, and in this way, teachers can better personalize their teaching approaches to each student's aptitude, personality and interests.

The digital education community has come about naturally according to time and circumstance. As time goes on, Huawei will leverage our technical advantages in connectivity, cloud, computing, and artificial intelligence as well as the assets of the ICT industry chain to drive the development of the education industry. We will work to advance related upstream and downstream industries and foster a new digital education ecosystem. With the digital education community, we will transform classroom teaching and talent cultivation models, integrate and innovate teaching technologies, and accelerate the development of high-quality education.